Absorbing rainwater into a lawn is a common objective for homeowners—and a priority for many cities. But concrete sidewalks force rainwater to run off, rather than letting it percolate into the soil. Pavers set in turf are a quick solution: They allow water to sink into the surrounding soil and provide a clean, dry place to step—also protecting the lawn from heavy foot traffic. As a bonus, your mower glides right over the tops. Use an assortment of staggered shapes, go with a straight line, or create your own design. Sticking with square or rectangular pavers rather than circular ones makes the installation go more quickly.
Editor's Tip: A few days before you begin any digging project, call 811 or visit call811.com. A locator service will come and mark the position of underground utility lines in the work area.
Plan your path on paper before you start. Wearing heavy gloves, place pavers on top of the turf according to the plan. For our path, we allowed 4 inches between all pavers.
Using a paver as a template, align the edge of a spade with the paver and push straight down to cut closely around all edges. Remove the paver and, using the spade, cut the turf away in sections. Use the point of the trowel to make sharp corners and vertical sides. Dig out soil to a depth equal to the thickness of the paver plus 2 inches.
Spread a 2-inch layer of paver base over the soil. Take care not to push it up the sides of the hole—this could make the paver not lay flat on the soil.
Carefully drop the paver into place. Make sure it is level with the soil and does not rock from side to side when you step on it. Add or remove paver base as needed. Repeat for each paver.
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