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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Things You Will Need
- Sharp sand
- Garden spade
- Board and rubber mallet
- Carpenter's level
- Tape measure
- In northern states where freeze-thaw cycles make spring a muddy mess, dig the trench 8 inches deep and line it with landscape cloth, then put in 4 inches of pea gravel. Top the gravel with a strip of landscape cloth before putting sand and bricks in. You will make a little French drain to help drain your flower bed in early spring.
- Tip edging brick down from the garden into the lawn to create a barrier to hold mulch back. Set the surface of the edging flush with the lawn grass to provide a convenient mowing edge.
- 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.
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