How do you edge your flower beds?

lenore1014(z6)September 29, 2008

Right now I am using the black edging that is flexible and relatively inexpensive.

I would like to use something that is more attractive, also affordable, but low enough I can mow over!

I've thought about using brick pavers if I could learn how to cut them so I could have curved edges.

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I do an angle cut along the edges of the beds with my spade. It's a bit of work, but keeps me in shape and I can mow over it.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 8:24AM
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nancyd(5/Rochester, NY)

I use bricks. You can have curved edges. You don't need to cut them. Use large curves for your beds and avoid abrupt angles. They will curve just fine.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 4:28PM
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Thanks for the replies!

Vtandrea--do you have to edge your flower beds more than once a year?? Seem like the grass can spread so quickly that you'd have to edge more often.

Nancyd--I like your idea about using large curves!! I think I will try that on one of the beds!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 10:23AM
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john_4b(z4b WI)

Vtandrea- How do you mow over the edge? I also make a vertical cut edge with a spade, and try to mow over the cut edge, but the edge just gets scalped as the wheel of the mower falls into the trench, or if I keep the wheel out of the trench and on the lawn edge, then the grass growing along the edge is missed and is not cut. A push mower probably wouldn't solve the problem. I have to go back over it again with a weed whacker, or end up hand cutting it, because I really hate to have to use the weed whacker.

For this reason I am also considering using bricks or pavers to create an edge along the beds.

Why don't they make a mower with a mower bed that extends beyond the wheel base??

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 11:33AM
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I have all kinds of edges in the gardens and my most favourite is to cut a little trough with the lawn edger. I've posted a link for you to see exactly what I'm refering to. I only have to really use it once a year, usually in the spring, but sometimes I get ahead of the game and do some gardens in the fall. I will cut a sharp 90 degree down about 3 inches, removing any grass/weeds that have started to creep into the gardens. Leave a space about 3 inches wide where the soil is bare. This will be done minimum one foot away from the plants.

Curving your edges/gardens gives them a great look. Don't make the curves too sharp to make it easier to mow around. Keep the edges looking good and at bay by using the whipper snipper every couple of weeks on them.

Pavers and bricks? I have lawn and weeds get in between them which means at one point they have to be removed to take those buggers out and then they have to be reset. I do have them in the gardens though. I've also edged the gardens with wood and rocks, but again, using the edger is my most favourite and most pleasing to the eye.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lawn Edger.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 2:19PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I used to use the trench edge - which looks nice but needed clearing out/re-doing at least three times a year in my garden. That just got to be too much work, so last year I spent all summer putting in several hundred feet of brick edging! As tiffy notes, the danger of that can be grass infiltration between the bricks. So I put the Curve-rite metal edge between the bricks and the grass. This is not the cheap metal edge that you can get in big box stores - that stuff is flimsy and has a sharp edge, making it dangerous to bare feet! The Curve-rite stuff is heavy duty, has a rolled edge so it's safe, is held in place by long pegs that get hammered into the ground, and it slots together so there are no seams between pieces. It is flexible enough to make whatever curves you need. It is not cheap though - it cost as much or more than the paver bricks did!

Because some of my grass is creeping sorts, I keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't try to grow over the top of the bricks and find its way into the garden beds that way. So far, so good... The bricks make a nice neat edge and make mowing very easy. I didn't need to cut any of the bricks - curving them just involved shifting them a bit so there are triangular gaps beween some of them as they curve. Fill the gaps with screenings or sand. I've been very happy with the switch to the brick edge.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 3:17PM
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waplummer(Z5 NY)

I edge with bricks and then have a six inch border of gravel between the bricks and lawn and the same between my rock wall and the lawn. It looks great and works well

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 4:33PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Some of these ideas sound great. Does anyone have any pictures?


    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 4:35PM
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John, you're right, the mowing part is tricky. I can get pretty close with our riding mower without going over the edge and don't need to trim most of the time, but I know what you mean about scalping the lawn. I try not to obsess about the lawn. A sharp edge needs to be maintained, but sometimes I only do it once--in the spring. Or if I need some exercise, I'll do it again in the fall.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 6:42PM
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My hubby keeps the grass killed around all of our yard. Here's a picture to show how our borders look. This is a picture from a couple years ago during a wet season so the yard looks terrible. center>

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 12:38AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

This is not a good picture but it does show some of the brick edging. (I was taking the picture to record how large the Chinese wisteria 'tree' is getting. The picture is from the first week of July so the wisteria has long since finished its spring bloom and not yet started it's secondary bloom which happens later in July. The white flower is from Henryi clematis which is starting to grow into the wisteria. The mess underneath is mostly dying bulb foliage - the perennials there are too young and small yet to do a good job of hiding the bulb foliage.)

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 7:33AM
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rosysunnygirl(6 Mich)

I'm a little (a lot) ashamed to admit this, but I'm using those plastic rubber-mulch strips! Bought one of the tree rings, just to see, when we put a tree in the middle of the lawn, and it works really well in terms of being easy to mow over and keeping grass from creeping in. Saw the strips on sale at one of the big boxes and couldn't resist. The dark brown "dirt" color works really well, and blends in nicely when you put leaves or other mulch right up against it, and the edges where I have it look really crisp.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 11:29AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

I gave my husband the trenching job. We gave up on the black rubber edging. Bricks IÂd like but until I start doing it myself, it wonÂt happen. Our main bed is a big raised one with landscape blocks, I think I burned him out on that one 4 years ago. (We didnÂt install the blocks ourselves but did everything else including move and replant all the perennials.)

We have been doing the trenched edge for all the other beds. The one problem I have with that is that it seems to get wider each year. I never seem to be there when heÂs doing it, so I donÂt know if this is what normally happens. It seems like to get a clean cut he has to move back a few inches into the lawn. I find myself with a new bare area around the perimeter of each bed, that then I feel needs filling. Considering IÂd already installed edging plants, IÂd rather not. He does the edges twice a year, in between I go in and pull out any grass or weeds that seed or jump in. I just bought a proper half moon edger, before that he used a small shovel. Will that make a difference? Or is it part of what happens with this system, that the bed gets gradually wider?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 12:22PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

"...The one problem I have with that is that it seems to get wider each year..."

Ain't that the truth? LOL! Linnea, I have one of those half-moon edgers (which I love), and I do the edging myself, and yes, the beds do seem to get wider every year. I have to make a conscious effort when I'm edging to make sure I don't go out too far. I don't know, maybe it's the fact that the trenchs fill up, so it seems like it's part of the bed, and so we go out a bit further to make the trench, instead of pushing back the soil that has fallen in the original trench, and it just never ends, lol.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 1:34PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

phonegirl, if my husband killed the grass around all of the edges like that, I'd be after him with a pitchfork, lol! And I can run faster than he can.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 1:55PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

If you are eyeballing the edges, they do move. In the public garden I volunteer in, where we have very official bed dimensions, they have moved as much as six inches a season. That's the big reason I jumped all over my neighbor's offer of used brick for edging. It wasn't the actually cutting of the edge that took forever, but measuring and remeasuring where I wanted the edge to be.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 2:12PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

I also make a trench and edge it once a year. I put mulch in the trench, in my case shredded leaves, so that the mower can roll over it. The mulch seems to help keep the grass back with the bits that do grow in being easy to pull up as they don't get established as they would in soil.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 11:34PM
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garden_crazy(z5 N IL)

I edge most of my beds in the spring with the "half-moon" type blade. -My favorite edging though, is brick. I used the bricks with the ball and socket joints on the ends so they curve nicely and fit tight enought to keep almost all the grass from growing between them. -My DH doesn't like the look of the brick edging or all my beds would have is. Instead, I'm thankful for the original beds with the bricks and I talked him into letting me edge the back sides of the other beds with brick. I'm gradually building quite a hill in back of our yard with edged out sod each spring!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 10:21PM
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Rhizo1, LOL I like the fact that our yard always looks well groomed with no weeds. I'll try to find some other photos cuz from a distance you can't tell the edges are dead. We live outside of town so only have 1 neighbor. What does your yard around your beds look lik?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 6:13PM
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Ever use river stone? Its a great way to edge. Try it with landscape fabric.

Here is a link that might be useful: easy way to edge garden beds

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 10:50PM
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