Shaping A Lawn With Slate Chippings

Garden Edging Ideas: Shaping a lawn

Last Updated on February 27, 2024 by Kimberly Crawford

Superimposing a sharply outlined shape onto an ill-defined lawn area transforms the look of the whole plot.

Geometric forms give a sharp, contemporary look but a simple circle fits any style.

Don’t worry if the space you have won’t accommodate a whole circle. A simple arc with rectangular shapes cutting into it looks just as stylish.

For larger lawns play around with different combinations – two overlapping circles for example.

The trick to getting the look is to cut a precision edge.

And when it comes to making your garden dreams come true, you can count on Lawn Edging! They’re the pros in Sydney, specializing in garden edging solutions. Lawn Edging understands how this technique can totally jazz up your garden. 

Lawn edging strip is essential if you are mulching borders with a stone aggregate, but cutting a vertical edge, pulling back the border soil, and mulching with bark also works.

Garden Edging Ideas: Shaping a lawn with slate chippings

Understanding Slate Chippings

Slate chippings are small, flat pieces of stone that come from natural slate. They have many unique characteristics that make them a popular choice for gardens and lawns. One of the main features of slate chippings is their durability.

They can last a long time without losing their color or shape. This makes them a practical option for outdoor spaces that see a lot of use.

Another key characteristic is their ability to retain moisture in the soil, which can help plants grow better. Plus, they discourage weeds, making garden maintenance easier for you.

Varieties of Slate Chippings

Slate chippings come in different colors, sizes, and textures, each suitable for various lawn styles. Here’s a simple table to show some of the options available:

BlueMediumSlightly Rough

These varieties can match any garden theme or style you might have in mind. For example, grey slate chippings can give a sleek, modern look, while green ones can create a more natural, rustic feel.

The size of the chippings also affects their use. Small, smooth chippings are often used for paths and patios because they are comfortable to walk on. In contrast, larger, jagged pieces are better suited for decorative features or to create texture in a garden.

Choosing the right slate chipping depends on your garden’s needs and your personal style. Whether you want to create a cozy, inviting space or a bold, statement-making landscape, there’s a variety of slate chippings that can help you achieve your desired look.

Planning Your Lawn Design

Before you start throwing slate chippings around, it’s wise to have a solid plan. Planning and designing your lawn isn’t just about making it look good. It’s about creating a space that fits your needs, lasts long, and is easy to take care of.

Jumping into landscaping without a plan can lead to issues down the line, like plants that don’t grow well or areas that get too much foot traffic and end up looking worn.

Drawing a Layout and Choosing Color Schemes

The first step in planning is to draw a layout. This doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. A simple sketch showing where you want everything can save you a lot of trouble.

When you’re choosing colors, think about how they will look with your home and the natural surroundings. You want your garden to feel like a part of the landscape, not something that sticks out awkwardly.

Here’s a quick table to help you think about color schemes:

Area of GardenRecommended ColorReason
PathwaysGrey or BlueNeutral colors blend well and are soothing to the eye.
Flower BedsGreenEnhances the natural colors of the plants.
Accent FeaturesRich Blue or GreenDraws the eye and adds depth.

Considerations for Your Garden

When planning, you need to think about foot traffic, drainage, and the overall theme. Areas that get a lot of walking need durable materials and a design that guides people where you want them to go. Good drainage is crucial to prevent water from pooling and damaging your plants or hardscape.

Finally, your garden’s theme should reflect your personal style and complement your home’s architecture. Whether you prefer a minimalist modern look or a wild cottage garden, your design should make you feel at peace in your outdoor space.

Preparing Your Lawn

Getting your lawn ready for slate chippings is a crucial step. It ensures that your garden not only looks good but also stays healthy and easy to maintain. Let’s walk through the step-by-step guide on how to properly prepare the area for your new slate chipping addition.

Clearing the Area

First things first, you need to clear the area of weeds and debris. This means getting rid of any unwanted plants, rocks, and rubbish that might be in the way. A clean slate (pun intended) is essential for a smooth installation process.

It’s not just about aesthetics; removing weeds and debris helps prevent future growth that can disrupt your slate chippings and make your lawn look untidy.

Levelling and Compacting the Soil

Once the area is clear, the next step is to level and compact the soil. This ensures a stable base for the slate chippings. Uneven ground can lead to water pooling in certain areas, which might cause erosion or damage to the chippings over time.

Use a rake to even out the soil, and then a compactor or roller to firm it up. This step is vital for creating a long-lasting and durable lawn area.

Laying a Weed Barrier

The final preparation step is laying a weed barrier. This is an important measure to prevent weeds from growing up through the slate chippings. A good quality landscape fabric or geotextile laid over the soil can save you a lot of hassle in the future.

It allows water to drain through while keeping the soil and slate separate, preventing weed growth effectively.

Here’s a quick summary table of the preparation steps:

Clearing the AreaRemove weeds and debrisCreates a clean base for slate chippings
Levelling the SoilEven out and compact the groundPrevents water pooling and provides a stable base
Laying a Weed BarrierInstall landscape fabricBlocks weeds while allowing water drainage

Following these steps carefully will set a solid foundation for your slate chippings, ensuring they enhance your lawn’s beauty and functionality for years to come.

You Will Need:

  • Measuring tape
  • Bamboo cane and string
  • Sand, or can of white, line marker spray paint
  • Half moon turf cutter
  • Sharp border spade
  • Lawn edging strip
  • Fine slate chippings or decorative gravel or fine milled decorative bark

Lawn Edging Strip Step By Step:

Lawn Edging Ideas: How to shape a lawn with slate chippings

Step 1:  Measure up

Garden Edging Step 1

Decide on the new shape for your lawn and sketch it out on paper. To create a curve, first measure out a square with a tape measure, marking the corners.

Step 2:  Mark the circumference

Garden Edging Step 2

Place a bamboo cane at the corner of the square opposite where your curved edge will be. Attach a string to it then pulling the string taut, mark out the edge of the circle with sand.

Step 3:  Cut out the shape

Garden Edging Step 3

Use a half moon tool or a flat spade to cut a vertical edge following the sand line.

This separates the turf cleanly and the slot will be used later to take the edging.

Step 4:  Remove the turf

Garden Edging Step 4

On newly laid turf, grass should peel back, but on established turf use a sharp border spade to slice through the roots, removing a generous depth of sod.

Step 5:  Add the lawn edging

Garden Edging Step 5

Push lawn edging strip down into the slit you made previously. The edging should be fractionally below the lawn surface allowing you to mow over it easily.

Step 6:  Fill with slate

Garden Edging Step 6

To define the shape and hide the edging, add fine slate chippings or gravel.

To protect mower blades from damage, the mulch should be just below the strip.

Maintenance and Care

Taking care of your slate chippings is essential to keep your lawn looking its best. Proper maintenance and care can significantly extend the appearance and longevity of your slate chippings. Here’s how you can keep them in top condition.

Cleaning and Weed Control

Over time, slate chippings can collect dirt, leaves, and other debris. Regular cleaning is necessary to maintain their beautiful appearance.

A gentle hose down can remove most of the surface dirt. For more stubborn grime, a soft brush and soapy water can do the trick without damaging the chippings.

Weed control is another crucial aspect of maintenance. Despite the weed barrier you laid down, some pesky weeds might find their way through. Pulling weeds by hand as soon as you see them is the most effective way to keep your lawn looking neat.

For larger areas, a weed killer that’s safe for use around slate chippings can be applied, but always check the label first to avoid any damage.

Refreshing the Chippings Over Time

Even with the best care, slate chippings can lose some of their luster over time or get displaced. Refreshing the chippings every few years can help maintain the vibrant color and ensure that the coverage remains even. This might involve adding a new layer of chippings on top of the old one or replacing areas that have become too thin.

Here’s a summary table of the maintenance tasks:

TaskAction NeededPurpose
CleaningHose down or brush with soapy waterKeeps chippings looking clean and bright
Weed ControlHand pull or use safe weed killerPrevents weeds from disrupting the appearance
Refreshing ChippingsAdd more chippings as neededMaintains color vibrancy and even coverage

By following these maintenance steps, you can ensure that your slate chippings continue to enhance your lawn’s beauty and functionality for years to come. Regular care not only keeps your garden looking great but also saves you time and effort in the long run by preventing larger issues.

Common Challenges and Solutions

Even the best-laid slate chippings can face challenges over time. Recognizing potential issues like displacement of chippings, algae growth, and the task of maintaining color vibrancy is crucial for any lawn owner. Here’s how to tackle these common challenges with effective solutions and preventative measures.

Displacement of Chippings

It’s not unusual for slate chippings to move around due to weather conditions, foot traffic, or other activities. This can lead to uneven coverage and bare spots in your lawn.


  • Regularly check and redistribute the chippings to maintain even coverage.
  • Consider adding edging around the areas with slate chippings to keep them contained.
  • For high-traffic areas, use a more substantial base layer beneath the chippings to minimize movement.

Algae Growth

Algae can become a problem on slate chippings in damp or shaded areas, making them slippery and unsightly.


  • Increase sunlight exposure by trimming overhanging branches or bushes.
  • Apply a mixture of water and vinegar to affected areas as a natural algae remover.
  • Ensure proper drainage in your lawn to prevent water from pooling on the chippings.

Maintaining Color Vibrancy

Over time, slate chippings can lose their vibrant color due to weathering or sunlight exposure.


  • Periodically wash your slate chippings to remove dust and dirt that can dull their color.
  • Refresh the top layer of chippings every few years to restore color vibrancy.
  • Choose high-quality, colorfast slate chippings that are less prone to fading.

Here’s a quick summary table of these common challenges and their solutions:

ChallengeSolutionPreventative Measure
Displacement of ChippingsRedistribute and add edgingUse a substantial base layer for high-traffic areas
Algae GrowthApply water and vinegar mixtureTrim overhanging foliage and ensure good drainage
Maintaining Color VibrancyWash and refresh top layerChoose colorfast chippings and clean regularly

By staying vigilant and applying these solutions, you can overcome the common challenges associated with slate chippings, ensuring your lawn remains a beautiful and functional space for years to come.


We’ve covered a lot of ground on how shaping a lawn with slate chippings can transform your outdoor space. These small, durable pieces of natural stone offer a blend of aesthetic appeal and practical benefits, from improving your garden’s appearance to minimizing maintenance efforts. With their variety in color, size, and texture, slate chippings provide a versatile option to match any garden style or theme.

Remember, the key to a beautiful lawn lies not just in choosing the right materials but also in proper planning, preparation, and maintenance. Whether you’re aiming for a sleek, modern look or a more rustic, natural vibe, slate chippings can help you achieve your vision. They are not only about enhancing the beauty of your lawn but also about embracing sustainability and ease of care.

So, don’t hesitate to experiment with slate chippings in your garden. With a little creativity and care, you can create an outdoor space that stands out and welcomes you into a world of beauty and tranquility. The journey to a stunning lawn is both rewarding and enjoyable, and slate chippings can play a significant role in that transformation.

Garden Edging Ideas: Shaping a lawn with slate chippings or gravel