Decomposed Granite: Landscaping Ideas and Installation Tips

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Every landscape needs a walkway, and decomposed granite is the best, eye-catching material for this purpose. By utilizing these decomposed granite landscaping ideas, you will be well on your way to becoming a great landscaper.

Follow the installation tips and get creative with how you put everything together.

Decomposed granite is an all-natural material used to design pathways in a landscape. Decomposed granite consists of tiny bits of rock gathered up into one large heap and act as a functional alternative to dirt.

decomposed granite landscaping ideas

This type of material gives more strength to the ground’s surface. Exposed dirt does compact itself over time, but still has weak spots that eventually start to collapse and form wells, which are highly dangerous for your ankles while walking. Use the correct methods of decomposed granite installation to avoid this matter.

You can find decomposed granite in several different earthy tones, like shades of tan and grey. Certain shades look better in one landscape than others, but it all depends on what other decorations the rocks need to compliment.

Pay attention to how well everything, including the decomposed granite, ties together in the overall landscape design.

Decomposed Granite Landscaping Ideas

When putting together all the design elements for a landscape, you must consider every aspect. For example, you should pay attention to textures in the landscape, colors, plants, trees, and use of space.

It is all about finding the right balance between plants, wood, and rocks. Outdoor furniture and other human-made decoration should come last.

decomposed granite landscaping ideas

When to Use Decomposed Granite in a Landscape

Decomposed granite is rough and neutral-colored. Usually, landscapes that already have a lot of rocks, stones, and boulders, will not need decomposed granite; instead, mulch or brick would be the best course of action.

You should not add decomposed granite to a landscape if too many rock elements already exist.

On the contrary, stone walkways look great with decomposed granite underneath with medium-sized rock or brick lining the sides.

Decomposed Granite in Outdoor Living Spaces

Outdoor dining tables, lounge chairs, and fire pits all function best with stone or rock as its flooring.

The furniture can move around easier, and it stays clean. Wet climates benefit the most from decomposed granite and gravel because the rocks help water drain faster instead of allowing it to puddle up into mud.

Decomposed granite is a step up from the gravel that people normally use and is much more pleasant to see. They are very similar materials, but gravel typically has larger granules.

The smoothest material for outdoor living spaces is poured concrete; however, it just does not feel as natural as decomposed granite, and certainly does not match landscape designs as nicely.

Decomposed Granite Installation Tips

Installing decomposed granite is simple, even for a beginner who has little to no experience with landscaping. Hiring a professional would make the landscape more likely to last a long time, but everything is cheaper when you do it yourself.

Follow these tips for correctly and effectively installing decomposed granite in your landscape.

1. Buy decomposed granite with stabilizer

Use a decomposed granite that has stabilizer pre-mixed into the material. Indeed, you can buy the soil stabilizer separately, but it saves a lot of time to buy the pre-mixed stuff, and it is sometimes more effective than mixing it at home.

2. Use 4” header boards

Header boards keep the decomposed granite contained inside the set pathway and prevent the scattering effects that harsh weather brings. Southwest Boulder & Stone recommends using a pressure-treated redwood or plastic extruded materials that are weatherproof. Place the header boards along the edge of the walkway or area before installing the decomposed granite.

3. Gain access to a compactor

Find yourself a heavy roller, vibrating plate compactor, or a flat board to compact the decomposed granite as much as possible. Using a compactor will ensure that the decomposed granite does not move out of place.

Remember to let the wet granite sit for several hours before compacting, to produce the best results. You can follow video tutorials or instructional guides for using the compactor, but do not attempt to use heavy equipment without the proper training from a professional.

4. Install multiple layers of decomposed granite

Especially with using a compactor, you will want to install at least three thin layers of decomposed granite, along the way, compacting in-between each layer. These layers are crucial to preventing a sand-like effect after the first few months of constant use of the pathway.

5. Use a weed barrier

Weeds are a landscaper’s worst enemy; they ruin beautiful walkways and garden paths, and all because of improper installation. Weed barriers are the most effective way to add extra protection against weeds.

In addition to the weed barrier, you should also apply a weed killer to the soil that will be underneath the decomposed granite, before beginning the installation.

Where to Buy Decomposed Granite and Installation Materials

There are a few exceptional decomposed granites on Amazon that you can have shipped directly to your front door.

However, sometimes it is best to see the color of the rock in person, so consider visiting your nearest rock supplier like Lowe’s or Home Depot to buy the materials.

Southwest Boulder & Stone Landscape Decomposed Granite 20 Pounds (7 Granite Colors Available)

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Mighty Grey Fines Decomposed Granite 40 Pound Box

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TechniSoil Pathway Soil Stabilizer – 5 Gallons

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Stark USA 2.0HP Gas Vibration Plate Compactor

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ECOgardener Premium 5oz Pro Garden Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric (4ft x 100ft roll)

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Other Places to Find Landscaping Ideas & Tips

Adding decomposed granite is just one step in creating the perfect landscape. Whether you need to update the landscape for the front of a business or design the backyard landscape of your new home, you will need to start looking up ideas.

And, don’t just think about one side of the building or house, instead, take into account every side.

Look at these Landscaping Ideas and Budget-Friendly Landscaping Ideas to help you come up with a landscaping design.

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