Brick Sidewalk & Flowerbed

5 Materials
$0
6 Hours
Medium

There were no established flowerbeds or walkways in the front of my house. There was however a buried brick sidewalk in the back yard that was no longer needed. I decided to repurpose those rather than buy edging or have concrete poured.

Add sand and level area

You will need to have a level sandy area to lay the brick. Spread the dirt, and use a rake to level.

Gather brick

Gather brick and unload them near worksite.

Lay bricks

Begin laying bricks. Tap them from each side as you go to ensure a tight fit.

Add rows

Continue adding rows and making sure it’s tight as you go. I used a board and sledge hammer every few rows to help tighten. You may have to play around with the placement of the brick. I changed it up a bit after seeing the first few rows laid.

Border

I decided to make a border on each side by turning the bricks.

Finish and install bed

I curved the walkway to meet up with driveway. Then I installed a border around the flower beds. I added mulch to help prevent weeds.

Finish

Add bricks till complete. I watered down with a hose and avoided walking on it for several hours.

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Have a question about this project?

5 questions
  • Gabrielle Falk
    on Jun 7, 2020

    What a lot of hard work. Did you use something to settle the bricks, from 'shifting'? Maybe sand, but that will wash away. Perhaps something that will help bond the bricks?

    • Michael Scott
      on Jun 7, 2020

      I am hoping that they settle in the dirt/sand mixture used underneath. Also the bricks were originally buried so some of that mud remained when laying. After rinsing off It seems to have a pretty good bond. It may be necessary to add more sand/dirt mix where cracks are more prevalent.

    • Gabrielle Falk
      on Jun 8, 2020

      Good one. Might there be a bit of clay in your soil. We live in Ermington, a few kilometers east of Parramatta (an historic suburb - but not as old as some of your beautiful towns and hamlets), Sydney, New South Wales. The soil around this area is renowned for its soil - with a large clay component. A suburb nearby - Rosehill, was noted for all the roses that were grown there - hundred ++ years ago - it was a market farm area, vegetables, fruit trees, roses - apparently roses like clay soil. But clay can be just like quick-sand. I know that because when we put in our above-ground pool, 2003, as the old a.b.g. pool was demolised, and levelled, it rained, and rained, and I had a total quagmire in the back. The clay just clung to your shoes and made a horrible mess. Nevertheless. You may still need to add some sort of co-hesive mixture - just to stop the bricks from settling and moving. I know because I think I now have a third level of bricks, forming garden containment walls (about 4" high). I'm sure that these bricks will also settle - however they will obey me, and not settle?? I just lever them up a little, and reseat them. And all is OK for a year or so. It's all a matter of trying, and if not 100% successful, trying something else. I speak quite firmly to my garden retaining brick walls, decorative pebbles, stepping stones, etc., and instruct them - no weeds, or slipping and sliding. Just fun.


    • Patty
      on Jun 8, 2020

      Polymeric sand will bond those bricks together

    • Eileen ross
      on Jun 8, 2020

      I was under the impression that they dug up that walkway, and used the bricks to line their garden.

    • Connie Yates-Maracle
      on Jun 8, 2020

      They dug the bricks up from the backyard and used them in the front walkway and edging.



    • Cynthia Whitney
      on Jun 9, 2020

      Lot of work there. We made a short walk in our front garden maybe 10 years ago. It's almost sunk out of sight now so needs to be dug up again and reset. Really, unless you put a really solid base under bricks, they will sink down in just a few years. I started to replace a stone patio with cement pavers last week and when it was finished I began to dig our between the patio and sidewalk to make a connecting walkway. Low and behold beneath some pavers I put there about 10 years ago and beneath about 3 inches of dirt I found 50 paving bricks that I had no idea were there. Mind you, we've lived in this house for 26 years and this was a total surprise. Now I need to find a use for 50 bricks.


    • Gina Yarber
      on Jun 16, 2020

      My son-in-law did a sidwalk like this and within three months the bricks had started shifting. Five years later, they've shifted so badly you can hardly walk on it and it'll have to be redone. The local sand & gravel company used to teach classes, still hand out instruction sheets. You have to have a solid base under the bricks. Dig up the soil a few inches and put down a 2" base of crushed rock. Tamp it down good. Then put down about a 1" layer of sand and tamp it down. Lay the bricks. Pour sand on top of the bricks and sweep it into the cracks. Water it down so the sand settles. Add more sand and water it down again. You can use landscaping fabric under the gravel to hold the weeds at bay. A LOT of work, but you shouldn't have to do it again.

    • Janey L Pohl
      on Jun 17, 2020

      You need mortar to bond bricks. This is a diy project, and laying brick is the job of a mason. As the daughter of a highly skilled and sought after brick and stone mason, laying a true brick landscape requires a lot more than this.


    • Jeanne
      on Jun 17, 2020

      Cynthia Whitney....our neighbors just found 'buried' bricks in their yard! I'd love that! How fun for you!

  • Sue Gulzow
    on Jun 8, 2020

    We have a brick sidewalk and patio as well done this same way but really struggle With keeping weeds from coming up between them. Any suggestions to prevent and/or remove them?

    • Angela Brandon
      on Jun 8, 2020

      Vinegar will kill the weeds. It will also kill grass! So careful of vinegar runoff.

    • J
      on Jun 8, 2020

      We put a double layer of weed block underneath the sand base then place the bricks on the sand. Filled in the cracks between bricks with polymeric sand. No grass or weeds.

    • Bonnie
      on Jun 9, 2020

      you can buy a sand that is mixed with a cement. I think I paid about $20 or so a bag at Home Depot. but i think everywhere like that carries it. I sprinkled in over the new patio and sweep it into all the cracks. Then used the leaf blower to really clean off the patio. Then use a shower end on your hose and sprinkle lightly. You do not want to wash it out. leave it alone for a for a few days and then check to make sure you got all the voids filled. if not - just repeat. it is amazing!!!! Love it.

    • Sue Gulzow
      on Jun 9, 2020

      Is that to prevent the weeds from coming thru? Does it change the look of the bricked patio?

    • Cynthia Whitney
      on Jun 9, 2020

      Without using the polymeric sand (which I've never tried) keeping the weeds down is really a never-ending task. If you don't want to use something like Round-up, which is temporary, or a long-term brush killer you can just pull them. I've tried vinegar and it's a pain. You do have to use some dish soap in it to make it cling to the plants. You can also add salt which is pretty well toxic to everything. But, as someone else pointed out, you do have to be careful about it washing into the lawn or garden. The Round-Up works by getting on the leaves and stopping photosynthesis so is easier to keep under control. Unless it rains before it dries. Ideally the best bet would be to lay the bricks on top of a cement walk. Nothing is easy!


    • Belinda
      on Jun 9, 2020

      I can’t speak from experience, but a layer of cardboard underneath the sand could work for weed control. I do this in lieu of landscaping cloth beneath mulch or wood chips in natural areas. Of course it doesn’t control them indefinitely but keeps them at bay for quite some time. Not sure if bricks would be more prone to shift or slide, however.

    • Dan Madigan
      on Jun 9, 2020

      Lay landscape fabric over the earth after leveling. The earth should be tamped down and as level as possible. Then put no more than one inch of hard sand over fabric to lay brick.

    • John Cochran
      on Jun 9, 2020

      Round Up mixed with a little diesel. Spray every 90 days or so in summer.

    • Janice Barbalato Littrell
      on Jun 9, 2020

      I found that spraying white vinegar on the weeds will kill them overnight...no not pulling. You can also add some salt to the spray bottle of vinegar to help .

    • Cindy
      on Jun 10, 2020

      We just finished our basket weave brick walkway , and used polymeric sand. That stuff is the bomb !! You will have NO weeds and or ants or other digging critters . It settles between the brick (after sweeping) , then you lightly shower with the house , of course there was a lot of prep prior to the sand , but so worth the finished project. Good luck and don't skip this step if you want "one and done" for years of maintenance free beauty !!

    • Coco
      on Jun 10, 2020

      Depend on how big of an area you have to de-weed, I pour boiling water on the trouble spots. Keeps weeds at bay for 4-6 weeks. I have a one acre lot so it's a trick I've used for years. Saves your good plants and it's an absolutely environmentally sensitive solution.


    • Jim
      on Jun 10, 2020

      We use table salt about every 6 weeks

    • Deb
      on Jun 15, 2020

      Spray vinegar and water

    • Linda Lewis
      on Jun 16, 2020

      Put cornmeal in the area u don’t want weeds and it keeps them from growing in that area don’t know how it works but it does a farmer told me about this trick I have no weeds in my flower beds nor on my brick patio

    • Sandra
      on Jun 16, 2020

      Plant creeping thyme or some other low herb between them. Smells & looks nice & can be used fro cooking

    • Rak11314771
      on Jun 16, 2020

      Tell about cornmeal do you apply where grass is growing before it starts how thickly never heard of this but sounds like worth a try

    • Karen Chipman
      on Jun 16, 2020

      Polymeric sand harden when water is put on it and stops weeds from coming up

    • Dave Reyes
      on Jun 16, 2020

      Use a torch

  • Veronica Ronnie Taylor
    on Jun 9, 2020

    What is holding the bricks in?

    • Kathy
      on Jun 11, 2020

      First downpour and they will shift....ankle twisters. Need brick layer to tell you what to use as adhesive......

    • Gina Yarber
      on Jun 16, 2020

      You have to have a solid base under the bricks. Dig up the soil a couple inches and put down a 2" base of crushed rock. Tamp it down good. Then put down about a 1" layer of sand and tamp it down. Lay the bricks. Pour sand on top of the bricks and sweep it into the cracks. Water it down so the sand settles. Add more sand and water it down again. You can use landscaping fabric under the gravel to hold the weeds at bay.

    • Judy Roeder Gravell
      on Jun 16, 2020

      I spray a weed killer on the cracks. May have to do this a few times a year

    • Linda
      on Jun 18, 2020

      I did this and used border runners, you can purchase at Lowes, leveled the sand, placed a runner all around the placed stones or pavers, used a polymer sand, sweep it in, spray with a water hose lightly, add until there is no gaps, spray again, it sets like cement.

    • Anna Ibarra
      on Jun 22, 2020

      I made an patio island in my back yard with bricks as these. My island was set in as I had a pull out a few stumps & huge sago plant. I did lay ground material, sand to level then bricks then leveling sand and spread thru cracks. I didn’t do a border, I posted it on HT also, so my lines are cracked, oh well, still usable and it’s been several years. My friend didn’t use leveling sand and her pavers rock.

  • Amy Jo Olson
    on Jun 17, 2020

    Beautiful!

  • Bluzlovr
    on Jun 17, 2020

    I'm embarrassed to ask the question because I should know the answer. How do you put down the weed barrier and mulch and then plant flowers or shrubs that spread over time?? For example hostas, irises, peonies, hydrangeas?? Do you just cut a large circle where you plan to put the flowers/shrubs? But then it seems you leave a place for weeds to grow. Thanks for any help you can provide!!!! I'm stumped!!!

    • Linda Diane Griffin
      on Jun 17, 2020

      I have worked at a landscape/greenhouse for 28 years. If you use weed barrier it is best not to use mulch as this decomposes and will become part of your soil base only on top of the weed barrier. It was recommended to use river rock or other gravel, etc. When you do use weed barrier you roll it out and pin it down then when you decide where you want your plants/shrubs cut an X in the barrier just large enough to get the root ball of you plant. Then add your rock. Hope this helps!

    • Andrea Philipson
      on Jun 29, 2020

      Yes, you have the right idea about making a hole in the fabric to accommodate the current size of the plant you're interning, as well as making said hole large enough to allow for the plant to spread as it grows.... If you prefer to define the area you will ultimately allow the plant to inhabit, I'd agree with Linda that when using a fabric weed barrier, gravel is the way to go!

      However, if you want to allow the plants to spread undefined, I'd recommend using newspapers for a weed barrier and topping it with a good quality mulch. (Tip: Wet it down as you spread layers of newspaper, so it won't blow away while you're working.)


      For the first season, sprinkle some Preen in the mulch to prevent weeds from growing... to continue to prevent weeds and extend the life of the mulch, repeat the Preen use in each following season, after new plant growth has established itself. Over the years, your newspaper will decompose and become a sort of mulch itself, and eventually you'll need to add new bark mulch for esthetics.


      This method provided me with a very low-maintenance (read: minimal need to pull weeds) flower garden... the flowers proliferated and I did not need to add any new bark mulch for 5 whole years!!! (The attached picture is the flower garden.)

Join the conversation

3 of 36 comments
  • Jeanne
    on Jun 17, 2020

    I agree with so many other here who said that this is a lot of work! I've also been working with brick in my yard for landscaping projects. This is year 3. I love the pattern you used and how this walkway came out! The use of the brick around the bark beds helps tie it all together. Great job!

    • Rosemary Oehmler
      on Jun 20, 2020

      This is true. I had this done in my small triangular front yard. Best decision I ever made. So much easier to take care of.

      Definitely place rocks directly over barrier.

      Weeds are sneeky little monstes and will find a way out. You will still get a few little weeds because of grass clippings, leaves, etc., but the are easily removed.

  • C.B.
    on Jun 17, 2020

    Wisdom is sometimes 20/20...laying down weed barrier AFTER leveling the soil; then putting down the sand, then the brick...then "top the brick" with sand to fill in the crevises between them & help stabilize them. Then brush the excess sand off the brick...although "lightly spraying" the sand with water will help "settle" the sand between the bricks.( Fill in more sand as needed). This way the only weeds that grow between the bricks is the result of "dropped or scattered seed."

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