Although it takes more work, growing grass between your pavers is a great way to add a soft touch to your landscape design, and it’s surprisingly low maintenance. Learn how to grow grass between pavers correctly or troubleshoot your current set-up with these helpful tips.
Concrete pavers or stone slabs are a convenient way to make a walkway in your yard. They allow you to protect your garden soil and plants in high-traffic areas while offering a handy way to get from one place to the next.
Unfortunately, the gaps between stone pavers can be difficult to fill. If left unfilled, you may notice weed growth and soil erosion during heavy rain. Traditional options like sand or gravel can be unattractive, uncomfortable to step on, and challenging to maintain.
Fortunately, it’s easy to grow grass between pavers. With a few tips and practical strategies, you’ll be well on your way to creating a comfortable, attractive pathway that requires little maintenance.
How to Grow Grass Between Pavers
Don’t be tempted to buy artificial grass! You can grow real, natural grass between your pavers with a little effort and planning. You’ll appreciate the extra effort once you see how nice the grass looks between your pavers or bricks.
1. Prepare the area
Dig a 5-6 inch deep trench to accommodate the paving stones and grass seed or sod. It’s a good practice to lay sand or gravel and then pack them down for an even surface. Otherwise, the paving stones may crack under pressure.
Remove any debris or weeds growing near your current pavers to refresh an existing pathway. Use a trowel or small shovel to dig out any large rocks or roots in the way. Create a level surface free of obstacles before reseeding any patchy areas.
2. Add soil
Once you’ve cleared the area, you’ll need to add soil. Choose high-quality soil rich in nutrients that has good drainage. Fill the gaps between your pavers with soil until it’s level with the top of the pavers. Use your hands or a small shovel to pack the soil down firmly.
If you install pieces of sod between your pavers, you can add a thin layer of organic matter or well-draining soil to sit beneath the sod.
3. Choose the right grass seed
Choosing the right grass seed is essential if you want your grass to grow successfully between your pavers. Look for a type of grass suitable for your climate and your light conditions. You’ll also want to choose a seed tolerant of foot traffic, as people will likely be walking on your grass.
Since the grass will grow between your paving stones, it doesn’t need to be as hardy as it would for an entire lawn.
Alternatives to grass between pavers
Also, consider planting low-growing ground cover to fill the small gap between your pavers for a unique, cottage-style look. Some good choices include:
Best grasses to grow between pavers:
St. Augustine grass prefers full sun and warm environments. It can spread to fill in the space between your steps and suppresses weed growth.
Bermuda grass tends to be hardy. It can tolerate heavy foot traffic and prefers sunny areas.
Ryegrass can tolerate cooler, damper conditions, so it’s the perfect choice for full or partial shade.
4. Plant the seed
Once you’ve chosen your seed or plants, it’s time to plant. Follow the instructions on the seed packet carefully, as different seed types may require other planting methods. You’ll want to sprinkle the seed evenly over the soil and then lightly rake it in. Water the area thoroughly after planting.
Leave several inches between the paver stones to make sure the grass can grow enough.
For sod, make a small cut to tear the sod apart and install it in the space between the pavers. Be sure to water well.
5. Water regularly
When you first plant the seed, water it regularly to help it establish roots, and water it more often during dry spells. The soil should be moist but not soggy. Once established, water the grass deeply once or twice a week rather than watering lightly every day.
Tip: Install instant pop-up micro-sprayers and a timer to make regular watering easier. Be sure to water in the morning for the best results.
For the healthiest grass, it’s important to fertilize regularly. Choose a fertilizer suitable for the type of grass you’ve planted, and follow the instructions carefully. You’ll generally want to fertilize your grass once or twice a year.
7. Mow regularly
Once your grass blades have grown to a few inches tall, it’s time to mow it. Use a lawn mower with a bag attachment to collect any clippings. Aim to cut the grass to a height of around 3 inches, which will help it grow thick and strong.
If you wonder if you can mow the grass between pavers, the answer is yes. If your grass is taller than your pavers, you can run your mower directly over the surface to trim the grass, and the blades won’t touch the concrete surfaces.
You can also use a weed whacker in smaller areas or touch up as needed.
8. Maintain your grass
To keep your grass looking its best, you’ll need to maintain it regularly. Pull any weeds that may sprout up and trim the edges of the pavers with an edging tool to keep the grass from growing over the stones. This will give your pavers a neat, tidy appearance.
Will grass grow over pavers?
The best way to deal with this issue is to edge along the outside of the paver patio at least once per growing season. This is a great project to do in early spring when the grass plants are starting to show new growth. You can also do this in the fall when the plants begin to slow down for the season, but it can cause more stress to the plants. Technically, your existing grass can begin to grow over your pavers, creating a thick carpet instead of a flat concrete surface.
How much space do I need between pavers?
The answer depends on what you want your final pathway to look like. Typically, pavers are set very close together, nearly 1/8 inch apart. This gives a seamless appearance while allowing water to run between the bricks.
If you want to grow grass between your pavers, you’ll want to leave between 4-6 inches of space to allow the lawn grasses to take root.
How do you edge grass around pavers?
How do you get rid of weeds from between pavers?
With the right type of grass, you won’t even need to ask this question. Spreading grasses, like St. Augustine grass, will naturally choke out weeds. Even if you have a different type of grass, you can tackle this issue quickly.
First, skip the weed killer. Spray white vinegar on the weeds to kill them. The best defense is to check the grass every month or so and remove or kill small weeds early.
Growing grass between your pavers is a great way to add greenery and a soft touch to your outdoor space. With these simple steps, you can create a beautiful, low-maintenance garden that is sure to impress.
Adriana Copaceanu is a passionate nature lover living in the country on her dream property where she grows vegetables, lavender, and wildflowers that she shares with the wildlife they attract. When she's not in the garden, she loves spending time with her chickens and planning her next nature project. Check your her books below: