edging with bricks ... again

docmoo(6)October 4, 2011

Please, Does anyone have suggestions on how I may edge a flower bed using bricks ... other than the "stacked vertically at an angle" ? Thank you !

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A way I like them is as a soldier course (laid flat side by side) set flush with the grade so that they act as a mowing strip. You can let the outside wheels of the lawn mower ride on it.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 4:24PM
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Thank you Yardviser,that really does look sharp. How would you recommend to keep grass from crossing under the bricks( I have Zoyzia ).

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 6:03PM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

weeding by hand. I have bricks and zoysia. I usually take a stroll around the yard with a bucket and a fishtail weeder and just pop out what catches my eye. Or pull it by hand. It is not that strenuous unless you let it go. I have a running bond pattern for my bricks- two rows.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 7:53PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Or set the bricks over a six to eight inch deep concrete base and mortar the brick. The combined depth of eight to ten inches ought to significantly cut down on rhizomes crossing under the mowbsnd. If you need further insurance, you could line the lawn side edge with an eighteen inch vertical layer of plastic bamboo rhizome barrier or sheet metal.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 9:03PM
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There are many variables to this theme. Here's a detail of how you could set brick over tamped driveway gravel with a root barrier. (You could do the same over tamped backfill soil (cheaper) but the crusher run makes a more durable, long lasting base.) For even more durability, set in mortar over concrete as per Bahia's suggestion.

You do have to be a little careful when later digging--if you do--next to the brick on "garden" side. You could add an edge restraint (plastic or mortar) on this side, same as would be done on the outside of a paver installation.

Note that the brick is raised slightly above the grade of lawn. Exactly how much would depend on the "cushiness" and aggression level of your grass...3/4" to 1" typical.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 10:51AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I have brick edging around the beds in the front garden. My bricks are laid end-to-end rather than side-by-side, so the edging is narrower. Fortunately my grass is less aggressive than yours so I can get away with a shorter metal edging between the bricks and grass and don't need to consider a concrete base or mortaring the bricks. And that's a good thing - because the biggest drawback of a reasonably permanent brick edging is that it becomes much more difficult to later change the shape of the bed! So the first thing you need to do is make sure you're happy with the bed layouts - size, shape, and arrangement. The next spring after I installed the brick edge, I needed to extend and reshape one bed - it was a PITA to do, and I didn't have to contend with concrete or mortar. So making sure you'll be content to live with your current beds for quite awhile is very important.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 12:08PM
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thanks again Yardviser ... the diagram helps and I believe that your method is soooo "doable". And like Woodyoak, my beds are ever changing and growing, and I will be able to expand this method (whereas the concrete is just too permanent). thank you thank you all!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 4:17PM
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Nice work on that diagram yardie, I want to question the Note that the brick is raised slightly above the grade of lawn though as I think it should be the other way round. With the wheels of the lawn mower on the bricks the grass will be uneven and a danger of striking the blade on the brick edge.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 5:03PM
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Good question, Ink.

I'm suggesting raising the brick a little (3/4" to 1" is a ball park) not so high that the mower blade would strike it, unless one is scalping the lawn. (But we don't do that.) If placed flush, in many cases the grass will rapidly grow over the top and "eat up" the brick. Or, with edge trimming, the brick will begin to seem like it is deeply recessed. With some grasses it will become substantial.

There is a certain "cushion" that the grass forms so that the lawn mower wheels never touch actual grade. The goal here is to treat the "cushion" as if it's part of the grade. Ideally, One might think of the top of this cushion as being level with the top of the brick. The loose blades of grass extend above it. So it depends a lot on grass type. With some Fescue or Bahia, that's barely at all. With Zoysia and Bermuda, it's greater. With St. Augustine, it would be quite high. St. Augustine forms such a thick cushion it seems like the soil is 3" down below the soles of your shoes. Like you are walking on air.

Now, out of my own curiosity, next time I'm around St. Aug., I will measure from sole of shoe to soil and report back.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 7:03PM
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Here's my nephew's foot with his full weight on the grass (St. Augustine...he's about 140#.) In this case, the grass was 3" above the paving ht. so the paving appears deeply set. His weight crushed it down to 1" above, while the grade of paving and soil are the same. If the brick edging is pulled up to nearly the thatch build-up level, it does not appear so deeply set and, I think, is easier to maintain (not so quickly run over by creeping grass.)

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 8:32PM
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