Adding garden edging is a great way to clean up the messy edges around your garden, and helps to keep your mulch in and spreading grass out. Installation isn’t a particularly hard process, and can be handled even by the most amateur do-it-yourself gardener or handyman.
Step 1: Plan And Choose
First, you’ll need to decide on the type of material to use for your edging. Common materials include wood, plastic, or brick. Also, you’ll need to decide if all you want is edging, or if you want to also install mowing strips.
For this, we will be using plastic edging (as it is often the easiest to install) with precast concrete pavers.
Lay out the border that you want to be sure of exactly where you want your garden. For straight borders, mark it with spare lumber or any other straight material. Use something like your garden hose to map out where you want curved borders. Once you are sure of your border location, spray paint the grass there.
Step 2: Determine Edging Width
You’ll need to know how wide your edging will be so you don’t dig your trench too wide. Place your pavers right on top of the spray paint all the way around, and plant a spade or similar tool with a sharp edge several inches down on both sides of a paver, to mark exactly how wide it is.
Step 3: Dig Your Trench
To excavate mowing strip trenches, remove one section of the pavers at a time, using the spade as a guide on the edges, and dig with a trowel. A good technique to use is angling your trowel low, and pounding the back of it with a mallet like a hammer and chisel.
To determine trench depth, figure on digging 1 ½ inches deeper than the height of your pavers. This is because you’ll have a 2-inch sand base below, with a ½ inch of the paver above ground.
Step 4: Lay Mower Strip
First lay 2 inches of sand in the bottom of your trench and tamp it down. Lay your mower strip on top, and use a level to check that your pavers are even and level. For those that aren’t, add sand underneath to raise them or tamp them down with a mallet to lower them.
Step 5: Preparing A New Bed
Before adding your edging, you’ll have to do something about the grass inside. To quickly remove it, dig it up with a shovel. If you want something that takes less effort and don’t mind waiting, cover your grass with several layers of newspaper, spray them down well with water, and cover with a light layer of mulch to hold the paper down. Soon, your grass will suffocate and die.
Step 6: Insert Edging
How your edging is inserted depends on the type you by. For most plastic edging, they come in small sections with slots on each side to interlock. Pound them down into each other, keeping them right against the inner edge of your mower strip, and placing as deep as you like.
That’s all there is to installing garden edging. As a bonus, consider using mulch the same color as your edging to conceal it, or planting small, bushy plants along the edge to cover it.