How to Replace Lawns With Flagstone & Ground Cover
Replacing your lawn with a flagstone surface and ground cover reduces maintenance and provides an attractive area for dining or relaxing outside. Ground cover describes low-growing plants that prevent erosion, retain moisture and spread quickly. Flagstone comes in different shapes and natural colors that complement the lush look of ground cover.
- Identify the area where you want to replace grass with ground cover and flagstones. Insert wooden stakes into the four corners of the patio site and stretch a string around the stakes to outline the area. Use landscape paint to mark the areas where you intend to plant ground cover.
- Remove grass and other growth from the patio site and keep digging until the surface is 8 inches deep. Flatten the soil with a hand tamper and place landscape fabric over the soil.
- Install wood, metal or stone edging around the border of the patio site. If you're using pre-made edging material, drive 10-inch nail spikes through the edging slots to secure it to the ground.
- Shovel about 6 inches of gravel over the landscape fabric and use a 2-by-4 to smooth the gravel and create a slight slope to lead water runoff away from the home. Spread coarse sand over the gravel and smooth it evenly.
- Set flagstones beginning at one corner and press them into the sand. Leave consistent spacing on all sides of the stones and use a water level to check that the surface is even.
- Pour fine sand over the flagstones and pack the sand between the spaces until the joints are filled.
- Remove any weeds and stones from the areas where you want to add ground cover and about 3 inches of compost to enrich the soil with good bacteria.
- Use a spreader or spread ground cover seeds by hand to cover the entire planting site. Place a thin layer of straw over the seeds to keep them moist. Water the area according to care instructions included with the seeds.