Landscape timbers are one of the many ways gardeners can edge garden beds. They are even useful in creating raised gardening beds with small wooden walls. The timbers add a finished look to the landscape and keep unwanted vegetation from growing into the area. Timbers also keep mulch contained inside the bed.
Measure and mark the length and width of the area and add the two numbers together to determine how many landscape timbers are required. The standard size for landscape timbers is 4 feet by 6 feet. If the total area measured is 12 feet, then two landscape timbers are required.
Cut the timbers for a customized fit. For example, when edging a three-sided bed, if the length of the area is 8 feet and each side is 2 feet wide, one of the two timbers requires modifying. Cut off a 2-foot section from the second timber leaving a 4-foot section. Cut the 4-foot section in half to achieve the two width sections. The 6-foot timber piece plus the 2-foot piece equals 8 feet and is enough to edge the front of the bed. You then have two 2-foot sections remaining, one for each side.
Dig a trench approximately 3 to 4 inches wider than the landscape timber and approximately 4 inches deep.
Use a level to make sure the entire trench is approximately the same height and level in all places. Add or remove the soil within the trench as needed and firm up with your hand.
Place one of the landscape timbers for the side in place inside the trench. Pack the soil around the timber to hold it in place in the soil.
Place the uncut section for the length inside the trench, butting its end against the side timber. Place the cut section of timber for the length next to the longer one, making sure their ends are flush and sitting at the same height. Pack the soil around the timbers to hold them in place.
Install the last landscape timber for the side into the remaining trench and pack the soil firmly around it. Water the area with a gentle stream to further pack the soil against the timbers, making them more secure in the ground.