I was wondering about a good way to get a nice mowing edge for a large
lawn ... while avoiding the use of metal or plastic edging and coming
up with something I can do on a budget which will be very little
maintenance in the future.
I am installing large new lawn in future, and my yard is simply dirt
and a blank slate to start with.
I am think about having using a trencher (set fairly shallow) and then
carving the edge for the yard with the trencher ... and then filling in
the trench with some kind of weedproof liner and then installing bricks
or pavers as the actual edging material.
Any feedback or comments appreciated.
This is a fairly common technique to edge a bed or lawn. It is also quite
expensive since it takes alot of bricks. The result is a very neat and
formal look and gives your lawn mower a place to ride one side of the wheels
I've used many different materials for edging through out the years. I
really like Trex bender board or deck board. This is a plastic/wood
composit that lasts for 20+ years. The bender board will make great shapes
and is paintable. The deck board doesn't bend as much but it's much
thicker and wider.
You may also look in the phone book for concrete curb makers. I had this
done at a school I maintain. We had a 328 foot bike path made .... so 656
feet of curb was made. Looks nice and it's quite strong and it wasn't way
expensive. These guys mixed concrete in a machine and it shot out the back
it the curb shape we wanted. Kind of like play dough. Was really cool to
The trex is about .90 cent a foot for bernder board, the decking is about
1.60 a foot and the curb was about 2.00 a foot.
I prefer flagstone to bricks, but bricks are easier to find (look for
used bricks to save money).
However, if you just lay the bricks using sand or dirt with barrier
cloth under them, the grass will migrate through them. I think the
ultimate solution is to place one of the traditional barriers (plastic
or rubberlike) outside the row of stones. That gives you an impermeable
barrier to the grass, with a nice wide wheel path for your mower, so you
never need to trim.
SPAMBLOCK NOTICE! To reply to me, delete the h from apkh.net, if it is
Depends on how deep you build the brick wall, and how aggressively the type
of grass used sends out runners.
A wide barrier will only delay how long before the grass pops up on the
other side. A deep, solid barrier will stop most of the runners. It's not
the top growth that needs to be retained. It's the roots. When you say
"fairly shallow", I hope you mean "fairly shallow" as in OSHA wouldn't
require you to shore it up before climbing into it.. In my opinion, a brick
edge needs to go down at least two courses below the surface, and have
additional help to block the cracks. A cloth barrier would only be a
temporary solution. Either a solid barrier, like plastic, metal, or even
wood, would last longer, or the bricks should be mortared together like
building a wall.
I don't see a brick edge meeting your requirement of doing it "on a budget"
unless by budget you mean predictable costs, and not inexpensive.
If you're looking for inexpensive, and easy maintenance, don't use edging.
Leave enough room outside the edge for a gas or electric edger (with gas,
you don't need to worry about an extension cord), and run the edger every
time you mow. If you run the edger every time you mow, you'll be able to
keep a fairly snappy pace, with very little effort. Edging only becomes a
chore if you let it go long enough that you have to cut through lots of
mature roots in an slot that has already filled with compacted soil, and
there's no room to fit the edger on the outside of the lawn.
Edging can also be a chore if you've put in a decorative looking, but
ineffective edging material. And if your choice is running the edger either
over the turf or a raised edge, you won't be able to get it cutting deep
enough, which will make your edging ineffective, too.
In my opinion, shallow, brick and budget just don't go together for this
To edge my lawn, I used a balling spade with a straight edge and
cut a V-shaped trench all around, about 3" wide and 2" deep. I
kept the trench clear of all vegetation. Every so often, I renewed
sections with a hand trowel. Not only did this keep the lawn out
of the flower beds and ground cover from the beds out of the lawn,
but it also aided drainage.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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