Friday, September 26, 2008

THE TROUBLE WITH DECOMPOSED GRANITE

Earlier this year David took on the job of creating a pathway at the back of the house. He bordered the path with chopped block limestone some of which came from a leftover project we did at our son's house. As this is a place we push wheelbarrows gravel wasn't a consideration for the surface. A plentiful supply of granite from the Marble Falls area means that decomposed granite is an inexpensive substitute. Plants love to grow in granite and weeds love to grow there too. An underlayment of newspapers was used for most of the path but when those ran out nothing. An open invitation for the bermuda grass to grow. When we returned from our trip there was quite a covering in the area without newspapers. Roundup to the rescue!  After two weeks this is what it looked like.

Pretty ugly! I hated walking by and I knew it wasn't going to go away. Yesterday I took a shovel to it and this is what the area looks like now.

I hope David will be pleased, when he returns from his trip, to see one job he won't have to do. I did have a slight ulterior motive. I needed to be sure that recently germinated plants didn't leave with the bermuda.

Dahlberg daisy.

Plains coreopsis. (Coreopsis tinctoria)

Bluebonnets.

For now the area is ablaze with Salvia leucantha. This one is the bicolor.


This one the solid purple. These plants do get quite large and once you have one there is no need to ever buy another. It divides extremely well in the spring and soon is back to being its former self.
Make no mistake the bermuda will be back too but I am hoping to weaken it by dealing with every little shoot that shows its face to the sun.





17 comments:

  1. Wow, your pathway looks great now! That's a lot of hard work.

    Any tips on germinating the bluebonnets?

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  2. Your pathway is great. My 3/4 acre property is covered with 1/2 inch granite, which works well, except for the plant debris that collects, which detracts from the neat appearance. Letting it build up at all makes the place look unkempt. The only way to deal with it is a powerful blower!
    Aiyana

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  3. Show me a garden that doesn't have work. We have done all these gardens from scratch and that really was hard work. One day soon I will post before and after pictures.
    VertieI don't have problem growing bluebonnets, in fact the bigger problem can be too many bluebonnets. One year we were gone when they threw their seed and every crack in the sunken garden was tightly packed with seed, I had to thin them out.
    Aiyana- I know the 1/2" granite because my son has it at his house in Phoenix and I was trying to take weeds out. Very difficult. After many years we broke down and bought a blower to make the job of cleaning gravel and granite a lot easier. It takes hours off the cleanup.

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  4. Beautiful path. It looks so nice with the chopped limestone edging. My decomposed granite paths are plagued with purslane.

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  5. The photo of the bermuda grass should come with a warning, Jenny! It's just as awful dead as alive.
    Lots of things seed in my decomposed granite, too - some good and some not.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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  6. That looks beautiful! I'm doing a search on 'how to built' a crushed granite path (also live here in Austin TX..must be a central tx thing [s]) as I figured that landscape installers are not very good (ehem) at keeping appointments or take their time finishing their jobs. Ok, that was a blanket statement but I've had a few experiences plus proxy ones to boot so ..today and yesterday I did a looot of weeding (the roundup will come later as we're right behind a city greenbelt that is not being kept up) but I am trying to clear as much as I can so I can put at least landscape fabric around the perimeter of our very big yard. Actually, come to think of it, do you have any good tips on how to do this? Our yard does slope downwards a bit away from the house so I figured that our big around the yard type path will accomodate that with steps here and there..
    btw..we lived in the metro Phoenix area but I've learned not to use the word 'xeriscaping' here..I just say 'water wise' and 'natives'..[s]
    anyhow..great path it looks beautiful..

    Ingrid

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  7. Hi Ingrid. I'll try to answer your questions as best I can. First of all if there is a slope to the property and water will run off then decomposed granite may not be the answer. It does tend to move with heavy rain. Our path is pretty level and has the edge to it. As regards landscape fabric- We didn't use it as the cost was prohibitive and also things will seed in the granite anyway. We used newspapers but I also saw a suggestion the other day to use cardboard and punch holes in it for drainage. Landscape fabric has never really worked for us when we have used it in the past. We also have a lot of gravel areas and things seed in the gravel too. Gravel won't move downhill quite the same. I like some seeding in both granite and gravel. I have hundreds of bluebonnets seeds after the rain. It is the bermuda that bothers me and the only answer is to keep hitting it to weaken it. Stay on top of it. Doesn't matter where you live weed seeds blow around and you are going to get them. Hope this helps but don't hesitate to let me know if you have more questions.

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  8. You should try a product called SoilShield-LS manufatured by Soil-loc, Inc. The product when mixed with water and sprayed on the granite will glue it all together.

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  9. Anon- Thanks for the suggestion. I'll check it out.

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  10. Where did you get the granite? I want to do the same type thing, but can't find a local source.

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  11. That depends where you live. can't get to your profile/website. Let me know and I'll see if I can help you.

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  12. Hello, We live in Johnson City and are looking for a good, low cost supplier on 1/4 inch minus decomposed granite....can you help? What costs per yard did you have to give? Thanks, The Taylors

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  13. Ours came from Custom Stone Supply. Some of the pieces are larger than 1/4" I think what you are looking for is granite sand. We have bought some of this at the Natural Gardener in Austin but I am sure you can get this closer to home. I think it comes from the Marble Falls area or somewhere near enchanted rock. We came across a granite supplier one year when we were driving the Willow Loop although I am not sure if it was well screened. Hope this helps. Do you also have a place in Boise?

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  14. Collier Materials in Marble Falls has the decomposed granite. Its not crushed it comes naturally decomposed.

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  15. I know this is an older thread, but I wanted to add that we are installing Collier granite as I sit here an type...we are putting 1" minus down as a base and then will top it with the granite gravel that has mostly fines. I believe it is considered to be 1/4"? I spoke to the gentleman who delivered it and he said yes, plants will grow directly in it but didn't have any advice for installation other than that. the 1" minus is currently $225/12-13 yards. No tax since it is being delivered untreated. We will be tamping with a manual roller.

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