I have noticed in my landscape design/build business lately, a lot of request for decomposed granite use by homeowners.
Taking out old cracked patio's, sidewalks, dead or otherwise useless lawn areas around clients properties, has stimulated the interest of many clients who are looking for solutions to their challenges. Decomposed granite is a very good product to use under many landscaping situations not only as a semi-solid to hard pan walking surface, but also as a clean fresh ground cover alternative to various chipped tree mulches and synthetic rubber mulches that have hit the sustainable landscaping scene. There are a few things one show be aware of though when choosing to use decomposed granite in their own particular application.
* Decomposed granite ( AKA "DG" ) is granite rock that has weathered to the point that it readily fractures into smaller pieces or chunks of weak rock. Granite is composed of various other minerals such as feldspar,quartz, and mica just to name a few. The chemical transformation of feldspar into a clay material call Kaolin is one of the important weathering processes. The presence of the clay allows water to seep in and further weaken the parent rock allowing it to fracture or crumble into smaller pieces. Decomposed granite can come as a crushed stone or a fine and used as a pavement material.
Many times, I have hadto educate my clients about DG to the facts that unless stabilized with some sort of polymeric stabilizer such as TechniSoil G3, PolyPavement, and other brands available, the fantastic idea of replacing that ugly dying back yard with a decomposed granite patio replacement may just end up becoming one big DG bog at the first rain. Proper prep of the job site, use of landscaping fabric, landscaping edging, proper grading and DG compaction are all very important proceedures that should be addressed when choosing a contractor or deciding to do the job DG installation yourself.
There are various colors of DG available now and grades to choose from crushed to a grade know as "fines". Having choice is a good thing but, understanding DG's limitations based on what the end use is expected to be is "MOST IMPORTANT" when choosing to go with decomposed granite use at your home or business.
* Information on decomposed granite derived from Wikipedia.
** Excellent DG suppliers in Southern Ca: Cal Blend Soils www.calblendsoils.com (877) 675-3405
Southwest Boulder & Stone www.southwestboulder.com (877)-SWB-ROCK