Bed edges pull landscaping together
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 7, 2013
- Landscape edging plays an important role in pulling the landscape together,
said a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator.
function is simple," said Rhonda Ferree. "It forms a clean, neat line between
planting areas and turf or groundcovers. When installed properly, it should
blend in with the landscape, minimize hand trimming, and help contain mulches
within the bed areas."
can be edged by hand, Ferree said it is hard work and must be touched up once
or twice a year. She added that she particularly likes the look of a hand-edged
edging, start by using a sharp spade to cut an edge and then remove the soil
and grass to form a small cliff.
"You can leave
it hand-edged like this or fill the space with something solid like steel,
wood, brick, stone, or plastic. An edging area 4 inches deep and wide can
easily contain bluegrass," she said.
used for edging should be long lasting, strong, and should complement the rest
of the landscape. Ferree provided these pointers about each type:
edging, including steel and aluminum, is the longest lasting. Steel edgings
have been around for more than 30 years but are relatively expensive, difficult
to install properly, and have problems with frost heaving in the winter. The
best places to use steel edging are where a great deal of side-strength is
required, such as driveway work. Aluminum edging is easier to work with, but
the silver color appears unnatural in many landscapes.
stone, and concrete make useful and decorative edging. Be sure the brick or
pavers are well fired so they are waterproof. Stone should be at least 3 inches
thick and at least 4 inches wide to stop the grass. A sand or concrete base
containing reinforcing rods provides added durability and strength. The newer continuous
concrete edging poured by special machines is becoming popular and resists
cracking due to the addition of polyolefin fibers.
edging provides a beautiful natural look. Landscape timbers, ties, and treated
2 by 4s are readily available. These stay in place well and create a nice
mowing edge. Rebars and toe-nailed corners provide added reinforcement. Avoid
using old railroad ties coated with materials that are toxic to plants.
common edging used by homeowners is plastic since it is inexpensive and easy to
install. Unfortunately, Ferree said plastic edging has poor durability and an
"Of all the
materials used as edging, plastic is probably the hardest to install for a
lasting stable edging material. Many have probably experienced the frustration
of plastic edging that simply will not stay in the ground. Experts generally
agree that round-top edgings are better since they do not sink as easily as
flat types," she said.
If the flat
plastic types are used, use galvanized nails to nail a 1' by 1' inch strip of
treated wood along the bottom of each strip where possible to help stabilize
the plastic. She added that most frost heaving can be stopped by using grooved
or lip-style edging, steel anchoring stakes, and proper installation
information on edging or other horticultural issues, contact an Extension
office by visiting www.extension.illinois.edu
or post questions on Ferree's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ILRiverHort.
Source: Rhonda J. Ferree, Extension Educator, Horticulture, firstname.lastname@example.org