How to Edge Landscaping

Standard gardening tools. image by S.F. Heron


Landscape edging adds a finished look to a property like nothing else. These functional edges give a neat appearance and define the lines of gardens, walkways and lawn areas. Edging involves simply digging a landscaping trench to define the border between the garden and lawn areas. Edging your landscaping helps keep mulch in place and also stops the encroachment of grass into the garden. There's an added bonus in easier mowing and often the complete elimination of trimming. Let's look at how to edge landscaping.

Step 1

Visualize the perimeter line of the garden. Chose a starting point at the end of one garden.

Step 2

Place the edging shovel at a 45-degree angle in the grass area near the garden. Position the shovel about 6 inches into the grass area for a clean cut. If you're using a curved spade, simply make additional cuts to remove the appearance of the curvature of the shovel along the edge.

Step 3

Step down onto the shovel, digging about 6 inches into the soil. Lift the soil and grass up, and move it into the garden area. Continue digging along the garden edge, cutting into the ground to form a trench along the garden edge.

Step 4

Remove all grass from the clumps of dirt that were thrown into the garden. Discard the grass properly. Break up any remaining dirt clods in the garden, and blend this extra soil onto the garden surface using the rake.

Step 5

Apply a 4- to 6-inch layer of mulch to the garden to prevent weeds and to encourage moisture retention. Pull the mulch forward into the trench, but don't fill up the trench. An inch-deep layer of mulch that hides the dirt is all you need.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat-blade edging shovel
  • Rake
  • Hoe
  • Spade
  • Mulch


  • Miller Nursery: Edging in the Landscape
  • Lee's Landscapes: Edging-Practical Considerations
Keywords: landscape edge, edging landscape, garden borders

About this Author

S.F. Heron is an avid gardener with over three years of experience in online writing and a working background in aviation and earth and ocean sciences. She is published on various websites and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.

Photo by: S.F. Heron