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grass / concrete pavers?

Posted by George_Ray 7a N. Virginia (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 30, 05 at 10:21

Hi -

I'm not sure if this is the correct forum - please redirect if there's a better one. I generally do all my posting / reading on the Growing Tomatoes Forum, so ...

I need a solution to allow me to periodically drive along the side of my house to access my backyard. It's a slight grade, and I'm thinking of something someone told me about called "grass / concrete pavers"? I've been told that they're about the size of a flat cement block with holes to allow grass to come up, but I can't seem to find any pix on the web. Also, I didn't find anything at our Home Depot, but maybe I didn't ask the right questions.

Any leads / thoughts would be appreciated. And do I need to prepare a base, or could I simply put into / on the ground? Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: grass / concrete pavers?

Go to Google.com and do a search for grasscrete. Grasscrete is a product and system that does what you're looking for, but may be on the higher end of the cost spectrum, and it's availability direct to the homeowner might be questionable. But by doing the search (I just did it so I've seen the results) you will also run across websites that discuss alternatives to this product that supposedly do the same thing.


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RE: grass / concrete pavers?

Treebeard -

Thanks - I'll check it out.

George


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RE: grass / concrete pavers?

We just started placeing our "Turfstone" pavers this past weekend. We needed a place to park next to the garage and to drive across occasionally to access the backyard. Here's a picture of what ours look like. (We still have to go back for another pallet). Once they're all placed we'll fill in the holes with good soil and plant grass seed. They are countersunk at ground level so we will be able to mow right over them. I've included a link to one of the manufacturers so you can check for locations close to you.

......Jan

Here is a link that might be useful: locate a dealer


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RE: grass / concrete pavers?

Jan -

Thank you - this looks EXACTLY what I had in mind (pic being worth a 1,000 words...)

Are you going to put in a border or frame to hold it in place?

Did you put something in the ground first as a base, or just right on the dirt?

Thanks.

George


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RE: grass / concrete pavers?

I believe EP Henry also sells what they call environmental pavers.

Here is a link that might be useful: ephenry.com


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RE: grass / concrete pavers?

George,
Once we had excavated about five inches down, we added about an inch of sand which really helped in leveling the blocks. Without the sand, it would have been very difficult to keep them all even. Then we backfilled (with our North Carolina hard red clay) all around the outside edge so that the pavers can't shift.

Beware. These pavers weigh about sixty pounds a piece. You'll want to get the placement right the first time. LOL.
.......Jan


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RE: grass / concrete pavers?

Jan -

Thanks for the info. I'm in the process of searching for where I can buy. I think I'm going to try to run two "strips" about two feet wide up along the side of the house so I can get my van into the back yard.

Unfortunately, I'm not having much luck -- I talked to one place (Merrifield Garden Center in Merrifield, VA) and they want to order it (two weeks), and only by the pallet-load. Do I need that much? Have you any cost info you can share?

I would enclose a picture (like you did) of my side yard, but I don't know how you did that. I read the Help topic on pictures, but ??? Can you please advise?

Thanks again,

George


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RE: grass / concrete pavers?

George,
Ours were approx. $190 per pallet of fifty, but the garden center had it marked wrong and had to sell us the first pallet for $136.00. (We'll have to pay normal price for the next one, unfortunately. LOL). Fifty pavers will cover about 130 square feet or approx a 11 ft. X 12 ft area.

In order to direct post an image here, you'll have to use an image hosting site to upload your pics. (I use Picturetrail. They offer free posting up to a limited amount of bandwidth, but I've been using them so much that I decided to pay the small yearly fee for unlimited bandwidth). There are many image posting sites out there. Do a google search. Otherwise you can upload a picture to the Landscape Design Gallery for free here, but it can't exceed a certain file size. Instructions are posted at the bottom of the Gallery page.

.....Jan


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RE: grass / concrete pavers?

Jan -

Thanks for the info.

I hope you and Alan are enjoying the 4th. My BH took our 7 yr old to the beach for a few days, so I'm getting caught up on chores.

I'll give the Picturetrail site a try -- are you saying to get the picture into the body of your posting you a) first upload the pic to the image hosting site, and then b) you put the Picturetrail URL into the "Optional Link URL"?

George


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RE: grass / concrete pavers?

Sorry I took so long getting back to you George. The answer to your question is no. Once your picture is on the image hosting site, it will be given an "Image Tag" that is actually the URL plus some verbage and symbols allowing you to cut it and paste it directly into the body of your message here. It will then automatically show up as a picture in your message without having to direct anyone to a link. You can make sure it's working correctly by previewing your message.

The optional link URL at the bottom of the "post a follow up" screen is for precisely that. To cut and paste a URL that leads to a link (web page) pertaining to that post. BTW, the optional link URL is only available for follow up postings, not the original post.
.....Jan


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RE: grass / concrete pavers?

Jan -

Thanks for the feedback on posting pics -- I'll give it a try shortly.

George


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RE: grass / concrete pavers?

Jan -

Just to follow up with you on our discussions. First, I think I figured out how to post the pix I wanted.

The first pic is along the side of the house where I plan to put the pavers - the contractor who's going to actually do the work suggested that I only run two 24" wide strips up along the side of the house -- right where the tires would go (primarily because I will drive up there only a half-dozen times a year, give or take).

The second pic is of the sample pavers I bought at our local store in Falls Church, VA. I think they're about $2.50 each. It was the only place that I was able to find that had anything similar to what you recommended.

Thoughts?

Thanks again,

George


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RE: grass / concrete pavers?

George,
Good job posting pics!

You're very lucky to have found smaller blocks than our sixty pound monsters. I'm also envious of the fact that you only have to lay two rows instead of a solid slab like we did. And you're getting a contractor to do it? I tried to convince DH to hire someone to no avail. We did it ourselves in ninety-plus degree heat.

Oh well, the job is done and now we are attempting to get grass seed to sprout in the paver's holes. (Not an easy task this time of year).

Here's our's just before we finished it:

Good luck with yours.

.....Jan


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RE: grass / concrete pavers?

Jan -

I would prefer larger blocks, but you gotta go with what you have. And think about the good exercise you and DH got (smile).

I suspect that you'll have better luck with the grass in the fall -- I always do vis-a-vis the summer time.

As for me using a contractor, he's a neighborhood handyman from Poland who comes to the US for 6 months at a time to visit with his daughter. He's pretty handy, and VERY inexpensive. Plus, he's taken a liking to my son, and last month he (with minimal help from me) put together a temporary (?) 9' x 16' basketball court where 7 year old Scooter can practice shooting hoops. Here's a pic:

My directions to him for the drive-on paver tracks are pretty simple - work on it when you can, at your own pace, get the blocks yourself, don't border it in, use some packing sand, etc. And I'd like it done before the winter.

Whatever it takes, you know? And I'm sure it'll be good enough for a few trips a year up the yard. I keep a couple motorcycles in the shed back there, and a utility trailer, so I need periodic access.

Thanks again for all your help and guidance.

George


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RE: grass / concrete pavers?

Does your handyman have any relatives that visit Greensboro, North Carolina? (LOL)
Good luck with your project and please post a picture when it's done. I'll try to remember to post some once the grass grows in.
.....Jan


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RE: grass / concrete pavers?

Jan and Ray,

I am dealing with a much smaller job but had the same idea as you both. Your pics and information have been very helpful. I am leaning to getting pavers and not the large blocks. Hope your grass is growing well now!


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RE: grass / concrete pavers?

TO: Jan & Toss Up -

Well, it looks like my project is underway. The gentleman who's actually doing the work has started bringing the concrete pavers -- notched, 12" x 12", about 4 or 5 inches thick. He's already delivered about 200 to the side of my house. They cost about $2.50 each if I recall, so I've got $500 so far tied up in just material.

He's planning on only laying the block in two rows of two each, about 50 feet long. That will allow each tire 24" of support as I drive the van, trailer, or motorcycle up the slight hill along side my house.

(I think this approach will work because I plan to use this "driveway" only about 15 times per year. I just need some way to get my vehicles up along the side of the house to the backyard / shed area without getting stuck in the mud, grass, etc, and without sliding into the house or fence or a/c compressor.)

Preciseness and a gentle grade is very important -- I've only got 14 feet to work with between the house and the fence, and I've got an a/c compressor to work around.

He's also got to do a very tiny bit of "landscaping" to level out the beginning of the hill - to kinda sorta smooth it out.

Good luck on your project.

George


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RE: grass / concrete pavers?

My husband and I have just finished a parking area using grass blocks. Wr live in central florida and wondered what grass would be best to use. We would like runner grass .


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RE: grass / concrete pavers?

Hi -

I've been using something called Vigoro Tall Fescue with RTF (a self-repairing feature). Click here to see info about it: http://www.vigoro.com/ProductCategories/GrassSeed/TallFescue/

I'm not sure whether or not this type of grass is suited for FL use -- someone else may want to comment on this.

I planted my first section last fall, and it's fantastic - although you can faintly see the outline of the pavers, the grass came in great.

This spring I finished planting the rest of the paved area, and the grass is already about 2 to 3 inches tall. I give it lots and lots of water.

What I do when I plant grass is I thoroughly mix about 80 pounds of top soil, 40 pounds of humus manure (not too strong a manure mix), one 12 oz cup of seed, and about 10 oz of "starter fertilizer". After I spread out this mixture, I cover with something called Emerge. (here's the link to Emerge: http://www.shopping.com/xPC-Mgc_Emerge_for_lawns)

This is a miracle process -- my grass always looks wonderful.

I used about 100 40 pound bags of top soil and humus/manure so far this year, and I'm quite pleased with the result. Of course, my back is sore, but what the hey?

Good luck -- and you probably need to use the "right" grass for central FL.


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RE: grass / concrete pavers?

Hi-

Thanks so much for your info! We looked at the link you sent us about fescue and sure enough, not in our zone; but another link , Fescue vs Zoysia was just what we needed. Empire Zoysia is the grass used in semi-tropical regions and seems like the perfect grass for our needs. There is a local sod company that sells it. After reading about it, we may do our entire lawn with it. Thanks for the link and your response. Maybe we'll send a picture of our successful project. Thanks again. Beth and Ansel


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RE: grass / concrete pavers?

I'm not sure how laying sod with the grass pavers would work -- you need to let the seed grow up through the openings in the concrete.

Let me know how this works out please.

Thanks.


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RE: grass / concrete pavers?

Dear George_Ray:
This is my first message on GardenWeb.com. I was surprised and delighted to see that you bought your grasscrete-type pavers in Falls Church, because that's my area, and I really need such pavers at this time. Can you let me know the store where you bought such pavers? Thanks very much!!!


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RE: grass / concrete pavers?

beaconlane:

I bought and installed the grass pavers in 2005, and planted the grass in 2006. Looks great.

Here's the store info:

Sislers Inc
7139 Lee Hwy
Falls Church, VA 22046
Phone : (703) 532-0169
Product & Services:
Building Materials
Concrete Aggregates (Wholesale)
Concrete Products
Marble Natural
Masonry Materials & Supplies
Sand & Gravel-Manufacturers
Stone Natural Wholesale

Let me know if you need anything else. The pavers I bought from Sislers are square (12" x 12", maybe, and maybe 4" thick.) If you go over to Sislers, they can show you what they have. Almost any configuration will do. The ones I bought are "interlocking" somewhat, so cars can drive over them.

And if you drive over on Park Street in Vienna near Cunningham Park elementary school, near Tapawingo Street, there's a brand new home there on Park that has a circular driveway made entirely of these pavers -- with crushed rock fill. Check it out.

Good luck,

George


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RE: grass / concrete pavers?

Dear George:
Thank you SO VERY MUCH for your advice on grasscrete pavers -- I know exactly where Sislers is (about 5 min. from my house near Westmoreland & Haycock), and I will go there as soon as I can. And I will also check out the driveway in Vienna with the pavers filled with crushed rock -- it's good to have options. I can't believe you gave me such a thorough answer, with phone numbers, etc. Happy New Year to you!
- Mary


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