If you want an interesting look for your garden, consider installing a decomposed granite patio. This material is popularly used in the foundations of houses, for dog runs, and for walkways, so there is no reason why you should not be able to install it into a patio if you wish. There are many advantages to laying a decomposed granite patio, for example, the material drains easily, it compacts well, and it also has a very natural appearance that can add character to your home. Because it is an easy material to work with, this is a home improvement dream. Laying it yourself will also allow you to save money on expensive patios such as pavers or flagstones.
Step 1 - Marking out the Patio
Begin by marking out the area where you want the decomposed granite patio to go. Use a tape measure to work out the exact distances. Place your first stake near to the house or walkway where the patio begins, and then measure out the length of the patio. Place another stake there, and then measure out the width of the patio, and place an additional stake at that corner. You should then measure to the final stake, which will be back at the house or walkway. Connect these stakes with your string to give you a complete idea of what the final patio will look like.
Step 2 - Prepare the Ground
Begin by removing the top soil with your spade. You can then level up the ground by laying down some sand, and raking it firmly. Press the head of the rake down into the sand so compact it, or use a rented compactor for the day. Take up any large rocks or roots which might get in the way. You should then add another layer of gravel to the surface, as this will allow the patio to drain well. Compact the ground again to ensure that it is all level.
Step 3 - Apply the Granite
Once you have done this, you can then add the layer of decomposed granite. Spread around 3 to 4 inches of the material on top of the gravel, remembering to regularly even it up using the rake. You should be able to level it so that the ground is the same on one side as on the other. You can check this using your tape measure if you like.
Step 4 - Compact the Granite
You can now begin to compact the granite. Use a powered compactor, or a rented hand compactor, and then finish off the edges using your rake head, and even stomping lightly on the granite to make it completely level. You need to have it compacted enough that you leave no impression when you walk up and down on the decomposed gravel patio. Once it is firm like this, you can consider the project completed.