To all clever gardeningy people - can you help me, please?
I have an area about 12 to 16m sq which is more or less level and which I have cleared of plants (well, weeds really!). Ideally, I would love a second patio but I can't afford it. If I covered the area with plastic or membrane and stuck some gravel and/or slabs on top, would it work or do I need to lay concrete first and then slabs/gravel?
The soil we have is chalk and any concrete will have to be hand mixed (hopefully by my husband but poss by me!!).
I don't want to put gravel on to the plastic or membrane if it is just going to pierce straight through it, but the thought of making concrete is scarey! Also, will the fact that we have a beech tree make the whole gravel idea come unstuck as beech leaves don't rot quickly?!
I basically want to make an otherwise boring corner pretty with pots and garden furniture as no plants ever thrive in the chalky soil in this corner (plus I am the world's WORST gardener!!)
I wouldn't think you have to lay a concrete base at all.
What I would do is hire a vibrating plate compactor and run it over the area to compact the soil down. This will also take care of the worst of the sharp stuff but have a look over it before you do the next stage.
You can now either lay the plastic membrane, or perhaps better would be a fabric weed control barrier as this is harder to puncture and allows water to drain away better too.
you could then put the gravel of your choice on the top and jobs a good'un.
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