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Landscaping Lessons: Breaking down decomposed granite

Courtesy of Santa Cruz Sentinel, this article by Justin White of K&D Landscaping explores the use of decomposed granite—and stabilizers that can be used with it—in landscaping.  Excerpts from the article are below; it can be read in its entirety at the link above.

As trends continue to develop and evolve in landscaping, its likely you’ve heard of decomposed granite. Commonly referred to in its abbreviated form, DG, it has become quite popular in modern landscape designs. Not only for its aesthetic allure, but also for its functionality and cost-effectiveness.

One of the drawbacks of DG is that it can erode over time or become soft after a rain event, potentially tracking into your home on the soles of shoes. Fortunately, there are many binding options that can help secure your DG in place while protecting against the elements.

Over the course of my career I have encountered various questions about the different types of DG stabilization and what is most effective. The best option is to mix in a binder with the product before installing the DG. The longest lasting and highest quality product on the market today is called GraniteCrete. This patented binder combines with water and DG to create a concrete-like surface that is also permeable. It can be used in almost any application and while it is on the more expensive side due to the labor-intensive mixing process, the end result will last for decades.


Don’t Let Winter Send Your Landscaping Projects into Hibernation

While some paving materials can technically be installed under conditions that are less than ideal, doing so can be risky and increase the likelihood the product will fail shortly after installation.  Common issues that can plague these installations are large cracks, uneven surfaces, and holes in the pavement.  The need for these avoidable repairs can drive up both product and labor costs in the long-run – and cause unnecessary headaches!

GranitCrete installation in progress.

Installation of GraniteCrete at the Elkhorn Slough Reserve in Watsonville, CA.

Fortunately, there are a few paving solutions available that are less-prone to such issues, including GraniteCrete.  Two primary factors that might totally prevent the installation of other paving materials either don’t affect – or actually help! – the installation of GraniteCrete: low temperatures, and moisture in the air.

Low Temperatures
Low temperatures can affect the integrity of some paving materials, but not GraniteCrete!  It can be installed at temperatures as low as 33° Fahrenheit – just one degree above freezing.

Moisture in the air can also negatively impact the installation of some paving materials.  While GraniteCrete cannot be installed during rainfall, light fog and mist are actually beneficial and aid its installation.  According to Geoff Smith, who developed GraniteCrete, even a drizzle won’t necessarily impede proper installation – provided adjustments are made to the moisture level added during the installation process.