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How to Lay a Shingle Path

How to Lay a Shingle Path

A shingle pathway is a great way to zone your garden and keep visitors off your lawn. With a shallow depth of a few inches and relatively few tools needed, it is something that any advanced DIY-er can tackle.

The Benefit of Shingle Paths

  • You can mould and shape them in any which way
  • Won’t thaw and crack like stones and pavers
  • Constructed with minimal skill and equipment
  • Requires minimal digging



  • As shingle paths move, a strong edge restraint is needed. 


For the Job You Will Need:

  • A square shovel
  • A metal rake
  • A tamper
  • A utility knife
  • A hammer


Marking Out

The planning stage is arguably the most important and will help you to decide on the route it takes and the amount of material that you will need. You can do this with a garden hose or spray paint. Between your decided borders, you will then want to dig up 4 inches of soil with a square shovel.

Shaping Your Trench

When digging out the soil, it's important to make the edges of the trench straight and the bottom flat which is why we recommend using a flat shovel. It’s best practice to measure the floor of your path with a tape measure as you go along to ensure that there’s a consistent depth so that you don’t end up with an uneven floor. As an extra precaution to get it as flat and compact as possible, use a rake to loosen up the surface layer of soil and flatten it using a tamper.

Crushed Stone

You can now start to create the base of your path by adding 2 and a half inches of crushed stone. Using a rake, level out the contents of your crushed stone pack and dampen by spraying water on top with either a garden hose or watering can. Using the tamper that you used earlier, you should compress this layer as much as possible to stop any dust from interfering with your shingle path.

Covering with Landscape Fabric

Landscape fabric should now be rolled out directly onto the compressed stone, again to prevent dust escape. This should be faced shiny side up. To curve, make small incisions to free the fabric and use spikes and pins so that it doesn’t bunch up.

Securing the Trench

Now the edge lining can be added. While these plastic barriers create some level of support, it is not enough to ensure that the shape of the trench will remain intact over time. To reinforce the trench, you can create your own wooden beams that run along the path and hold it up. Once all is added you can tap with a wooden block to secure everything in place.

Fill with Shingle

Now add a shingle of your choice to bring it all together and you’re done. You have a lovely shingle path that will live to see all of your garden parties.