Why This Vegetable Garden Has Grass Paths | Pros, Cons and My Favourite Alternative

Why This Vegetable Garden Has Grass Paths | Pros, Cons and My Favourite Alternative

Many of you have asked about why this vegetable garden has grass paths, and whether it creates issues such as slug problems. I decided to create a video to explain in more detail about why this garden has grass paths, the benefits and drawbacks of them as well as the only alternative I would personally consider to a grass path for a vegetable garden.
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50 Comments

  1. Heathercliff on August 1, 2022 at 11:10 pm

    I have grass paths too. A little more maintenance, but the grass cools my work down while I’m bending over the plots, and I use the clippings for mulch and compost just like you do. I haven’t much of a slug problem, and when I do. I use the saucer beer method. Works great.

  2. Timelapse Adventure on August 1, 2022 at 11:12 pm

    Interesting video, thanks for sharing. This is so nice We loved the video it was inspiring. We hope to have good quality videos like this one day. Keep it up!

  3. Lorraine Owen on August 1, 2022 at 11:12 pm

    I love grass paths 😍

  4. Joachim Lunger on August 1, 2022 at 11:14 pm

    Who had already downvodet the video ? He couldnt have possibly have whatched the whole thing …

  5. Alexandra Smith on August 1, 2022 at 11:16 pm

    Excellent, thank you. It was a question I was going to ask.

  6. Gwen Scoble on August 1, 2022 at 11:17 pm

    Great and timely video Huw. I put slate waste over weed membrane around my raised beds as it is very windy with narrower paths than yours. However ‘onion couch grass’ is my most irritating weed, and I am finding it difficult to hoe, rake or dig out. I’m considering replacing it with wood chip.
    I bought a plum tree and was given white and black currants. I’ve laid carpet around them and this has killed most weeds underneath. I’ve just been lifting it and shoveling wood chip in its place. Really makes the fruit look good and no competition from grass etc. Hope the lack of weed membrane won’t be an issue. This is on quite a slope, so cardboard underneath would lead to it all sliding down. The wood chip seems to be knitting together well. Strimmering around trees and bushes can damage them, and my mower wheel spins on the slope.
    We also have ‘weed eaters’, Giant Welsh Wooley Maggots’ and rabbits! 😉

  7. Dan Ennis on August 1, 2022 at 11:18 pm

    I learned a new word to use when I’m pretending to be from the UK. Strimming, right?

  8. Dustin Gilbert on August 1, 2022 at 11:22 pm

    Hew, I have a random simple question…I have been watching your videos and you are often adding compost on top of your raised beds. Are you just adding it on top and not removing any? Don’t your raised beds over flow as your adding more compost each year? I know this sounds like a dumb question, but I am new to the gardening world.

  9. nyunixguru on August 1, 2022 at 11:23 pm

    One bad thing for me, with somewhat clay soil my grass paths get compacted like crazy

  10. Gary Gauthier on August 1, 2022 at 11:24 pm

    I’m thinking that wire worm infestations might occur more frequently with grassy areas close to the beds.

  11. Horti Hugh on August 1, 2022 at 11:24 pm

    Interesting discussion and comments. As you say, grass paths really add to the aesthetics in winter/ early spring. A mix of surfaces work too, particularly something hard wearing as main paths, depending on needs. Enjoyed the various views too. All the best, Hugh 😊👍🏼🌿

  12. Kathy Becklin (kathy) on August 1, 2022 at 11:25 pm

    I don’t use grass because we don’t get enough rain and need to irrigate and pay high water bills! I admit it looks nice and is soft on feet and knees.

  13. Owen Harries - The Welsh Gardener on August 1, 2022 at 11:25 pm

    Great video Huw! My woodchip paths are great and I don’t have membrane! They are about 4/6 inches deep though!😁

  14. Small Garden Quest on August 1, 2022 at 11:26 pm

    Why I don’t use grass paths in my garden | pros & cons
    Cons: It grows to much and additional work "strimming" it its additional work for me
    It attract slugs like a magnets and I don’t have ducks to at them. And again picking them manually is additional work for me.
    After the rain it get all swampy mushy and slippery. My garden in an old swampy area.
    Weed-seeds are closer to my garden thus increasing the chance of landing in my raised beds increasing the work I need to do weeding them.
    Pros:
    There are no pros I have a grass patch to and from my garden I don’t need it in my garden.
    Wood-chips are the best 🙂

  15. János Tolnai on August 1, 2022 at 11:27 pm

    Just a quick note: Dandelions are not really weeds. They are important for bees. They also loosen up compacted soil. 🙂

  16. Max Power on August 1, 2022 at 11:28 pm

    Nice video Huw. Have to admit, I’ve just replaced my grass paths with bark/compost (following Charles Dowding’s method) I was finding it a pain to get the mower around the raised beds. Time will tell if it was the right decision. The main path down the middle is brick

  17. WOW Pets on August 1, 2022 at 11:29 pm

    What a beautiful garden…

  18. My English Tropical Garden on August 1, 2022 at 11:30 pm

    I prefer the grass path it sure looks much neater and not hard to maintain ..

  19. Ludwig Von Mises Was Right on August 1, 2022 at 11:32 pm

    5:49 I found the trick to catch and remove slugs very helpful! No poison. very little work. Effective.

  20. VeganChiefWarrior on August 1, 2022 at 11:32 pm

    im seeing if i can mulch out grass at the moment with leaf litter (chop n drop) but if it doesnt work ill just strim, compost doesnt make a good mulch, woodchips may not even, but layers of leaves should act like a weed mat (in my brain), the only reson i compost is because i need a pile to bury all the kitchen waste in otherwise ill atract too much wild life and they will destroy my garden

  21. Vickie Owens on August 1, 2022 at 11:33 pm

    Grass also helps you see snakes better in the summer better.

  22. Love's Stronger on August 1, 2022 at 11:33 pm

    Love this, I use the grass for mulch and to feed the bunnies and geese!

  23. Self Sufficient Me on August 1, 2022 at 11:35 pm

    Top vid mate! I also prefer grass paths as it suppresses weeds better than gravel or mulch paths and weeds can easily be mowed or trimmed anyway. The patch is cooler in summer especially in a hot climate and for places or pathways around beds that is difficult to mow I use recycled matting/tiles made from old car tyres it’s durable and easy 👍

  24. TheyCallMePie on August 1, 2022 at 11:35 pm

    My grass is Bermuda grass and it invaded my raised beds from underneath, took them over and ruined them. 😢

  25. Steven Dowden on August 1, 2022 at 11:35 pm

    cracking video

  26. Natasha K on August 1, 2022 at 11:36 pm

    I do this, one I like walking around barefoot and I have lots of different weeds, I pull out any weeds with long tap roots and cut them down before they go to seed, I don’t have my beds in wooded beds and they are big and fluffy I just trim around them

  27. Joanne Sherwood on August 1, 2022 at 11:37 pm

    I love the look of your beds amongst the grass. 👌🌱

  28. Teresa Brooker on August 1, 2022 at 11:38 pm

    Although I prefer grass, I am getting yellow slabs put down between my 3 raised beds as, after getting top soil I got chickweed, having got rid of it I got more top soil elsewhere and then got scutch grass and, although it has been removed, it was sliced off, not dug out, so there are still roots and the ground is stony because I had a concrete building removed and the gravel around it was supposed to be raked off before the top soil went on – I later found out that the gravel was still there.

    Removing the chickweed left me with a bit of a shoulder blade muscle issue. I am unable to use a strimmer, my lawnmower is good (though a little heavy) and I think it would be hard to go in-between and around the beds and I’d still need to do the edges.

    On the plus side! The rest of the garden now has a small fruit bed, a herb bed and grass on half of it. The remainder (that also had scutch grass) has a small apple tree, a cherry tree and a simple water feature. I am planning a wild flower explosion with some shrubs and scented plants, but I am eyeing it up as somewhere to plant potatoes as well.

    I hope no one minds me wittering on; in these unusual days, I find the opportunity to ‘talk’/write my thoughts invaluable.

    Oh, battle of the sexes! Every man that has been in my garden has said that I ought to have kept the huge concrete building as a turf shed or workshop and every woman has said ‘thank goodness you got rid of that’.

  29. Penny pink on August 1, 2022 at 11:40 pm

    Dandelions are full of vitamins , they are not a weed. I make dandelion ice tea , dandelion honey , dandelion vinegar. A very healthy plant.

  30. Linda Sanders on August 1, 2022 at 11:44 pm

    Hello from Alberta, Canada. I was wondering what is the best type of grass for garden areas because we killed our grass by walking on it, taking wheel barrels through it etc.

  31. Bethan's Kitchen & Garden on August 1, 2022 at 11:45 pm

    I like both, I had wood chip paths with fabric underneath at my allotment and it made it much easier to kneel on and maintain. Weeds will grow in it but they were very easy to take out and much easier than having to strim all the time. Great info and advice as always. Take care.

  32. my Off Grid Forest Garden Adventure on August 1, 2022 at 11:46 pm

    Love watching you enjoy your garden. Big flat stones for my paths but I need to hang on to every bit of moisture I can. Thanks again:)

  33. SANDY Pineda on August 1, 2022 at 11:47 pm

    1st

  34. Tara on August 1, 2022 at 11:48 pm

    After 3 years I’ve had to give up on my beautiful green grass paths. The grass here sends roots under the soil into my beds and they were becoming a solid mat of grass. Even my one tall bed (24inches) was being invaded by grass. You must have better behaved grass in Wales 😉

  35. JIMinSealBeach on August 1, 2022 at 11:50 pm

    Knees and aesthetics. Two great reasons for grass paths. When the pandemic is over I’m moving to an arid inland area of Southern California. I’ll try grass paths the first summer and see if they survive. I love the slug and snail solution. Much better than pesticides, not as gross as plates of beer, and less hassle than getting a duck.

  36. Hilary Funk on August 1, 2022 at 11:50 pm

    Aesthetics. Ver ver important.

  37. Liz Zorab - Byther Farm on August 1, 2022 at 11:52 pm

    Another great video Huw. Both your veg gardens look great. It’ll be interesting to see in a few years which one is less work. The wood chip paths bring joys and sorrows with them, just as anything does.

  38. Jean Paul Dupuis on August 1, 2022 at 11:52 pm

    Half my yard is kitchen garden. I like to wander in clean slippers with my morning coffee. I would covet the harvest of clippings from grass paths, but could not abide the mud. As budget allows, I am gradually converting my paths from flagstone-over-woodchips to contiguous cement pavers. Hardscaping is self-cleaning in the rain and the runoff is concentrated into my beds. Snow clearing is very easy in winter. The bricks will last decades with negligible care, whereas woodchips need constant replenishment and are not rake-friendly for spring and fall cleanup.

    The other half of the yard is a ‘woodland’ garden in the deep shade and root zone of two large maples. It was once a weedy patch of spotty grass and bare soil. I have since hardscaped much of it with flagstone spaced six inches and ‘grouted’ with shade-loving moss, clover, ajuga, and muscari. The flagstone has mulched this dry area for improved water retention, and meanwhile the same amount of seasonal rainfall is concentrated into the now-lush grout lines.

    In short, I love pavers and so do my plants!

  39. Exeter Beekeeper on August 1, 2022 at 11:55 pm

    I am trying to avoid grass the wood chip is my choice by a country mile.

  40. Car on August 1, 2022 at 11:55 pm

    I have grass paths and some bare spots because I can’t afford anything else. Although it’s increasingly clover.

  41. Liz Beardmore on August 1, 2022 at 11:57 pm

    The paths in my ‘inherited’ walled garden are covered with shingle, with membrane underneath. It was probably laid around 10 years ago and does need attention. It is in keeping with the rest of the garden, so would probably keep the same, although wood chips would be a possible alternative. Looking forward to starting your course – hope all going well!

  42. Tana Rehbein on August 1, 2022 at 11:58 pm

    I think your grass paths are beautiful and a great source of compost/mulch material. I have woodchips and no sides on my beds so I just rake the mulch over my beds as needed and re-dress the paths in the fall. Love woodchips in the orchard, veg, and flower beds as I am in a very dry area.

  43. Shirokuma on August 1, 2022 at 11:58 pm

    Anyone had the thought about white clovers? It is a nitrifying plant but I am afraid it would become too strong and weedy?

  44. T Irv Plumbing on August 1, 2022 at 11:59 pm

    I like the idea of grass paths but one thing you didn’t touch on is if your plot has a particularly nasty weed issue, marestail in my case, then grass paths won’t work. I can’t use slabs either as I need to continually dig the roots out to keep it in check.

  45. Kenneth Carter on August 2, 2022 at 12:00 am

    Hi Huw
    I have grass between the beds. I find that it grows up the inside of the raised beds and spreads through them. This is my third year and I was about to give up the idea of growing.
    Last year in desparation I put cardboard on top and put mushroom compost on top of that. This year it is looking more like vegetable beds and not weed beds.
    I was going to put down some gravel while the going looks good. But now watching your video not sure what I should do.
    Being new to growing, I am not sure why the grass is not taking over as it has done in the past. I would prefer to keep the grass but do you think it will invade again

  46. Coccinelle on August 2, 2022 at 12:01 am

    Very timely. We are making our first garden this year and I’m trying to come up with a solution for permanentely muddy grass paths. I’m thinking crunched pine cones. Maybe it would deter cats as well. I didn’t really want to waddle in mud but I didn’t think about the safety hazard! Thanks!

    Also, I have one question, your raised beds seem on a slope. How big of a slope is too big? I’m wondering if I could just let mine be or if I should level it.

  47. Izzy Wizzy on August 2, 2022 at 12:01 am

    I have a mixture of grass path and woodchip. To be honest I find the grass paths easier to manage and maintain!

  48. Cottage Mommy on August 2, 2022 at 12:01 am

    I have grass path with my raise beds. They work well.

  49. suburban homestead on August 2, 2022 at 12:02 am

    I end up with grass paths because I’m cheap, but they can be beautiful also. I made the new ones big enough to use a lawn mower that collects the trimmings. That gives me additional mulch. I would like a gravel or brick path, but I’m morally opposed to landscape fabric, so grass it is.

  50. Claire Woods on August 2, 2022 at 12:06 am

    Ha, suitable footwear! I usually wear slippers, and then barefoot after I water my feet, but most of my garden is paved, so I can.

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