Edging is an important part of your landscaping. It separates grassy areas from garden beds so that grass and weeds don't encroach into unwanted areas. Edging also gives a clean and finished look to the landscape. Successful edging designs depend on using the right tools and supplies, and then installing it correctly. The following guide can help you with the process.

Types of Edging

There are several styles of edging available, as the following will explain:

  • Trench edging. This is the simplest edging. It is created by digging a trench around the garden bed. The trench is usually 6 inches or more deep so that it goes deeper than the grass roots. It must also be several inches wide. This type of edging is usually duck with a flat spade and you must regularly clear out any debris that collects in it.

  • Vinyl or rubber edging. These are long strips of 6-inch-wide edging material. They are available in several colors, with black being the most common. This type of edging is inexpensive and regularly available. It also molds well to curved edges. To install, the bottom 2/3 of the strip is buried.

  • Wood edging. Railroad ties and landscape boards are the most common. Select those made out of naturally rot-resistant woods, like cedar or redwood, or choose a treated wood. Generally, the first board is buried so grass and weed roots can't invade under the edging, and then the remaining boards are stacked on top.

  • Masonry. This can include bricks, pavers, or stones. To prevent weed invasion, a trench is usually dug and filled with gravel. This is then leveled so it provides a base for the masonry. The bricks or stones can be dry stacked or mortared together, depending on the height of the edging and your preferences.

  • Decorative edging. This includes the large array of edging options available that only serve a decorative purpose. Stake-mounted metal or plastic fencing is a common example. These won't prevent weed invasion, so they are usually combined with vinyl or rubber edging.

Installation and Upkeep Tools

Installation can typically be completed with a flat-bladed shovel. This allows you to cut vertical walls of soil out along the perimeter of the bed. You then insert the edging, or gravel base, to a 4- to 6-inch depth to minimize the amount of roots that can grow under it. In areas with prolonged freezes, it is common to use stakes to further anchor vinyl edging.

Once installed, the only special tools needed are for edging. String trimmers can tear up vinyl and wood edging. Edging shears, made for hand trimming, are a safe option. You can also use your flat spade to cut out a thin strip of sod from around the edging so that the grass doesn't grow too closely. Contact a company like Charles Bopst Trucking for more information.