Buying Guide

How To Choose Landscape Edging

Benefits of Edging

  • The right edging can transform your yard by creating defined areas for mulch, flower beds, plants and shrubs.
  • Creates defined areas for mulch 
  • Allows flower beds, plants and shrubs to be seen
  • Affordably increases curb appeal.
  • Prevents lawn, weeds and other unwanted elements from growing into flower beds.
  • Provides a distinct path for your lawn mower to follow.

Types of Edging

Concrete edging adds an elevated look to a yard

Tip: Before buying new edging, be sure to measure the area/areas you are working in to ensure you have enough edging for your yard. 


Spade-Cut Edging 

For the simplest type of border, choose spade-cut edging. Spade-cut edging involves using an edging tool called a spade to dig a narrow trench around the outside of the bed you are setting apart. It is the least expensive type of edging available.


Strip Edging

Strip edging consists of a shallow barrier that is anchored beneath the ground. The very top part of the edging is visible to subtly set the bed and lawn apart. Strip edging works best for creating curves and comes in plastic and metal varieties. Plastic is less expensive and easier to install. Metal edging comes in steel or aluminum and lasts longer but is less flexible. 


Masonry Edging

Masonry edging, composed of stone, brick or concrete, is the most expensive type of landscape edging. Stone is very attractive and allows you to match borders to any existing stonework you have used in the landscaping, garden or exterior of your home. Cement borders often come in preformed sections of different shapes and styles, allowing for easier installation 


Wood Edging

Wood edging comes in precut sections of alternating heights, either as round logs or flat boards. All types of wood edging are durable and most are affordable. The types of wood most often used include cedar, cypress and redwood, which naturally resist rot. Pressure-treated wood is resistant to moisture and a good value for larger projects.



Edging Features

A wide variety of features are available when selecting the type of material you want to use. 


Landscape Timbers

Landscape timbers and railroad ties are large, durable and relatively inexpensive. You can use them individually to outline straight beds or pile them on top of each other.


Cement/Brick Pavers 

Some types of pavers interlock so they are easy to use. Although the interlocking pavers are more expensive, they can be used to quickly create borders or raised beds without needing mortar. Pavers are typically 12 inches long and 4 inches wide.


Plastic Edging

Polyethylene edging has a round head on top and a series of grooves on the bottom to keep it anchored. Plastic edging is sold in 5- to 6-inch widths and 20- to 60-foot lengths. Some types contain UV inhibitors to resist fading and cracking in the sun.


Cedar Edging

Short, round cedar logs provide an informal look and can be set on end at equal or varied heights. You can also buy whole sections of these short logs strung together in one piece with plastic backing that you can simply push into the ground and secure with stakes.


Bender Board

Bender board is milled from redwood or made from composite materials and is about
¼-inch thick, which allows the board to bend easily conforming to tight curves and angles.  

Steel Edging

Steel Edging

Steel edging is sold in 5- to 6-inch widths, in 10- to 20-foot lengths and in different gauges. 

Steel is flexible but not as bendable as plastic and is more expensive. 

Installation Tips

A person wears gardening gloves while installing plastic edging

Tip: The ground should be soft but not wet or frozen when digging into the soil. 


Masonry: Brick 

  • Dig a trench that will allow the amount of brick you want showing to be seen
  • For vertical edging, set the brick edge-to-edge in the trench
  • For horizontal edging, lay the bricks on a sand base to cushion them and protect from frost heave
  • Keep top faces flush with soil surface and add or take sand away to allow for variations in thickness
  • Push soil up against bricks
  • Sweep sand into gaps between bricks to add stability


Masony: Stone

  • Dig a trench that will allow the amount of stone you want to show
  • Drive two stakes to define the area you are filling and run a mason's line of string between to define the area
  • After mixing concrete, shovel into a 3-foot stretch and smooth out
  • Set stones into concrete
  • Level the tops to match the masonry line using a rubber mallet
  • When all stones are in place, push concrete about 6-inches up the back side of each and trowel smooth at a 45-degree angle
  • For corners, keep stone faces tight to each other and always end a row with a full stone
  • Repeat steps for the rest of the border


Spade-Cut

  • Outline the area with rope, a garden hose, chalk or other material
  • Dig a trench that's 3 to 4 inches deep
  • Keep the lawn edge vertical and angle the inside of the trench toward the bed
  • For loose soil, angle the spade rather than cutting straight up and down
  • After cutting the perimeter, rake the trench and pull leftover soil up into the bed

 

 

Strip: Metal 

  • Outline the area with rope, a garden hose, chalk or other material
  • If the soil is soft, lay edging along the bed's border and, using a board to muffle the blow, tap into place with a hammer
  • If the soil is hard, use a spade to dig a shallow 4-inch trench around the bed's perimeter
  • Position the top edge of the metal at soil level
  • Drive enclosed stakes through premade holes in the strips or by driving long, bent spikes over the strips to keep edging in place
  • On the garden side, rake soil against the edging, keeping it a bit lower than the lawn side


Strip: Plastic

  • Outline the area with rope, a garden hose, chalk or other material
  • Dig a shallow 4-inches trench so the bottom of the plastic edging lip is at soil level
  • Set plastic strips into trench
  • Drive enclosed stakes through the bottom edge of the strips to keep the edging in place
  • On the garden side, rake soil against the edging, keeping it lower than the lawn side


Wood: Boards

  • Dig a trench around the edge of the bed to the depth of the edging boards
  • Place the boards in the trench and drive stakes in behind about 5 inches apart and 1 inch below the board's top edge
  • Nail the stakes to the edging board, with something behind the stake to absorb hammer blows


Wood: Landscape Timbers

  • Dig a trench the same width as the timber to the depth you need 
  • If buried at least halfway, timbers will hold firm the ground during frosts
  • Logs strung together in one piece with plastic backing can simply be pushed into the ground and secured with stakes.


Bender Board

  • Bender board is milled from redwood or made from composite materials. About 

¼-inch thick the board can easily bend to conform to tight curves and angles.  


Steel Edging

  • Steel edging is sold in 5- to 6-inch widths, in 10- to 20-foot lengths and in different gauges. Steel is flexible but not as bendable as plastic and is more expensive.


Maintaining Landscape Edging

Edging material generally requires very little upkeep and is less time-consuming than general lawn care. Be sure to keep weeds and other unwanted grass out of the area by using edging tools, either electric or hand-operated.