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How to Install Landscape Edging: 5 Simple Steps

garden with landscape edging

Unlike some landscape tasks, edging is typically a simple DIY job that most homeowners can tackle without any problems. Whether you’re doing it for aesthetic or practical purposes, there are many different landscape edging materials and styles.

Aesthetically, the edging helps define garden beds and can add a nice touch to the overall design. And practically speaking, edging keeps everything contained as long as you choose one specifically designed for that.

garden flower divider

Before You Start: Preparing for Landscape Edging

There are a couple of things to do before you start digging up your yard for the new edging. The first thing you need to do is plan where it’s going. Drawing it out on paper is a helpful part of planning. Once you’ve figured out exactly where the edging is going, use some marking paint to draw it out; this is helpful when you start digging.

Another thing you’ll want to do is figure out which edging material you’re going to use. This will determine things like how deep your trench needs to be. You’ll also want to consider if this edging is simply to look good or whether you want it to keep certain plants contained.

The 5 Simple Steps on How to Install Landscape Edging

These steps may vary slightly depending on which particular edging material you go with, but they won’t change much.

1. Dig the Trench

Image By: Goumbik, Pixabay

Once you’ve laid out where the edge will be, you’ll need to dig a small trench. Depth-wise, you’ll want it to be around 4–6 inches deep.

A spade shovel will do if you don’t have a special tool for digging the trench. Even a trowel will do the job, but that’ll be hard on your hand unless it’s a small area that you’re doing.

2. Place Edging into Trench

If you’re using paver bricks or something like that, fill the bottom of the trench with sand. The sand lets you level the bricks, so you have a nice straight border around your garden.

Once the trench is ready, put the edging into the trench according to the type of material. If you’re using a plastic edge, make sure that the edging sticking up is even. And if it’s bricks, level the sand and stack them up.

3. Backfill Trench

Image Credit: juefraphoto, Shutterstock

Using the dirt you dug out, backfill around the new edging. This is what holds it in place. Bricks won’t need a lot of backfill to be solid. But if you’re using a thin, plastic edging, you’ll need to hold it in place as you backfill.

4. Tamp Freshly Filled Soil

Your boot will be enough to tamp the freshly filled soil. Make sure that you’re thorough with tamping because that will help prevent further movement of the edging.

5. Finishing with Water

close up person using a sprinkler hose
Image Credit: Steve DiMatteo, Unsplash

Once you have everything in place and you’re happy with how it looks, spray down the area with a garden hose. You don’t want to soak the ground, but applying a reasonable amount of water helps everything settle in further and makes for a nicer finish.

garden flower divider


Do I have to use landscape edging?

In many cases, landscape edging is purely cosmetic. However, there are situations where the edge protects and contains some aspects of your garden. It all depends on what you’re growing in the garden. For example, something that likes to spread may continue spreading out to your lawn without edging.

What’s the best way to dig a trench for landscape edging?

The best way really boils down to the most convenient or easiest way. And this depends on how long and how deep of a trench you need. If it’s a fairly small garden bed, a hand trowel may be the most convenient tool, or possibly a spade. However, if it’s a long trench line or you want to invest in bigger tools, there are gas-powered and electric tools designed for digging landscape edging trenches.

bricks flower bed
Image Credit: mpiotti, Shutterstock

How deep does the landscape edging have to be?

There’s no real set answer for the depth of landscape edging. Typically 4–6 inches is plenty. But depending on which edging material you’re using, you may need to go as deep as 8 or 9 inches.

garden flower divider

Closing Thoughts

There you have it! Five simple steps to landscape edging. Remember to plan the edging route before digging the trench. It’ll be a waste of time to refill it and may require replanting some grass if this is new landscaping.

Featured Image Credit: rawmn, Shutterstock


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