By Jan Cashman • Posted on March, 23rd 2012
A barrier between grass and flower or shrub beds can keep grass from encroaching on your beds and keep mulches from spilling over into your grass. Edging helps the gardener who wants a low-maintenance landscape to keep their grounds looking neat. There are many types of edging that will add beauty, interest, and practicality to your landscape.
Round Top Vinyl
Vinyl lends itself to flowing, smooth curves. If properly installed,vinyl is one of the best edging values. Because of its low cost, our landscape department uses vinyl edging more than any other type.
Disadvantages: Vinyl edging can be damaged by lawn mowers.
Installation Hints: Vinyl edging is easy to install yourself. Purchase good quality, heavy-duty vinyl, which is thicker (.1”) and taller (5”)—it will be worth it. Stake at 45 degree angles through the middle of the edging. Do not place connections on curves.
Steel edging, usually painted green, is considered the Cadillac of edgings. It lasts and its clean edge is inconspicuous.
Disadvantages: Steel is heavy and is hard to bend into tight curves. It is difficult to install in hard, rocky ground.
Installation Hints: Professional installers weld seams so they do not separate.
Black aluminum edging is almost completely invisible. It forms curves easier than steel and provides a long-lasting border.
Disadvantages: Because it is a softer metal, aluminum can be dented or damaged by lawnmowers and other equipment.
Installation Hints: Aluminum is easier to install than steel edging because it is lighter and the pieces slide together for easier joint connection.
Long-lasting concrete edging can be dyed and/or stamped to make it more visually appealing. It is easy to mow along and weed-eat around.
Disadvantages: Once installed, it is hard to change. The light, bright color of undyed concrete can detract from your plants and landscape.
Installation Hints: Best professionally installed.
Natural looking. Stones can be any size from small rocks, to flat blocks set on edge, to boulders.
Disadvantages: Heavy to work with and can be a challenge to get to look natural. Weed-eating around them is hard.
Installation Hints: Install in a trough of sand. Use herbicide to control weeds.
Can give your garden a Western look. Logs can be laid flat or stood on end. Or use railroad ties. Any wood will hold up better if treated.
Disadvantages: Difficult to keep in place because frost cause it to heave. Wood deteriorates over the years.
Installation Hints: Install in a trough of sand. Use herbicides to control weeds.
In most places in our yard we use no edging at all. Every spring, before the flowers grow too big, between our perennial flower beds and our lawn, we cut a vertical edge. Then, throughout the summer we use a sharp spade, and sometimes a little herbicide, to weed out invading grass. I like the look of this crisp, grass edge, but it does take extra time to maintain. Your edging choice depends on cost, ease of installation, and, of course, the look you want. Whichever you choose, make sure it is installed properly for a long-lasting solution.