How to Install Brick Landscape Edging

Overview

Edging serves several purposes in landscape design. In addition to being attractive, it keeps grass and weeds from invading flower beds. It also provides a space called a mow strip that reduces the amount of trimming needed after mowing. Not all edging materials provide a mow strip; rubber or plastic bumpers simply control weeds. Not all edging is attractive. Bricks fill the bill on all three counts. Installation is simple and designs can be as plain or fancy as you wish.

Step 1

Measure your garden bed or other feature to be outlined. Standard paver bricks are 4 inches wide and 8 inches long; use other types if you prefer but make sure that they are designed to be used in ground installations. The number of bricks you'll need will be based on how you plan to lay them along the edge. If you plan on tilting them up diagonally, use 4 inches as a measure for an individual brick to figure how many to buy.

Step 2

Dig a trench around the bed at least 4 inches deep. Make your trench wide an inch wider than your bricks so that there will be room to work bricks into the sand.

Step 3

Fill the trench with sand up to about an inch below the surface and tamp it down well by walking around it or leaving it to settle for a few days.

Step 4

Lay your bricks in a line or across the sand and work them into the sand foundation until they sit evenly against the edge of the grass. Lay them flat, on end or tip them on their sides. Add a second row of bricks inside as a "curb" around the bed. Tilt bricks against each other in a sawtooth pattern. Use a mallet and board to tap them so they sit evenly.

Step 5

Sprinkle some sand around the edging to fill any gaps and backfill the edging from the garden side with soil. Water the edging well to settle the bricks into the sand.

Tips and Warnings

  • Even if you're using pre-formed brick units, you'll probably have to reset a few bricks each spring. Ground movement may push them up and freezing temperatures and water may cause them to disintegrate. Make sure you have a few replacement bricks on hand.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp sand
  • Garden spade
  • Board and rubber mallet
  • Carpenter's level
  • Tape measure

References

  • Donnan Landscaping: Landscape Edging
  • The Paving Expert:Types of Edging

Who Can Help

  • The Family Handyman: How To Get The Best Edging for Your Garden Beds
Keywords: landscape design, brick edging, installing edging, mow strip, weed control

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.