Crisp, precise borders can really take your garden design to the next level. They’re tricky to get right and maintain by hand, which is where plastic or metal edging strips can be incredibly useful. It’s crucial to put your edging in properly to ensure turf borders resist erosion and your flowerbeds are free from weed and grass roots for many years to come. So we’ve put together a guide for how to install lawn edging in simple, clear steps.
Mark out the border that you want to edge – whether for a new flowerbed or to smarten up an old one. Measure it to work out what length of edging you’ll need to buy.
2. Dig a trench
For standard size in ground edging, you’ll need to dig a trough about six inches deep along the entire border. A regular trowel or spade should suffice for moist soil, but if the earth is dry then you may need a specialist border tool. You want sharp cuts without the dirt crumbling away from the turf.
3. Lay the edging into place
As rolled up, the strip should curve away from the lawn side of the trench. If there is a V-shaped lip at the base of the edging, this needs to be on the flowerbed side. Use a utility or serrated knife to cut the strip to size. If you are joining multiple strips, make sure each connector is evenly distributed in both pieces of edging, rather than being pushed into one during the connection. The strip should sit in the trench with only the very top visible. When it is set, this will be enough to prevent grass and weed roots crossing into the flowerbed, but not so high that it will get caught on your lawn mower. It will be obscured when the grass grows longer.
4. Pull down the soil
Use your hands to shift loose soil up against the edging from the bed side. The edging may not sit flat against all the curves in your lawn. Pull down more soil and stomp it into the edging with your feet to make sure it is held firmly in place to the turf.
5. Hammer in the stakes
Starting three inches from the end of the strip, hammer the stakes into the edging from the flowerbed side. Make sure they are as close to a 90 degree angle to the edging as possible. This is to make sure they’re stable – if you pound the stakes straight down then the frost will eventually heave them upwards. You may need to scrape away some of soil to get the hammer and stakes in. Place the stakes every seven inches along the strip. If there are connections then also put them three inches on each side of the join.
6. Compact the soil
Push and stomp soil on the flowerbed side up ⅔ the height of the edging strip. Fill in any gaps on the lawn side with a bit of soil – eventually new grass should grow the cover these. Water the soil on both sides to compact it even more. Finally, top up with earth so that both sides are flat and level.
Hopefully this guide to using garden edging makes things clear. If you have any trouble, please get in touch.
George works in the Primrose marketing team. As a lover of all things filmic, he also gets involved with our TV ads and web videos.
George’s idea of the perfect time in the garden is a long afternoon sitting in the shade with a good book. A cool breeze, peace and quiet… But of course, he’s usually disturbed by his energetic wire fox terrier, Poppy!
He writes about his misadventures in repotting plants and new discoveries about cat repellers.