Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Install Stone Garden Edging

Adding stone garden edging to the perimeter of your flower beds creates a visually appealing border between your plants and lawn. The key to installing a long-lasting stone edging is to choose quality stones and proper installation. Spending the time doing it right the first time will save you time and money in the long run.

Measure the length of the area around flower bed. Buy enough quality, stone garden edging to run this length.

Run a line of string, along the ground, in the shape of your edging design. Secure the string with the wooden stakes or sticks by pushing them an inch or so into the ground and tying the string to the stakes.

Use a square shovel to dig a trench along the line of string. The trench should be 6 inches deep and the width of your edging stones.

Cut plastic into strips the width of your trench and place them into the bottom of the trench. This step is optional but will inhibit weeds from growing up between your stone edging later.

Pour a layer of sand into the trench. Ideally, the top third of the stone edging should sit above ground, so use this as a guide when adding the sand to the trench.

Lay the first stone into the trench. Tamp the stone down with the rubber mallet until it sits level and at the desired height.

Continue laying the stones, one beside the other. Use the height of the first stone as your guide and, using the level, adjust the height of subsequent stones laid.

Adjust the amount of sand under each stone to bring the stones to the proper depth, tamping with the rubber mallet to ensure the stone’s height will not change later due to settling.

Lay all stones into the trench, continuing to adjust their height by tamping with the mallet and adding or removing the under laying sand until all stones sit level. Use the level to ensure accuracy.

Fill in the trench. Once all the stones have been laid, fill in any gaps in the trench with the soil you previously dug out.

Water the edging to compact the soil into place and secure your new stone garden edging.


Look for stone edging that is designed to grip the ground underneath it. This helps avoid shifting of the stones later on.

When digging your trench, use the string as a guide for the outer edge of the trench.

Instead of using a level, you can run a line of string along the trench, using the height of the first stone laid, as a guide. This is called a mason’s line.


Don’t create sharp corners in your edging design. This makes mowing those areas difficult.

Garden Guides