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Specializing in colorful, water-conserving gardens

Specializing in colorful, water-conserving gardens

Repairing a Decomposed Granite Path

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Hi Joan,

I’m re-doing a decomposed granite path at home and Tom said you use a concrete-like binder to hold together your paths.

With my sandy soil, despite weed barrier fabric and power tamping of the soil and DG, after a couple of years, the weeds come back. I’ve got bender board on the sides, too.

I think the DG tears apart the weed barrier. Maybe the binder might help keep the DG together and prevent this from happening.

Can you suggest something I can add to the DG?

Thanks,

Len

Joan says:

Hi Len,

If you’re asking whether you can add something to the existing DG, I’m afraid there are no good solutions. The stabilizer/binder/catalyst is mixed in with the DG before it’s spread. Any building supply place that is selling you DG should also carry the stabilizer, and can suggest the proper ratio.

However, the ideal way to install a DG path is to excavate 3-4;” lay down filter fabric, which is heavier than landscape fabric; lay down several inches of crushed base and compact it; then lay down a couple inches of DG+stabilizer and compact it as well. If it’s in an area with gophers, it’s wise to lay down aviary wire beneath the filter fabric, too. It’s the same technique as laying a gravel path, except you substitute gravel for the DG and only lay down 1-1 1/2″ of gravel.

It’s way more time consuming and labor intensive, but the path lasts quite a bit longer.

I have a neighbor who tried pouring a weak slurry of portland cement over her disintegrating DG path. It looked horrible and started cracking almost immediately. The thing about the stabilizer is that it has some elasticity.

This may not be what you want to hear, but does it help?

Copyright, Joan S. Bolton. All rights reserved. Reproduction of text or photos in any form is prohibited without written permission.

2 responses to “Repairing a Decomposed Granite Path
  1. Hi Len,

    If you’re asking whether you can add something to the existing DG, I’m afraid there are no good solutions. The stabilizer/binder/catalyst is mixed in with the DG before it’s spread. Any building supply place that is selling you DG should also carry the stabilizer, and can suggest the proper ratio.

    However, the ideal way to install a DG path is to excavate 3-4;” lay down filter fabric, which is heavier than landscape fabric; lay down several inches of crushed base and compact it; then lay down a couple inches of DG+stabilizer and compact it as well. If it’s in an area with gophers, it’s wise to lay down aviary wire beneath the filter fabric, too. It’s the same technique as laying a gravel path, except you substitute gravel for the DG and only lay down 1-1 1/2″ of gravel.

    It’s way more time consuming and labor intensive, but the path lasts quite a bit longer.

    I have a neighbor who tried pouring a weak slurry of portland cement over her disintegrating DG path. It looked horrible and started cracking almost immediately. The thing about the stabilizer is that it has some elasticity.

    This may not be what you want to hear, but does it help?

  2. Thanks, Joan. This is a big help.
    I didn’t think of using filter fabric instead of weed barrier. I’m sure that would go a long way to improving this. The gophers are a particular concern.
    I’ll ask the rock place about stabilizer. For sure, I’ll get more of a base laid down.

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