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How to level a Garden for Paving

a shovel on sand to signify leveling a garden

Uneven garden paving is ugly and unsafe. With uneven paving, there are increased chances of tripping over your paving slabs and erosion, which will cause more uneven paving and issues. No one wants that.

To create a firm ground underneath your paving slabs, you should level the ground before laying a garden path with slabs. In this article, we discuss how to level a garden for paving.

Material You Will Need to Level Your Garden

To level your garden, you will need a few materials, including:

  • Measuring tape
  • String
  • Stakes
  • Shovel
  • Gravel
  • Sand
  • Hose sprayer
  • Landscape fabric
  • Rake
  • Hand tamper or an ordinary sledgehammer
  • Carpenters level

You can get these from your local construction store or online. Some of these materials, if not all, can be found on popular sites like Amazon.

How to Level a Garden For Paving

Here’s how to level a garden for paving:

  1. Ensure There are no Wires or Plumbing in the Area
  2. Outline the Area
  3. Dig up the Land
  4. Check to see if the Land is Level
  5. Solidify and Flatten
  6. Install your paving slabs

Ensure There are no Wires or Plumbing in the Area

First, you must ensure there are no wires or pipes in the area. It is vital to your safety; digging in without checking for such can lead to a nightmare with busted pipes and electrocution.

You can check on Plantodig or LinesearchbeforeUdig. Alternatively, call your local utility service to see if there are any wires or pipes in the area below your proposed garden.

Outline the Area

When you have confirmed that your garden is ok to dig, outline the area. You can do that with your stakes and string. Push your stakes into the ground in the area you plan to pave. Place each stake around where your pavers will rest.

Your stakes should be about 5 to 8 inches into the ground. Then, tie your string between each stake at ground level to connect them.

Dig up the Land

Now to the fun part – digging the land. As a golden rule, you should dig out 6 inches into the ground and all the way around. So, if you have a slight fall, rainwater can run off your finish level, and it stays fine.

The exact inches you should dig will depend on your area, subbase, and stone. For example, 4 inches are great for your sub-base.

Check to see if the Land is Level

Levelling a garden for paving is more than digging. You need to actually “level”. Place your carpenter’s level or similar equipment on the dug-up ground to see whether your garden is level or not.

If it isn’t level, you should move the soil around to create a more level base. Continue to do that until the ground is level. If you are working with a pretty uneven area, do not backfill with soil as this will become uneven over time. Instead, use type 1 hardcore to bring the base level up.

Keep in mind that when working with a pretty uneven foundation, it might help to contract a landscaper or installer.

Solidify and Flatten

You will need to solidify and cover the ground with gravel. Before you do that, replace your stakes with pinned landscape fabric. That is, lay the fabric over the garden area and pin them down at the edges of the area. If you plan to install stepping stones or leave space between your paving slabs, do not do this.

Pour gravel until you have created a 2-inch deep layer and then a 2-inch layer of sand over the gravel.

Smoothen the sand with a rake. For better results, dampen the sand lightly with water before you smoothen. A hose sprayer will come in handy for this.

Finally, flatten your garden with a hand tamper. Move the sand as you need to until the area is level.

Install your paving slabs

Flattening your garden space takes up about half of the work of paving. When done, all you need to do is install your paving slabs properly for a beautiful, long-lasting space.

Also important to creating a long-lasting and beautiful patio is quality garden paving slabs that stand the test of time and weather. At Minster Paving, we manufacture high quality paving to serve the UK. Click to shop our garden paving slabs for sale or contact us via email or in-store. You can also call  01865 300252.

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