How to Install a Garden Edge

Overview

The effort of installing garden edging is minor when balanced against the time needed to trim around flower borders and garden beds. Edging forms a barrier against encroaching lawn grass and weeds. It keeps creeping perennials like bee balm and daylilies in line---and in the garden. Choose your border edging to fit your landscape; inexpensive vinyl or metal is installed simply and makes an almost invisible divider. Choose stone pavers, wood or bricks to add style. Correctly installed edging provides years of carefree service.

Simple Barrier Edging

Step 1

Lay out a guide with stakes and strings for regular beds. Use garden hose for curved beds.

Step 2

Dig straight down along the form with a garden spade or edger to form a narrow trench that slants into the bed or border, but is vertical on the side along the lawn. Open the trench about 2 to 3 inches deeper than your vinyl or metal edging.

Step 3

Put several inches of sand in the bottom of the trench.

Step 4

Set the barrier edging against the grass and tamp it down to the right height; vinyl and metal edging should be almost flush with the surface, but decorative edging may stand up 1 or 2 inches above the surface. Check the edging with a carpenter's level as you refill the trench from the garden side.

Built Edging

Step 1

Lay out your form and dig a 4-inch deep trench around your bed. Dig a level foundation; add more pavers to the deeper end at the top of a slight incline. Dig 1 or 2 inches wider than the pavers, bricks or wood edging as they will sit when finished.

Step 2

Lay a strip of landscape cloth into the trench all the way around the bed; trim it when you've finished the edging.

Step 3

Put about 3 inches of small gravel or sand in the trench; the landscape cloth will keep it from migrating into the soil underneath. Level base material and hold trench sides and landscape fabric with scrap 2-inch by 4-inch boards.

Step 4

Lay pieces of edging snug against the garden side in the pattern you want, leaving extra space on the lawn side. Level pavers and bricks and check verticals as you go, using a mallet to tamp and your carpenter's level to check.

Step 5

Lay pieces of edging snug against the garden side in the pattern you want, leaving extra space on the lawn side. Level pavers and bricks and check verticals as you go, using a mallet to tamp and your carpenter's level to check.

Step 6

Fill the gap on the outside of the edging with mulch to provide a clear strip for lawn mower wheels.

Things You'll Need

  • Stakes and string or garden hose
  • Garden spade
  • Edging blade
  • Landscape cloth
  • Gravel or sand
  • Mallet or hammer
  • Carpenter's level
  • Vinyl liner, stone or brick pavers or metal border materials
  • Scrap 2-inch by 4-inch boards

References

  • Great Landscaping Ideas: Landscape Edging and Trimming
  • Blades Lawn Care: How to Install Landscape Edging
  • The Renegade Gardener: How to Install Landscape Edging
  • HGTV: Edging Ideas to Keep Your Garden Neat

Who Can Help

  • Family Handyman: The Best Garden Edging Tips
Keywords: install garden edging, stone paver edging, vinyl weed barrier, protect garden beds, landscape edging

About this Author

Chicago native Laura Reynolds has been writing for 40 years. She attended American University (D.C.), Northern Illinois University and University of Illinois Chicago and has a B.S. in communications (theater). Originally a secondary school communications and history teacher, she's written one book and edited several others. She has 30 years of experience as a local official, including service as a municipal judge.