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How to Put in Scalloped Edging

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Scalloped and other decorative edging is used in landscaping to define beds, borders and walkways to maintain a manicured appearance. It is also put in to protect plants from being trod upon or mowed over. Scalloped edging can be manufactured in a variety of materials from concrete to terracotta, wood, metal, plastic or even nylon. Some are kept in place simply by their own weight or by being partially buried in the soil. Others are kept in place with spikes or supports anchored in the soil at intervals along the edging. Installation specifics can vary based on the material used, but the basic installation method is similar.

Lay out a garden hose out as a guide along the line you want the scalloped edging to take. Step back at a distance and evaluate the route of the edging to make sure it looks like you want it to when viewed in the larger landscape context.

Follow the hose, clearing any dead plant material, debris or rocks along the route you want your edging to take so there is nothing to interfere with the installation.

Dig a trench in the soil following the hose line using a flat back shovel or a spade. Wedge the blade of the tool in the soil trench you have made and lever the soil aside to create a space wide enough for your style of scallop edging and any stakes to fit, if applicable. For thin nylon edging this can be as little as 1 inch, while for wider concrete edging 2 or 3 inches may be necessary.

Lay the scalloped edging in the trench against the hose guide line. Bury the bottom end of the edging according to the manufacturer's directions for the type of material. Place concrete or terracotta scalloped edging bricks that are heavy 3/4 to 2 inches deep, and bury nylon edging 4 to 5 inches deep. Alter the depth recommendations slightly depending on how prominent you want the scallop above the soil to be.

Snug the sections of edging up against each other, overlapping the edge of thin products if the manufacturer recommends. Continue down the entire length of the prepared trench and hose guideline.

Secure edging with stakes, where applicable, using roughly four to five stakes to secure every 20 feet of edging. Add an extra two to three stakes on curves to make sure the edging stays in place against the tension. Drive the stakes in on the head with a rubber mallet or hammer. Screw together the joints of overlapping edging products that require it using the provided screws and a screwdriver.

Firm the soil displaced by the trench creation back up against the edging. Roll up and remove the hose. Replace any plants or mulch that were displaced during the edging installation.

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