Types of Stone
Ok so you have decided what stone to use and now its time to install it.
If you have weeds spray them first before pulling them out.
Install retic if needed, and or services (electrical, plumbing, whatever, as you wont want to have to install after)
Rake the area so its flat, I normally use a wide broom after raking to make it nice and flat.
NOTE: If installing steppers screed first
Ok before installing the stones you want to put a fabric underneath. Why? Well if you don’t you’re going to get weeds coming through and over time the stones will slowly sink. All you will see is sand and won’t look good.
So I always use GEO-Fabric which is literally like a fabric comes in large rolls, but probably won’t be at a hardware store. There’s a company called GEO-fabric Australia. Or ask your local landscaper for some.
You can use the plastic weed-mat if you want, but this tends to fray very easily and weeds can get through it easier. Plus water tends to pool on it.
One thing you will probably want to do is put down on corners something heavy like a paver, rock, piece of wood because if it’s windy it’s gonna get pretty frustrating when your underlay starts blowing away everywhere!!
Now your Underlay is down you can plant or place your steppers down or both.
For your plants place them out where you want them first (visual designing). Once you have them in position, you want to use a Stanley knife (make sure its sharp) and cut a cross through the underlay wider than the plant. Now you can pull back the flaps you have created and dig a hole that’s adequate for the pot size. Make sure you don’t throw too much sand all over the underlay you’ve just laid.
Planting Tip: If your installing small plants or fragile plants, see if you can place the pot upside down back over the plant. This will save you breaking your plants when installing the stone.
For steppers, place the first one down, then using your tape measure place at the end of the stepper and set it to whatever your step is. Generally, I use a 300mm gap in-between each one. Especially if your using a 400x400mm wide paver as your stepper.
Ok now it’s time to put down your stone aggregate. You are going to want a good quality wheel barrow, because of the weight of the stones could pop a tyre if you have a small barra, or if you have one with narrow wheels and you are moving through sand its gonna be tough.
I try and start at some of the corners if possible just so your underlay doesn’t pop-up and fold over itself.
Also when you’re dumping the stone make sure you tip the barrow slower than you would with mulch, just think of the weight of the stone you don’t want dented areas underneath.
Once you have down some of the corners then you can start filling up the middle areas.
Make sure you start from one side and progressively work through the area, this way you dump your barrow and spread it out with a rake so you’re getting even coverage
If you are installing steppers then 1 barrow at a time starting at the start of your path, then rake then broom. Follow that process and you won’t have excess stones everywhere.
Also if you have done steppers make sure after you have finished spreading out the stones re-do your stringline as you will find some of your steppers would have gone out of line.
Doing it right the first time will save you time and headaches.