Installing Vegetated paving systems

Vegetated paving systems help make your driveway and other areas permeable so that water soaks in and is used by plants rather than going into the gutter. These systems were designed to be used with lawn grasses, but no law says you can't plant them with native plants, wildflowers, or even broccoli. (Well, because the systems are made to be driven on, maybe broccoli isn't such a great idea.) You can see how a typical system is put together in Figure 14-2.

Numerous vegetated paving products are on the market, and each manufacturer has its own specifications for installation. The general idea is to excavate down a foot or more; replace the native soil with a base material like crushed rock that will support the weight of vehicles; add a layer of good soil; place the plastic or concrete support material on the graded soil; add more soil (or sand, in some cases); and then sod or plant it from seed.

You may want to incorporate a sprinkler system if you'll be planting something that needs regular watering. It's better, though, to choose plants that thrive on natural rainfall.

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