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boardwalk over path?

 
pollinator
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Location: Massachusetts, 6b, suburban, nearish coast, 50x50, full sun, 40" year-round even distribution
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Wanted some input on this.

Housemates not happy with the mulch path.

Slight slope down to the sidewalk. Have to wheel the trash bins down it, cause, you know, industrial waste society.

Since mulching it's gone from hardpan and slightly eroding downslope to slightly soft and not visibly eroding, which I am thrilled about.

I had had an idea of stacking functions and having it also be more of a swale, but that was before I a) really got it that a swale has to be on contour and b) really got that the slope is considerable (about 1/10 rise over run, I think that's called %10 grade?).

I thought making a bit of a boardwalk of black locust from the bins down to the sidewalk, so rain can seep through the cracks but its' a bit more foot-traffic friendly and keeps some of the water in the soil, provides shade, holds the soil from sliding down.

From what I've researched, there's no groundcover that doesn't really require maintenance, can deal with mezzo shade, can be trampled on pretty good, and also looks decent.

Cost--we'd like to keep it low, but since the housemates who are fussy about this have more money than I do at the moment maybe I can seduce them into chipping in for something fancier. IT would be cool to have it look nice and spiffy.

THoughts?
 
gardener
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What distance is the path?
 
pollinator
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Location: Unincorporated Pierce County, WA Zone 7b
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What is the mulching the path attempting to accomplish relative to everything else in the space?
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
pollinator
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It's about 20' long.

The goal of mulching it initially was simply to improve soil health and retention of water in the soil in general. I got a buttload of wood chips and could mulch everywhere so we did that. And that path is a bit less hard-pan-y for it. We have a really small space so helping every square inch of it be as healthy as possible is a bit of a goal. Not of extreme importance perhaps, but it seems good to stack functions and have each element do as many functions as it can.

Thanks!
 
gardener
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I could actually see this being a great advantage if you are planting fruit trees or shrubs. A board walk could disperse the compacting pressure of foot traffic so that the soil underneath was still easily penetrated by tree/shrub roots. At the same time it would be suppressing competing plants just like any other ground covering mulch.
 
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