When it comes to paving materials for landscaping applications, there’s just something charmingly rustic about the look and sound of gravel underfoot. But with so many types of gravel and crushed stone to choose from, it can be tough to know which option to use for your yard. Crushed granite is an attractive material that can be used in variety of ways around your landscape. When you’re thinking of using it for your yard, though, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of its basic characteristics so you’ll know if it’s the right choice for your landscape.
Like other crushed stones and gravel, crushed granite is a budget-friendly landscaping or paving materials, so it’s ideal for projects that cover a large area. It also has a soft, natural look that fits a casual landscape well, and is easy to install as a do-it-yourself project. Since it’s not a solid surface, crushed granite also drains extremely well so you don’t have to worry about puddles in your yard and it’s easy to remove if you decide to add a new flower bed or garden feature. While it is most commonly found in a dark charcoal gray, you can also find it in earthy tan or brown shades that blend well with a natural landscape. Crushed granite makes a distinctive crunching sound underfoot as well, which sets a rustic mood for any garden or landscape.
Because of its loose nature, crushed granite landscaping surfaces can erode quickly. It’s also easy for the small pieces of rock to become caught in your shoes and get dragged to other parts of your landscape. When you use crushed granite near an entrance to your home, it can also get tracked inside, where it may be damaging to your floors. Pets may also find the material a nuisance since it can get caught in their paws and the jagged edges may cause injury. Its tendency to move also means that you’ll need to replenish your crushed granite surfaces regularly to maintain their appearance. While crushed granite drains well, surfaces may become muddy and unstable during periods of heavy rain in the winter and early spring.
Covering garden paths and other walkways is one of the most common ways to use crushed granite in your landscape. Because of its natural look, it’s an ideal option when you want to blur the lines between your garden plantings and the path. Crushed granite is also one of the most cost-efficient ways to cover a large driveway. However, regular maintenance is involved with a crushed granite driveway since cars easily cause indentations and displacement of the stones. If you want a rustic, casual look for your patio, crushed granite is an effective paving option since it blends well with the rest of your yard. Compared to smooth patio materials like pavers, concrete or tile, though, it is uncomfortable if you’re barefoot and you may find it difficult to move patio furniture around on the loose surface.
Whether you’re using it for a walkway, driveway or patio, crushed granite is fairly easy to install. The area where you plan to use it must be excavated – depending on the application, you may need to remove as much as 8 inches of soil depth for the installation. Next, you can lay a sheet of landscape fabric to prevent weeds from growing up through the crushed stone. Some landscape designers advise against using the fabric, though, since the crushed granite can shift and the material may be exposed. Instead, try laying the stone on bare soil that’s been carefully weeded and compacted with a roller. Once the crushed granite is in place, install landscape edging around the area to keep the stone in place. It’s a good idea to keep a couple of bags of crushed granite that match your surface on hand so you can replenish the supply when necessary.