beautiful two color mulch pathway
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How to Create an Inexpensive Mulch and Stone Walkway

How to Create an Inexpensive Stone & Mulch WalkwayHow to Create an Inexpensive Mulch and Stone Walkway

Spring is on its way and that means more rain. It’s also the time of year when the grass has been dormant and there is more exposed dirt and mud in your yard. Let’s be honest, everyone tends to have problem spots in their landscaping that end up looking like a mud pit. And if you have kids or pets running around, it won’t be long before that mud comes walking into your home.


For those of us that live in the south, mud is not just wet dirt. It’s usually red clay! And unfortunately, it will stain everything you own and make housekeeping a nightmare. Time to come up with a fast and inexpensive solution to the mud problem.

landscaped backyard with mulch pathway

While searching Lowe’s for some ideas, I stumbled across this no-dig landscape edging. I was very excited to see that I wouldn’t have to dig a trench to bury half of it! Instead, it comes with pegs to nail into the ground. Suh-weet!

flexible edging material


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Gather all your materials near the path site. Layout your stones and walk on them to make sure they are spaced for a comfortable gait. (Do you see that stick in the above picture? That is my path width guide.)

stepping stone spacing

Use your path width template (aka stick) to keep your edging equal distance apart the entire length of your path. (You may need to put a weight on your edging or set a peg in halfway to hold the edging in place.)

set standard width

After the path and edging are laid out, step back and take a look. Make any tweaks to your pathway now.

set stones inside edging

To set the path, start from one end and insert a peg into one end of the edging.

Hold peg

Then hammer the peg into the ground…

hammer stakes into edging

…until it is flush with the earth.

peg set in edging

Continue setting a peg every 4-6 feet (and especially at the peak of any curves.)

one side path set

Repeat for the other side of your path.

layout stones inside edging

Open a bag of mulch and spread to the top of your stones and the edging. Use the back side of your garden rake to smooth the mulch and eliminate any high or low spots.

stones sitting in mulch

Repeat until you have filled your entire path. Then spread the second color mulch on the outside of your path.

beautiful two color mulch pathway

Don’t you just love the contrast between these two? The lighter colored mulch is cypress and the darker is hardwood mulch. Walk on your stones and put some dirt or sand underneath any that wobble. Now stand back and admire your finished path! I think my favorite stepping stone is the broken heart stone I made with two rocks.

Stone and mulch pathway

The entire path took me just over two hours. Not bad, and the bonus is that I didn’t need to go to the gym to workout that day!

Want to improve your curb appeal? Here are some tips and tricks to improve your landscaping in no time!

Landscaping 101: Tools, Planting, and Adding Color to your Landscaping | Pretty Handy Girl

54 replies
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  1. Harold Ingmire
    Harold Ingmire says:

    Edging in rolls like this is available at Menard,s. Menaces has a plastic underlayment that replaces a gravel base. Place your leveling sand and then pavers.

  2. Crystal
    Crystal says:

    Love your path! My husband and I are going to tackle a path this coming weekend. Do you not need a gravel or sand base? Most tutorials include those but I would love to skip that step if possible. lol
    How has this path held up?

    • Brittany Bailey
      Brittany Bailey says:

      Gravel will help water drain away easier and a base will help level the stones easier. Although helpful, it’s not 100% necessary. Our path held up for years, we wold have to replace the layer of mulch every year as it broke down. But, we eventually replaced the path with pavers from a leftover project.

  3. Joe MacKrell
    Joe MacKrell says:

    Hi- Where did you get your edging? It looks a bit heavier-duty than the stuff I see on Amazon and Lowes, I especially like the cross-shaped spikes.

  4. Ellen Liang
    Ellen Liang says:

    I’d like to try that, but what about weeds and grass? Should I lay down cardboard or weed blocker? Also, I made a stone pathway with pea gravel last year but the gravel gets scattered over the stones and to the side (even with edging). Is there any way to prevent that, i.e. set the gravel? Thanks!


  5. Steve Huzar
    Steve Huzar says:

    Can you drive a handicapped scooter over the mulch pathway without sinking in or ruining the mulch ?

  6. Ivory
    Ivory says:

    Toward tge end of last summer, I did a pathway using pea gravel, this was the north side of our shady area, and I love it. On the south side of the house, we laid flagstones, love it to. Your pathway is fabulous, as always. Thanks for saring.

  7. J
    J says:

    Looks fantastic! My husband and I are about to start this project, ourselves. Did you need to dig a hole for the stones so they are secure in the ground?


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