How to Edge Trees, Lawns, & Flower Beds

Overview

Edging adds a finished look to landscaping. It provides a visual separation between the different areas in the yard and makes chores like lawn mowing easier. Edging keeps the flowers in the flower beds and not in the lawn. Mulching is kept in check where it belongs by edging. Edging can be created from man-made materials like bricks, cement or plastic or natural materials like stones or wood.

Flower Beds

Step 1

Outline where you want the edging to be installed with the hose. If you want to widen or narrow a bed, now is the time to determine that.

Step 2

Dig a trench following the outline of the hose. The trench should be half as deep as the edging material and slightly wider. The exception is wood posts. Dig the trench 4 inches deep for the posts. Stagger the posts at different heights if you wish.

Step 3

Check that the trench is level. If it's not, the edging won't be level, either.

Step 4

Lay the edging material in the trench and bury it half way. Push on the material so it makes firm contact with the bottom of the trench. Every 6 or 7 feet, check the tops of the edging material to see if it's level. Adjust if necessary.

Lawns

Step 1

Dig the trench to a depth that is 1/2 inch shallower than the edging material. For example, if you're using bricks that are 4 inches high, the trench should be 3 1/2 inches deep.

Step 2

Lay the bricks or stones in the trench horizontally. The tops of the bricks should be almost flush with the lawn.

Step 3

Check the tops of the bricks with the level and make any minor adjustments. The bricks will settle a bit as the weight of the brick pushes down on the soil below it. When the lawn mower wheel goes over the brick, the blade should not hit the brick.

Trees

Step 1

Tie an 18-inch long piece of string around the tree trunk close to ground level. Tie a pencil to the other end of the string. Move the pencil in a circle around the tree, scratching the pencil in the ground to outline the circle. You won't be using the pencil to draw the circle, just to mark it in the soil. Remove the string.

Step 2

Dig a trench half as deep as the edging material around the tree, using the circle as a guide. Place the soil that you have removed from the trench to the inside of the circle.

Step 3

Place the edging material in the trench. Mound up the soil against the material. The edging and mounded soil will form a well. Fill the well with water to deep water the tree every month or so.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear safety eye goggles when working with bricks and stones.

Things You'll Need

  • Edging material
  • Hose
  • Shovel
  • Carpenter's level
  • String
  • Pencil

References

  • "Great Ideas for Your Garden;" Courtier et. al.; 2003

Who Can Help

  • Backyard Gardener
Keywords: lawn mowing edge, flower bed edge, edges for trees

About this Author

Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on GardenGuides.com, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.