Adding edging is an inexpensive way to give your landscape a manicured look and increase your property’s value.
Edging – the transition between gardens and the areas bordering them – sets the tone for the entire landscape. It helps define garden spaces, keeps lawn grasses from encroaching on flower beds, encourages visitors to stay on paths and eases maintenance chores. Attractive edging can lend a finished look to your landscape and achieving this look is easier than you think.
Tools & materials:
- flat-bladed spade, power edger or half-moon edging tool
- pavers (optional)
- temporary stakes (optional)
- string (optional)
- garden hose (optional)
- chalk dust or sawdust (optional)
- landscaping fabric (optional)
Start with pencil and paper. Consider the overall feel of your garden. Is it formal or informal? Are there straight lines or curves? List the transitions; for example, garden to lawn, garden to pathway, pathway to lawn and so forth.
Crisp, clean edging creates a polished look. A softer transition, on the other hand, lends an informal garden feel. Whatever style you choose, edging can make the difference between a garden that looks neglected and one that is well maintained.
Once you’ve got a sense of the sort of edging you want, measure the spaces where you want it so you can calculate how much material you’ll need.
Take note of the materials used in hardscapes, such as patios and decks. Are they made from wood, brick or pavers? Although it’s fine to mix and match hardscape and edging materials, you may choose to use just one or two for consistency.
Select your edging material carefully. For example, if you prefer the look of brick, decide whether you want flat brick edging or sawtooth brick edging. You’ll find a variety of options in-store.
For an all-natural look, you might try wood, stone or even decorative mulch:
- Wood edgers are sturdy, blend in naturally with the environment and are made to last.
- Mulch also helps with weed control, keeping your transitions clear and defined.
- Concrete edgers give your patio, lawn, garden or walkway a finished, professional appearance that doesn’t rot or wear.
- Resin borders are a budget-friendly option that are also long-lasting, low-maintenance and don’t rot or chip.
For the simplest edging between garden and lawn, use a flat-bladed spade, power edger or half-moon edging tool to create a narrow, V-shaped trench around the perimeter. For straight lines, pound in temporary stakes, run a string between them and use the string as your cutting guide.
For curved beds, use a garden hose to create gentle curves and mark the line with chalk dust or sawdust. To maintain a clean edge, it’s best to re-cut the trench monthly. Cutting new edging is easy once you have the right tools.
If you want a longer-lasting edge, install a barrier. Brick, wood, concrete and pavers are good choices.
Consider using landscape fabric beneath the entire garden bed and your edging to keep weeds from infiltrating. Remember to trim or bury extra fabric so it doesn’t get tangled in mowers and string trimmers.
The time and effort you spend on edging your garden and paths are well worth it. Whether you use a simple trench or more elaborate building materials, edging will save you time and effort by keeping paths tidy, discouraging weeds and giving your garden a polished look.