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Greetings Everyone!

In this guide we contrast two popular hardscaping materials; decomposed granite (DG) and pea gravel or pea pebbles.

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What is Decomposed Granite?

Decomposed granite, a byproduct of weathering and erosion of hard igneous (granitic) rock, is a fine gravel comprised of small angular particles and fines (clay and silt). DG readily compacts to form stable paving thanks to its fines content.

Its rough and gritty texture makes it ideal for non-slip surfaces such as pathways, patios, and driveways. 

What is Pea Gravel?

Pea gravel consists of small, smooth, rounded pebbles ranging in size from 1/8 to 3/8 inch in diameter.

Compared to decomposed granite, pea gravel is cleaner as it does not contain much fine content. It also tends to shift underfoot unlike DG. 

Decomposed Granite vs Pea Gravel


Decomposed granite forms a much more durable surface when compacted, especially with a binder mixed in. This is in stark contrast to pea gravel which tends to shift a lot underfoot or under vehicular weight.

Both materials require edging to keep them in place. This could be metal edging, treated wood, bender board, brick, or stone edging.  


Both materials have a soft feel underfoot and are easy to walk on. However, decomposed granite offers better traction compared to pea pebbles.

Cost & Maintenance

Raw decomposed granite costs about $70 per cubic yard, while pea gravel averages about $50 per cubic yard.

Both materials require occasional maintenance. This will include weeding, filling up low spots, and blowing leaves off the surface.

Color & Availability

DG comes in an array of colors; from reddish-brown to golden shades. Meanwhile, pea gravel offers a limited color palette.

There you have it folks. Until next time!

George Gitau

Meet George, an advocate for traditional craftsmanship. I will provide you with educational content, techniques and ideas for your next garden and home improvement project. Together, let's create beautiful spaces that are not only beautiful but also functional

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