Edging creates definition between functional garden areas. The choice of edging type can affect the overall feel of your lawn and landscaping. Although you can install most forms of edging yourself, some types are best professionally installed. By understanding the different types of edging and their potential benefits and problems, you are better positioned to make the best decision for your yard.
Edging creates a physical barrier and visual delineation between different sections of your lawn, yard and landscape. Lawn and landscape edging can act as a barrier to keep grass from growing over flower gardens, vegetable gardens, driveways and walkways. It also helps keep gravel from walkways out of grass and other garden areas. In addition, it can help to reduce hand or power trimming by reducing grass growth in border areas.
The edging you choose depends on what you're using it for and the style of your landscaping. Flexible plastic edging is usually made of PVC. This type of edging is easy to install and bend into curves and shapes. Brick and concrete block can make a good edging, but can be more difficult to install. Poured concrete edging is also an option.
Installing PVC edging involves digging a trench in the desired shape of the barrier. The plastic edging slips into this trench and you secure it with stakes. After back-filling the narrow, shallow trench, the edging is securely installed. Brick and block edging sometimes involves digging a trench to place the top of the edging at the desired height. When installing brick and block edging, the bottom of the trench must be level to help keep the bricks level. Settling can be an issue. Poured concrete edging generally requires professional installation.
In cold climates, edging can suffer from frost heave. Frost heave occurs when underground water freezes and expands. As it expands, it pushes the ground above the water upward. This can sometimes cause plastic edging to become uneven and require removal and re-installation. Frost heave can cause brick edging to become uneven. Brick edging may need to be be dug up and re-laid to compensate for frost heave. Although properly installed poured concrete edging is more resistant to frost heave, if yours is susceptible, it may crack or break over the winter.
When installing edging, consider the height of your mower deck. If you set your edging just below the height of the mower deck, it will pass under the mower and reduce clipping work. Because the mower blades on a rotary mower are higher than the lower edge of the deck, this will also prevent damage to the edging and mower blades while mowing.