What are the Best Tips for Edging a Garden?

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  • Written By: Henry Gaudet
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2019
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Edging a garden not only provides a cleaner, landscaped appearance, it also can cut down on weeding and maintenance. The simplest methods of edging a garden involve clear divisions, such as making a small trench with a spade or similar tool, but a variety of edging materials are available to line a garden or flower bed. Wood, stone, brick and plastic edging materials can give a garden a decorative touch, and low-maintenance flush edging can make gardening easier.

One can give a yard a finished, manicured appearance by edging a garden. This simple delineation, separating a garden or flower bed from a grassy yard, looks neater and makes a home more appealing. Edging a garden is not only decorative, it is functional as well. The use of edging can help keep a garden free from sprouting grass or mulch from a mower.

Cutting a trench is probably the most straightforward method of edging a garden. It doesn’t require edging materials, so it’s also the cheapest. A trough can be dug around the garden, with the sod being cut away and removed. Edging tools that use a rolling cutter for smooth, straight lines are also available. Trench digging provides neat, clean lines without decorative flourishes for an understated look, but it will need periodic maintenance to remain tidy.


Smooth, straight lines are crucial for edging a garden. For straight lines, a simple tool such as a string pulled tight between two stakes works best. Even flowerbeds with irregular curved shapes need smooth lines. A garden hose is perfect for marking out a curved edge.

Garden centers and hardware stores have plenty of options for edging a garden with a decorative touch. A garden can be lined with timbers, brick or stones. Rolls of wooden or plastic edging are readily available as well. A look that complements the home is best, but one also should look for sturdy materials that are able to withstand lawn care tools such as electric or motorized weed trimmers.

When edging a garden with these materials, one must dig a shallow trough so that they sit straight and even. This is especially important for irregular shapes such as stones, particularly if the garden is on a slope. After the edging materials are in place, the gaps in the trench can be filled in with soil so that the edging is snug and held firm.

Yard care gets more involved with above-ground edging. Mowers can’t get close enough, and weed trimmers are needed to give the garden a finished look. One low-maintenance alternative is flush edging, which is level with the ground. Flat materials such as brick can be used for flush edging, or purpose-built strips of edging are available. Edging a garden with flush edging allows a lawnmower to pass and removes the need for a weed trimmer.


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Post 3

In uneven areas, rocks, bricks and some of the other border materials mentioned in the article work better than the strips of steel and aluminum border material you can buy. The aluminum and steel garden edging can be difficult to get evenly placed in the ground when you are working with lawn that has mounds and valleys.

Post 2

The steel strips like Drentel mentioned in the earlier post are great for garden edging. What worked even better for us are the strips made from aluminum. They are just as subtle as the steel ones, and they are lighter, which makes them easier to work with when you are installing them.

They can also be painted, so they virtually disappear into the landscape after you put them in place. Plastic strips are another option, but I don't like the appearance of them as much as I do the aluminum ones

The steel garden edging and the aluminum garden edging cost about the same, so ultimately you can make the decision based on which looks better to you, and how much heavy lifting you want to do.

Post 1

Rocks, bricks and stones make good borders, and they create a different look throughout your lawn and garden. Many people choose these type of borders because they want these types of prominent borders.

If you want something not as noticeable, yet just as effective then steel strips may be what you want. The steel strips come in sections of 10 feet and they are four inches in width. The depth of the strips is also four inches.

To be sure the strips separate the grass from the plants in your garden, you'll need to set the strips with about a half inch of the steel above ground. This will prevent roots from expanding over the steel, and you

will have three and a half inches below the surface to stop grass roots from spreading into your gardens underground.

The steel strips are almost undetectable. This makes the break between grass and flowers look more natural. You can also paint the strips to help them blend in even better.

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