Keeping the lawn or neighboring grasses out of the flower or vegetable beds can be a constant challenge. Invasive grasses will even grow under and around many types of border, making it hard to tell just where the lawn ends and the garden begins. Brick borders are an effective way to keep the lawn where it belongs, and it makes an attractive border to showcase your flowers and vegetables.
Stake where you want the border to be. Be sure to stake both the inside and outside edges. Run a string between the stakes at the height desired. Determine the depth of your trench according to this string.
Make clean cuts with a lawn edger or straight edged spade where the outside edge of the border will be.
Dig a trench at least half the height of a brick, depending on how much brick you want to stick up above ground level, and of equal width to your bricks. Make sure bricks will set at least a little above ground level. Remember to include the height of your base material. Remove sod and dirt, making precise vertical cuts on the outer edge, next to the lawn. The base of the trench should be as flat as possible to maintain a uniform depth.
Dig and temporarily remove any plants that are within one foot of where the border will be if your garden is already established.
Lay landscaping fabric inside the trench to cover bottom and sides. Don’t worry if it bunches up or some sticks out over the edges. Use a few handfuls of sand or crushed gravel to hold it in place. This step is optional, but it does help to keep grass at bay.
Fill the bottom of the trench with crushed rock or sand to allow settling if the ground heaves in colder months and improve drainage. Tamp sand down with a brick or two by six to make it flat and even.
Lay bricks in trench so that they set at a height even with your string. Add or remove base material to adjust height accordingly. If border is continuous, adjust height so the two ends meet evenly in the same way.
Fill in gaps on edges and between bricks with crushed rock or sand. Fill edge gaps to about ½ inch below ground level and tamp down to be as well packed as the base, if possible. This can be tricky in smaller spaces.
Trim excess landscaping fabric along either side of the trench with a utility knife.
Spread soil over the entire width of the border, filling in edges on each side. Sweep excess soil off the top of bricks, bringing soil to ground level.
Lay a second row of bricks, off-setting it to the first row for a higher, dry stacked border. Use half bricks on the ends to keep rows flush. Add rows until you have reached the desired height. This step is optional. Higher borders allow the height of the garden itself to be raised above the height of the lawn, creating a raised bed.