How to install brick edging on a berm?

franksmom_2010March 17, 2013


We have a landscaped berm on the side of our driveway. When we converted from grass, we installed fiberglass strip edging, which hasn't held up well, and we plan to replace it with brick.

Here is the area:

Here is the edging that we plan to use:

DH (an engineer) plans to dig out a small trench along the edge (at least along the driveway edge and the up-slopes on each end) a few inches below the level of the driveway, and pour mortar, then set the bricks in the mortar. Then fill the soil level back in, and we'll refresh the mulch when finished.

My question, is the mortar really neccessary? Is there a better way to do this? His argument is that the force of the soil/water/plants/mulch/etc. is pushing the mound toward the driveway, and even though the brick is much heavier and less flexible than the fiberglass, that if we don't secure it with mortar, then in a few years, it will all be falling over. Will mortaring the brick together cause a drainage issue? We have black clay soil and live in zone 8, if that makes any difference.

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If it were me, I'd adjust the grade of the landscape bed (within 3' of its edge) so that it was flush with the surrounding grade. It should not have been raised up above the surrounding grade. The edging you've chosen will not look like a professional solution. It is definitely in the homeowner-installed category. Mortar would not be necessary. Presumably, you'd be sinking it 50% of its height. It would be fine to set it on a 3-4" layer of tamped paver base (or any crushed material that packs tight and doesn't have pieces over 1/2" dia., as then it would be more difficult to work with.) Mortar is not necessary and would probably backfire when any changes were desired. It would probably not hold better than sinking the edging sufficiently.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 8:31PM
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Well, we actually chose a different edging today. We were going to buy the original ones, and found a different style that looks more like a natural stone, but can be layed on edge. We both liked it better, and it's a better match to the house brick.

When we converted from grass to landscaping, the grade WAS even with the driveway. We've just lived in this house a few years, and we were told by the neighbors that the berm was added several years before that.

It appears that the mound of soil is creeping it's way towards the driveway. We certainly could regrade that leading edge, but I'm not sure how long that solution will last.

Is gravel neccessary, or can we just set them in the soil?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 10:54PM
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If you set them directly in soil, expect their level to shift over time. It will not look good.

If you think that the edging is a solution to the berm creeping toward the drive, you'll find that it's not. It's just a delay. Since it's a bed, you could periodically adjust the soil level at the 3' swath near the edge and not need any "edging."

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 12:28AM
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