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Creating a 24-Inch Wide Path with a 90° Angle: Digging and Filling with Decorative Rock

Target Skill Set: High Intermediate

Transforming your outdoor space often begins with practical enhancements. One such project is creating a 24-inch wide path with a 90° angle. This intermediate-level project combines functionality and aesthetics as we guide you through digging the path and filling it with your choice of decorative rock. Get ready to elevate your landscaping game and add charm to your home.

Planning Your Pathway

Before we get our hands dirty, let's plan out the pathway. You'll need to decide on the following:

Path Dimensions

For this project, we're creating a path with two segments:

  • One line is 10 feet long.

  • The other line is 14 feet long.

  • The path width is a consistent 24 inches.

Material Choice

You mentioned using decorative rock. Consider rocks that are small, approximately the size of golf balls. These can include pebbles, crushed gravel, or river rocks, depending on your aesthetic preferences.

Path Design

Do you want a straight path, a curved one, or one with unique designs or borders? For this guide, we'll focus on a straight path with a 90° angle.

Step 1: Marking and Preparing

  1. Mark the Path: Use wooden stakes and twine to mark the boundaries of your path. Measure carefully to ensure the 90° angle is precise.

  2. Excavate the Path: With your path boundaries marked, it's time to start digging. Dig down to a depth of 3 inches across the entire path. Use a shovel and a level to keep the path even.

Step 2: Adding a Base Layer

  1. Laying Landscape Fabric: Once the path is excavated, lay down landscape fabric to prevent weeds from growing through the path. Cut the fabric to fit the entire path area.

  2. Compact the Soil: Use a hand tamper or a mechanical compactor to compact the soil evenly. This creates a stable base for the decorative rock.

Step 3: Calculating Rock Quantity

To determine how much decorative rock you'll need, follow these steps:

  1. Calculate Volume: Calculate the volume of the path by multiplying its length (in feet) by its width (in feet) and depth (in feet). In this case, it's 10 feet x 2 feet x 0.25 feet (3 inches converted to feet) for the shorter segment, and 14 feet x 2 feet x 0.25 feet for the longer segment.

  2. Calculate Cubic Feet to Cubic Yards: Convert cubic feet to cubic yards by dividing by 27, as there are 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard.

  3. Order Rock: Contact your local landscaping supplier and order the required cubic yards of decorative rock. Make sure to specify the type and size of the rock you want.

Step 4: Installing the Decorative Rock

  1. Spread Rock Evenly: Have your decorative rock delivered and spread it evenly over the path. Use a rake to distribute it uniformly.

  2. Compact the Rock: Once the rock is spread out, use a mechanical compactor or a hand tamper to compact it. This step ensures that the rock settles firmly and provides a stable surface for walking.

Step 5: Final Touches

  1. Define Edges: To give your path a finished look, you can install landscape edging along the sides. This helps keep the rock in place and defines the boundaries of the path.

  2. Maintenance: Periodically check and replenish the rock as needed to maintain the path's appearance. Weeds should be minimal due to the landscape fabric, but if any do appear, remove them promptly.


Congratulations! You've successfully created a 24-inch wide path with a 90° angle, expertly dug and filled with your choice of decorative rock. This intermediate-level project not only enhances the functionality of your outdoor space but also adds an element of visual appeal. Enjoy your newly transformed pathway and the satisfaction of a job well done.

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