Stacey Campbell
 Decomposed Granite - 13 May 2024
Decomposed Granite - 13 May 2024
If you're new to Los Angeles you might be suprised to see thick green lawns in yards all over what is otherwise drought-prone low desert. Those lawns are thirsty, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power offers a generous program to remove lawns and replace them with low-water drought tolerant gardens.

The program encourages homeowners to install trees, shrubs, etc on a mulch base, but also allows for a portion of the garden to be constructed with stone or rock. We chose a portion of the front yard that's subject to heavy traffic to be covered in "DG", or decomposed granite. This is simply crushed granite of all grades that is spread and compacted.

Before you go the DG route, consider my experience:

  • Weeds will still come up in DG, both from seeds and runners, but especially seeds.
  • On even a small slope an atmospheric river downpour will dislodge the compacted DG. Get ready with your shovel when the rain stops.
  • DG is very uniform, so if you have overhanging trees the DG will fill up with leaves. It's a lot of work to keep it raked and looking good.
  • Mulch in the same area will look much better covered in leaf litter...less work to keep it looking good.

The photo above was taken after about 10 minutes of weeding and raking, and you can see I still missed some leaves that are constantly raining down from the parkway ironbark.

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