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Project Guide

How to Install Garden Edging

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1
Plan Your Edging
A person marking an area with stakes and mason's line.

Before you learn how to install garden edging, plan its location and the length of your timbers.

 

  • Mark the location of your timber edging using stakes and mason’s line or marking paint.  
  • Since pressure treated lumber will not bend or dip, your edging path should be straight. To turn corners, you’ll need to either butt the square ends of the timbers together for a 90-degree turn or make miter cuts for other angles. 
  • Measure the total length of your planned edging path, so you know how many timbers you’ll need. 
2
Dig a Trench
A person measuring the depth of a trench.
  • Following your planned path, dig a trench 3- to 4-inches deep for the timbers.  
  • Tamp down the soil by walking over it or using a hand tamper. The soil should be compact so that the timber edging doesn’t settle. 
  • Make sure the trench is level by checking the depth with a tape measure and a level mason's line. 
3
Insert Wood Edging
A person laying timbers in a trench.
  • Place the timbers of the first course in the trench and butt the ends together tightly.  
  • Use a level to check that the timbers sit level.  
  • Add or remove soil below the timbers to level them as needed. Tamp down and compact any added soil. 
  • At the corners, lay the square ends of the timbers together to create a 90-degree angle. If you aren’t creating a rectangular garden bed or a simple 90-degree corner, you’ll need to cut the ends of the timbers with a miter saw in the next step. 


Tip: To prevent undesired weed or grass growth, first lay landscape fabric in the trench. Then install the timbers over the landscape fabric.  

4
Trim and Size Wood
A person cutting a wood timber with a circular saw.
  • To trim a timber to length, measure and mark where to cut using a square and pencil.  
  • Use a circular saw to cut the timber to size. 
  • If the last timber at the end of a straight path will be shorter than 2-feet, shift the row of timbers so that both ends will have cut timbers of about the same length.  
  • If you are turning the edging at angles that aren’t 90-degrees, use a protractor to mark the angled cut you need to make. Use a miter saw to cut the ends of the mating timbers. Secure the corner timbers together using screws driven in at an angle.  
5
Level Wood Edging
A person squaring a corner of timber garden edging with a framing square.
  • As you lay the timbers, check that the course is roughly level.  
  • If necessary, shim the low ends with thin strips of wood.  
  • At 90-degree corners, square the timbers with a framing square. 
6
Lay Second Course
A person laying a second course of timber garden edging.

Start laying the second course of timbers after the first course is secure and level in the trench.

 

  • Place the timbers of the second course so their joints are offset by at least 4-inches from the joints of the first course.  
  • Overlap the ends at the corners. Overlapping the joints adds stability between layers when stacking the timbers. 
  • Repeat steps 4 and 5 as needed to lay and level the second course. 
7
Connect Courses with Spikes
A person hammering stakes through timber garden edging.

Once you’ve cut and laid the second course of timbers, it’s time to secure the two courses together.

 

  • Drill pilot holes slightly smaller than the diameter of a 10-inch spike at each end and every 4-feet along the second course.  
  • Drive a 10-inch spike into each hole with a 3-pound sledgehammer. 
8
Add Soil
A person raking soil in a raised garden bed with timber garden edging.

Now that you’ve completed your DIY wood landscape edging, add soil to fill in the bed behind the timbers.

  

  • Add soil as needed to fill in the trench around the edging. 
  • Add soil to the bedding area and smooth it with a garden rake
  • If you intend to plant edibles within the timber edging, lay landscape fabric first to separate the soil from the timbers. The fabric should run along the entire interior perimeter of the edging. Staple the fabric to the timbers. Then add the soil to the bed. 
  • Add plants, mulch and other landscaping as desired. 

Pressure treated timbers are a great way to create simple and inexpensive garden edging and raised beds. After learning how to install garden edging, find the tools and supplies you need to complete this project in The Home Depot Mobile App. Locate products and check inventory at your local store.