Applying mortar while building a garden path or flower bed is easy. Just follow these steps.
Shovel a scoop of mortar from the wheel barrow onto a piece of scrap wood or mortar board.
Slice into the end of the mortar with a pointed trowel. Do this as you would with butter, lifting the mortar level to the ground. At this point you should only have a trowel sized amount of mortar.
Place the long end of the trowel onto the area you wish to apply mortar.
Turn the trowel 180 degrees and snap the mortar over the spot.
Move the trowel along the center to even the mortar along the area.
Tap the unit (brick, rocks or whatever you are connecting) with the end of the trowel.
Verify that the unit is level and aligned properly.
Cut off the excess mortar with the edge of the trowel.
Layer the mortar on the bricks or rocks themselves to a 1/2-inch or more thickness than desired before sticking them to their adjoining unit. The excess will come out when put into place.
Press down on all of the edges.
Wipe the unit's surface to keep it from becoming discolored from the mortar.
Allow the mortar to set until it becomes gray.
Scrape off any excess mortar with the trowel.
Tool the joints if necessary.