Build A Better Boundary: Landscape Edging Tools + Techniques
Think of edging as the icing on the cake – the finishing touch that gives your lawn a polished, professional appeal. With unlimited approaches and a multitude of materials, installing edging can be an overwhelming project to start. To help you make the best choice for your home and budget, we’ve broken down the most popular options and how to maintain them. You can see the Pinterest board that accompanies this article here.
Edging is available in a wide range of material that can accommodate any landscape design or budget. Some popular choices are:
- Landscape Timbers
- Railroad Ties
- Wire Fencing
Deciding which material will work best to fit your ideal landscape design depends upon what you're trying to achieve. Would you like to boost the curb appeal of your yard? Do you want protection from weeds? Are you trying to keep out neighborhood pets? Let's compare each edging type to understand the best uses for each.
If you're looking to keep animals from digging in your beds, simple wire fencing will do the trick. While it may not offer much protection against your roots, it is a nice option to enhance the appearance of your garden. It's also affordable and simple to install, making it our top pick for renters and those who cannot yet invest in a more permanent option.
Plastic edging is similar to wire. It is relatively cheap and easy to install. It comes in lots of different colors and styles which makes it a very versatile option. Most plastic edging has a sharp edge on one side. It is pushed into the ground and then gently hammered to make sure it is firmly in place. Plastic edging usually comes in sections that can easily fit together, allowing you to adjust the size and shape. Some plastic edging actually provides a root barrier when pushed into the ground. It does require you to first dig a trench around the edging site, but is very durable, can help reduce weeds and is almost invisible.
Material like railroad ties, brick, or landscape timbers can create a distinctive look that enhances your specific design. When considering a decorative material, it is important to be mindful of the color of your home. If chosen well, these materials can really enhance the overall appearance of your home and bring continuity throughout your yard.
If you desire permanent edging, but you want to keep your cost and labor investment in check, concrete may be the best choice for you. Concrete is super versatile and can be made to fit any shape. It is also extremely durable and weathers well.
We love concrete for several reasons:
- It can be customized to fit any landscape
- It can be stamped to achieve any imprint design and colored to match exteriors or add accents
Tools Of The Trade
A divider between grass and ornamental planting, edging contributes to a tidy appearance, and has other practical benefits that can save you money and labor. Placing edging along flower beds and the boundaries of your lawn provides a barrier that keeps grass contained and prevents weeds and other nuisance plants from entering places you do not want them, which can create a ragged edge and a blurring of spaces.
Once you've installed your choice of edging, it's important to know how to maintain your new look. Luckily, with the right gear, this will be the easy part!
We're fans of electric - you will not have to mess with gas or oil, which means practically zero maintenance and electric models are lightweight which means they will not fatigue you before the chore is done. Sun Joe electric stringless trimmers, like the SJB601E, are equipped with SharperBlade™, a patented maintenance-free trimmer blade system. No kinks, no jams –just non-stop, reliable cutting performance every time! Plus, you will also not have to fuss with replacement spools or trimmer line. String trimmers are more traditional, and a fast, easy and effective way to keep your lawn looking its best. Easy to maneuver in tight spaces, Sun Joe string trimmers boast a 180 degree rotating head that quickly converts from trimming to edging, combining the convenience of two tools in one dynamic device. Sun Joe's® convenient auto-feed feature ensures you’ll always have the right length of line to continue cutting without interruption.
Trimming grass evenly sounds simple. But there's more to it than just hovering the trimmer above the grass and letting the blade or strings do the work. Plus, this is not the best approach, as you can easily scalp the grass and leave an uneven appearance in comparison to your mowing.
Here's a tip: the ends of the string or blade are where the cutting power is.
Along your edging, hold the trimmer so the blade or strings are at a slight angle. When you have the tips slightly upward, you will get a tight edge that blends with the height of the mowed grass for a neat look.
Turning the machine so the blade or strings are vertical will also help you achieve a crisp cut.