Wooden lawn edging is a good choice for long, straight beds and for homes with a rustic or woody style. The wood used for landscaping is often 4 by 4 inches with a curved edge and the wood is treated for contact with the soil. The curved edge makes the timber look softer or more like a log, and if you brush against the edge with a lawn mower or bare feet you are less likely to cause damage to the mower or your feet.
Drive inexpensive string stakes into the corners of the area where you want to install the timbers. Tie string between these stakes to give you will straight guide lines. Spray the soil under the string with landscape paint. Remove the string.
Cut a 6-foot-long, 2-by 4-inch guide board. Dig a trench along the line, using a spade. The trench should be 4 inches wide and 4 inches deep. Use the 2-by 4-inch guide board to check the dimensions of the trench as you work. Remove loose soil with a trowel.
Add 2 inches of fine gravel to the trench and make sure the trench is level with the surface of the soil. If you choose to make your timbers level, you may need to add additional timbers for low spots in the yard. Place the wooden lawn edge timbers in the trench so that the rounded edges face up. Adjust the fit so the timber doesn't move.
Drive gardening stakes within 6 inches of each timber end and every 3 to 4 feet in between. The stakes should be on the bed side of the timber. Drive the stakes into the soil and 1 inch below the top edge of the timber. Nail two galvanized 2-inch nails through each stake into the timber.
Pack the soil up against the sides of the timber on both sides and tamp down with a tamping tool.