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The comforts of lawn, the practicality of paving.

THESE THREE PATIOS HAVE THE LOOK OF LAWN BUT THE hard-surface practicality of paving. Because in each example the turf flows right through the patio from the adjacent lawn, it blurs the boundaries between the two. This makes an especially useful solution if you want to create additional space in the garden for lounging, dining, and entertaining without imposing a heavy hardscape look, or if you want to cut your lawn down in size to save water.

Tall fescue was planted from sod in all three examples. Early fall is the best time to get grass started.



Choices include natural stone in irregular shapes ($10 to $15 per square foot) or cut to a standard dimension ($8 to $20 per square foot); poured concrete ($4 to $8 per square foot); and ready-made concrete pavers ($1 to $9 each) or tile pavers ($2 to $15 each). For all prices, add costs for preparation and installation.

Use pavers at least 14 inches square, or butt smaller ones together to make a single large paver. Irregularly shaped pavers like the ones shown at left are easiest to install; geometric ones require more careful measuring, spacing, and leveling. Professional landscape contractors installed all the pavers shown.

To install, remove sod and 3 inches of soil from the area for pavers. Prepare a compacted sand base or begin framing concrete forms as necessary. (For help, see Sunset's Complete Patio Book, Sunset Publishing Corporation, Menlo Park, Calif., 1989; $10.95). Allow 3 or 4 inches between pavers for turf. If you're placing stone pavers on a mortar base, position pavers approximately to get the look you want, then make individual mortar bases and position each stone.

After placing the pavers, clean away any mortar or debris between them and the native soil that might inhibit growth of turf roots. Then install irrigation. A drip line underneath the turf is ideal but can get overly complex if pavers are small and numerous. Check with an irrigation supplier or installer for options and advice.

When the watering system is in place, backfill between pavers with a light-weight, noncompacting soil mix such as one recommended for house plants.

To calculate how much sod you'll need in square feet, figure the square footage of the paver area, then multiply that number by 0.25 (for 3 inches between pavers), or 0.33 (4 inches between pavers). Add another 5 percent for waste. Cut the sod into strips and press it firmly between the papers.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:patios
Date:Oct 1, 1991
Previous Article:The way it was: restoring California's grasslands.
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