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Landscape Tip on Defining Your Planting Areas.

Landscape tip on defining your planting areas.

Lawn Edging

Definition between your lawn and planting beds.

Completed install

Summer is settling in and all of the long grass and weeds have come along with it spreading around their seeds and roots to hold their ground on the battle for space on any open space that’s available.  Walking through the neighborhoods you tend to see mostly lawns running wild spreading into the plant beds and trees wells. The grass spreads along the fence lines and by the foundations of the house.  This situation makes it hard to maintain your yard. Weed whacking around bushes and trees usually looks worse than you imagined it when you started the process and hurts all of the plants you just whipped the bark off of.  Edging your bed lines can really cut down on weed whacking and help beautify your space by giving definition to your yard.  So you can put the whacker away and enjoy the garden and the view.

One of the first rules in landscape designing is to clearly define your spaces!  There should  be a definite line between your lawn and planting bed.  Many styles of lawn edging have been produced and introduced to the local landscaping outlets. These products have a great value range from fairly expensive to very reasonable. The higher cost materials require construction and lots of labour to install. These are concrete curbing or paving stone brick edger.  These products do hold their value in their beauty and the hopes for low maintenance so you do not have to worry about your lawn crossing over into your flower beds anymore.  Both Concrete and brick would include a trench lined with filter cloth and then filled and tamped with crushed rock.  The brick edger will be installed on top of the leveled crush with an concrete edging to keep it in place.   Brick edger is cut on site and is very labour intensive thus the higher cost involved to install this product.  Putting brick edger in yourself can turn into a nightmare if you have no experience with a wet saw or leveling a large area or with concrete, this should be left up to professionals. The same applies for the concrete but it is poured into forms or applied with a machine.  The look of the product itself is a bit artificial looking but the longevity of keeping the spaces separate from each other makes it a good option if you are looking for a ‘low maintenance option.

The aluminum lawn edge is at the upper end of the lawn edge category. It is sharp on the edges and installs best in flat areas as the product doesn’t bend up or down easily only side to side. It makes a very slim almost not noticeable lawn edge and lasts a long time.

The lesser expensive choice would be the traditional black diamond edger which you have probably seen in most yards.  This product can be installed yourself but can look terrible if not installed properly or installed in a hurry.  To install properly a trench should be dug for the entire length of the edging you require.  Place the edger into the trench connecting all ends with the plastic connectors provided with the product. Use ¾ inch black screws to connect the joint so it doesn’t come apart.  You will want to ensure the top of the edger is level with the lawn area.  Stake down with the metal stakes which also come with the product and then fill the trench, try to keep the edger as vertical as possible.  This product can be used by most people and can look good if installed properly (not sticking up out of the soil).  The one thing to consider is the longevity of this product, the lawn will tend to grow over this barrier in time so you will need to weed eat along the top bead to keep the grass clear of it. .  If not installed deep enough, you may find the lawn mower may catch it and destroy the edger or pull it out of the ground. Also if the plastic edging sticks up too high the sun will heat it causing it to expand and contract and actually move in the soil possibly working its way up higher.  To ensure this does not happen, be sure the top bead of the edging is about ½ buried in the top of the soil.

The final and ‘free’ option is the old fashioned way of edging your bed with a spade, shovel or ‘D’ head lawn edger.  They have developed new tools that say they can help make this job easier but in the end its all just time and effort.  If you feel you can edge your bed yourself it should be done at least three times per year to keep a clean line between the lawn and planting bed.

Whichever edging technique you choose will make a huge difference on how your yard looks.  It will enhance the feeling of your property and will help clean up the messy looking areas where the grass has taken over. There is no easier way to transform your yard than to redefine all the lawn edges and cover the beds with a nice dark organic mulch. If this all seems to much you can always call a professional to ensure the success of a beautiful landscape.