Steps to an Injury-Free Gardening – Part 2

At my last post, I covered ground level paths and planning for use with wheelbarrows, garden carts, and rollator walkers. Part of the planning process is exactly where to place your paths. This blog discusses that issue.

A mulch path defined by flagstone curbing

I used to just step gingerly into the garden and try not to destroy anything and not stomp on stuff too much. This is rather dangerous obviously not just for the plants but for you too! Planning ahead or at least while you are planting can avoid this hazard.

I’m not going to kill these plants by stomping on them, but I’ll surely hurt how they look!

I have found that multiple entry points into a garden are best, rather than just a single path. This, ideally, should be based on how far the gardener can reach into her/his garden to, well, garden.

I plan for about a 4 to 5 foot wide garden area (and as long as I want it to be). This might require cutting paths into large beds multiple times and in multiple places, but that is part of the fun, and is part of the design.

There are three zigzag paths in this area.

I often use flagstone curbing (see picture above) to define the whole bed (remembering how wide to make the path for equipment, etc.), but more subtle mulched paths to crisscross a large bed. The biggest concern is to keep the path weed-free and plant-free so I can use it as a path, no matter how subtle. I use thick planting as a means to reduce the weeding, and even with mulching, plant-free areas tend to grow weeds.

At least I’m using plastic mesh now, rather than more dangerous metal mesh or fencing.

A final warning: try to avoid hazards on the ground. I used to use wire mesh over my plants to keep the deer away, but I found that I was scratching myself pretty badly pulling it up to weed underneath. I have since used chemical repellant for the deers (pepper spray, predator spray, rotten egg spray).

I’ll be moving this path to the right, and either mulching over or moving that hose!


About Shenandoah Kepler

Hi! I’m Shenandoah and I love to garden. I am becoming an ancient gardener, and am finding new ways to stay digging and enjoying the land.
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