Garden Design, Garden Edging, Gardening, George, How To

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.

How to Install Lawn Edging

1. Plan

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.

Lawn Edging Pins

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.

Browse our range of lawn edging or get inspired by some lawn edging ideas.

George at PrimroseGeorge 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.

See all of George’s posts.

Decoration, Garden Design, Garden Edging, George, How To

How to Keep Lawn Edges Neat

While many people like a natural, untamed garden, others prefer precise and ordered design. Stately homes and modern show gardens usually have highly manicured and maintained flowerbeds, trees and lawns. Something many gardeners – both professional and home enthusiasts – struggle with is how to keep lawn edges neat and tidy. Turf never seems to stay in a straight line, grass always grows over into the flowerbed and plants spread back onto the lawn. But there are a few easy methods for reigning those lawn borders back in.

Manually cutting neat edges

To create a firm, precise boundary for your lawn you can dig out the edges. This is at most an annual job, which will then only require maintaining when you cut the grass. Using a half moon bladed spade, dig out a sharp border round the flower beds. Mark the edge you want to create with a plank of wood for a straight line or string for a curve.

Once the edge is formed, dig out a slight trench on the flowerbed side, pushing the excess soil back onto the bed. This will allow water drainage and keep plant growth back from the border.

Finally, mow the rest of the lawn as normal and trim the grass sticking out over the new edge with shears to get it all straight.

How to maintain a sharp edge

Whether you’ve dug out a new border or are tending to an existing one, it is relatively simple to keep up tidy turf edging. Every time you mow the lawn, make sure to trim the edges too. Use long handled edging shears or an electric trimmer for the easiest ways to cut the border grass without even having to bend down. Otherwise, a simple pair of shears will suffice.

For grass that has grown over paths and paving stones, use a sharp knife to dig out the offending chunks of turf and trim overhanging grass with small shears.

Try permanent lawn edging

If you don’t want the hassle of having to dig out trenches and restructure the boundaries of your lawn each year, then installing garden edging may be the best option. Lawn edging is available in metal, wooden and plastic varieties which all give a different feel to your garden. These rolls of edging are fixed to the turf border and will prevent it shifting over time or grass and weeds growing across the boundary. Some are placed inground and soon become virtually invisible, other sit above ground and have more decorative designs, like woven hurdles or bamboo rolls. They are a great way to complement the style of your garden, while enforcing the neat lawn edges.

Check out our guide to installing lawn edging.

George at PrimroseGeorge 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.

See all of George’s posts.