What is DG in landscaping?” is an important question to ask if you’re thinking about designing your garden. DG, or decomposed granite, is a crushed form of granite and works as an affordable non-organic material that you may use to change the look of your landscape.Decomposed Granite in Landscaping

Our gardening team will tell you everything about using DG in landscaping ideas, so read on.

What Is DG in Landscaping and Its Characteristics?

DG is an affordable and easy-to-maintain hardscape element that homeowners use to change the look of their gardens. Its characteristics are that it has a lot of excellent benefits as it’s affordable, easy to maintain, aesthetically pleasing, versatile, and porous.

You must remember that this material is close to gravel, but it is finer and smoother in texture. It’s also more stable, so it’s a more popular hardscape element and gives a more natural look than concrete. Decomposed granite has fine particles that can be finer than sand, resulting from the natural erosion of granite.

As a result, it has a more consistent texture, and you won’t find any large chunks. People use it to make natural-looking driveways, secure the roots of trees, and keep the weeds away from your garden when installed right.

Granite, is a significant stone that is igneous, and it is formed when lava or magma cools and solidifies. The large crystals start flaking and breaking over time to make natural decomposed granite, and manufacturers crush it to make it finer and more homogeneous.

DG is available in various colors and shades, so you may easily find a suitable choice for your garden or landscaping as well. For this reason, most people choose to buy decomposed granite in buff or brown shades. However, landscape designers currently offer more shades, including black, gray, green, and even red.

– Different Types

There are three types of DG that you can use in your garden. First, natural DG is used as mulch instead of wood mulch and deteriorates naturally, providing your plants and trees with essential nutrients. It’s non-organic, so it helps with controlling pests in your garden.

This loose DG is the most affordable type and also the less stable. It’s primarily used in play areas because it’s soft, but it requires to be filled often. Note that the loose DG is soft but becomes muddy and messy when wet; for this reason, you can use it away from the house because it can quickly get inside and damage hardwood floors.

Stabilized decomposed granite is treated with stabilizers or binders to extend its life. In most cases, this type of DG is used on top of another gravel material. This DG is usually used to make driveways and pathways. However, you may also try to use it to construct a patio.

This is a frequently used DG type because it’s stable, durable, and easy to maintain. It’s also less expensive than other materials like pavers, natural stone, and concrete. The top layer of stabilized DG looks exactly like the loose type, but it’s less susceptible to erosion and doesn’t need regular filling.

Finally, when mixed with resin, homeowners and landscape designers can use decomposed granite, and it would look better, although it looks similar to asphalt and can be used instead of it. However, it’s more permeable and has a natural look. This is the most expensive type of DG, but it’s the most durable option, as this is an excellent choice for high-traffic pathways and driveways because it doesn’t erode. Yet, it’s naturally less permeable than loose DG.

What Are the Reasons to Use Decomposed Granite in the Garden?

The reasons to use decomposed granite in the garden are that the material is versatile, and the choice is an affordable one. In addition, the material has a long-lasting performance and will also help with drainage; it looks good when placed, and it is easy to walk on.Using Decomposed Granite in the Garden

– Versatile Material

DG is highly versatile, so it’s used in various home projects and landscape designs. It’s one of the key materials to make pathways, driveways, bike paths, patios, and play areas. It can also be used on slopes where other materials won’t work, and some homeowners use it as mulch or ground cover, especially in areas where grass struggles to grow as DG doesn’t attract pests.

Since it doesn’t need water, DG is often used in xeriscapes and other low-water landscaping projects. By using different colors, you can also add vibrancy to your garden; this is why you would add a different touch to the landscape.

– Affordable Choice

DG costs about one-third of the cost of concrete and provides good value for money because it’s incredibly durable, so you’ll enjoy it for a couple of years before you would require replacing it. It also doesn’t require regular maintenance, unlike other choices.

Each cubic yard of DG costs between 40 and 50 dollars, and you can get it from any decomposed granite supplier or home improvement store. If you hire a professional, the DG landscape cost is usually between four and six dollars per square foot, but this would be depending on the type of DG you’re using.

– Long-lasting Performance

One of the decomposed granite landscaping benefits is that it’s low-maintenance. As a result, it doesn’t erode and won’t be replenished as often, so it can last for 10 years or even more. Stabilized DG, in particular, is long-lasting and might not show any signs of damage even with heavy foot traffic.Decomposed Granite Landscaping

DG provides better traction than pea gravel as well. Keep in mind how they have a similar cost per cubic yard, but you need more DG for your driveway than pea gravel, so you’ll end up paying more, but the product would last longer.

– Helps With Drainage

DG is permeable, so water from irrigation and rain won’t pool on its surface and affect nearby structures or the decomposed granite. Gravel is another permeable substance, but DG is better.

However, DG becomes soft when it’s wet. So, your footprints might be imprinted if people walk on the pathway or driveway when it hasn’t dried yet.

Nevertheless, many homeowners don’t mind because this gives their driveways and pathways a more natural look. This is considered one of the disadvantages of decomposed granite. If this is a problem, you can wait until it has completely dried and then use it, and it won’t show any signs of damage.

– Easy To Walk On

Although there are different materials that you can use for pathways and driveways, DG is one of the easiest to walk on. Concrete pavers, flagstone, and gravel are also available, but DG is easier to use if you use a walker, cane, or stroller.Mesmerizing Garden Pathways

It is also fast to harden; if you wish to walk on it, as you would be using special bonding materials, you can stabilize DG for various landscaping purposes. First, you need to excavate the soil to prepare for the installation.

Then, you need to compact, grade the soil, and prepare the structural base using an aggregate, and right after raking the surface, apply the bonding material and then you must allow it to cure for two days, and you can walk on it.

– Looks Good

DG is aesthetically pleasing and comes in various colors to suit every landscape design. You can use different colors of DG to create a unique effect in your garden or backyard and combine it with various stone slabs. Decomposed granite is popular in Mediterranean, cottage, xeriscape, and Tuscan-style gardens; however, it can work with any other landscape style. You can also combine it with potted plants to get a complete and beautiful garden!Colorful Decomposed Granite


Decomposed Granite, or DG, is a popular hardscape element that can be used for various purposes, and here’s what this article covered:

  • There are 3 types of DG, and they have different permeability features.
  • People use DG in driveways, pathways, mulch, and in patios and if you choose to install DG by yourself, it will cost much less. However, you should have some experience to ensure you’re doing the job right.
  • Loose DG is the least expensive option, but it erodes easily and needs to be filled regularly, and in two days it will be dry for you to walk on.
  • The cost of DG differs depending on the type you choose. Installing it by yourself will reduce the installation cost.

If you’re looking for a versatile and natural-looking hardscape element, DG won’t disappoint you. With our gardening team’s answers, you’ll have enough information to choose the right type for your landscape. You can also read our guide on what 8 errors you should avoid for your next landscaping project!

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