garden edging on a hill

bobby_c(z7 DC)April 15, 2012


I have a nice little flower garden at the bottom of a hill on a corner of my lawn. I want to make a stronger/better defined edge between the lawn and the garden, I've used plastic edging in the past but it just doesn't hold its shape. Over time the pressure of the hill warps the edging, tipping it over and not holding its form.

Anyone have ideas on how to make something more permanent? I don't know if there is commercial edging that is much deeper than what I found (maybe 4" or so), something more like 8 inches might hold. I also have some left over bricks - I was thinking of building something like a little retaining wall with those but I'm not sure if that would work. If the border wasn't curved I'd use PT lumber, drill some holes in it and use rebar to pound into the ground.

Any input would be appreciated!


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    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 1:01PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

I just noticed a phenomenon in my yard that might help explain what is actually happening, vs. what you think is happening. I have a little bit of garden downhill from some grass with some plastic edging separating them. I noticed that the grass is growing particularly lushly right in front of the edging, actually creating a mound of grass that will, perhaps, in time deform the edging (though it is perhaps a rather less vulnerable arrangement than yours. Because the slope I'm working with is so gradual I had not actually realized that it had any meaningful impact until yesterday.

What I think is happening is that water is running downhill (as it is prone to do) and collecting at the edging, and so the grass is growing more vigorously there. I think it's quite a noticeable effect because it's on the hellstrip, so quite dry. It's probably aggravated because I do water my little piece of garden, and I'm sure some gets on the grass, while the neighbour does not water his grass out there, at least rarely.

So I think it is not soil pressure, but the collection of water and vigorous grass growth at the edge that are the problem. It also sounds like your edging might not be buried enough, or the soil in your bed not high enough, if it is "tipping over."

All this to say you could do a couple of things. One would be to use an edging that is perforated, so water can dissipate into the bed better. This could be perforated plastic, or an edging that allows water flow, like bricks or stones. Another would be to alter the slope of the grassy ground a bit to make water flow around the bed or to collect in a gully before it. Finally, just by way of maintenance, you could get out a lawn edger and wedge out a bit of the grass in front of the edging periodically.

You could just use the more solid, determined edging you have in mind - concrete, for example - but you will still have the mound of lush grass there that can sort of overgrow it.

So if I were you, I'd probably go with fairly big bricks that let the water flow through. Note that even those will allow grass to grow better than in the rest of the yard, since all plants, including grass, like having their roots under rock where moisture condenses and accumulates. So periodic edger work is probably in the cards.

Karin L

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 7:28PM
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