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How to Install Plastic Lawn Edging

Updated on June 12, 2015
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Keep Grass & Weeds From Invading Your Flower Bed

I enjoy spring, as it's a time for planting. From vegetables to flowers, grass to shrubs, my yard has it all. I plant in flower beds, old boots, kitchen pots, and used tires. If it can hold dirt, then it can be transformed into a planter!

This spring, I decided it was time to rework my front flower bed. All last year, I battled the lawn as it tried to take over my flowers. I spent much more time pulling weeds than I did enjoying the blooms. So I decided to take charge, and install lawn edging to stop the invasion!

After much research, both with fellow gardeners and online, I found that plastic lawn edging would be the best for my needs. It is flexible, comes in 20, 40 and 60 foot lengths, and can be installed in one day. It will keep the grass out, and most importantly, it's affordable!

Plastic lawn edging isn't all that pretty. Many people believe that the edging will show, but if it is installed correctly, only the top edge shows between the lawn and the garden.


If you're ready to take the steps to keep the weeds and grass out of your flower bed or garden, here's what you need:

Time required: An afternoon

Difficulty: medium

Materials:

  • Plastic lawn edging
  • Stakes or garden staples

Tools:

  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Hammer
  • Garden hose

Instructions:

1. Decide where you wish to create your flowerbed, and mark off the border. I like straight lines, so I made the front edge of my flower bed parallel to the house. The border can be a circle, curvy, or any shape that you wish.

Roll of plastic lawn edging
Roll of plastic lawn edging | Source

2. Unroll your lawn edging and let it sit out in the sun. It will become more pliable after it warms for awhile.

Dig a trench between your yard and flower bed
Dig a trench between your yard and flower bed | Source

3. Using your shovel, start at one end of your line, and dig a trench about 6 inches deep and 6 inches wide. Be sure that the side closest to the lawn has a straight, clean side. As you remove the dirt, place it in a wheelbarrow if you've already planted your garden. If, like me, the bed is bare, simply toss the dirt into your unplanted flower bed.

The trench should have a straight edge along the yard side.
The trench should have a straight edge along the yard side. | Source

4. Continue digging your trench the length of your flower bed, following your line. When you are finished, you should have a straight wall on the lawn side.

Metal garden staples hammered into lawn edging
Metal garden staples hammered into lawn edging | Source

5. Now that your trench is dug, it's time to install the lawn edging. Starting at one end, place the edging up against the edge that is closest to your lawn. The edging will have a "v" shape at the bottom, and this side should be pointed towards your bed.

As you position the edging, make certain that only about 1/2" or less of the top is above ground level. It should not look as if a garden hose is laying on the ground.

Secure the end with either a garden stake or garden staples. The stakes will hold the edging more securely, and are better to use if your edging will be permanent. If you like to change your flower beds every season, staples are much easier to remove. You may also use a combination of both.

How to position the garden stake
How to position the garden stake | Source

6. Position the garden stake in the center of the "v". The l-shaped tip of the stake should be pointed down, and the stake should be horizontal. Using your hammer, tap the head of the stake until it is flush with the edging.

If you don't have enough room to hammer in the stake, remove a bit more dirt from the trench. While it's best to hammer it in parallel to the bottom of the trench, an angle of no more than 25 degrees will suffice.

Suncast 8-Inch Metal Garden Stakes, Silver (Pack of 4)
Suncast 8-Inch Metal Garden Stakes, Silver (Pack of 4)

If you are planning to use garden stakes to secure your lawn edging, purchase enough to install them all at one time. There is nothing worse than running out of materials in the middle of a job!

 
Lawn edging secured by garden stakes and staples
Lawn edging secured by garden stakes and staples | Source

7. Continue hammering in stakes or staples until the edging is secured to the side of the trench. Stakes should be placed every 3-5 feet, while staples can be every 2-4 feet.

Fill trench with soil
Fill trench with soil | Source

8. After the edging is secured, fill the trench about a half full with loose dirt. Pack it down with your foot or shovel, to make certain the edging stays in place. If needed, fill in any gaps on the lawn side of the edging with loose dirt.

Completed installation of lawn edging
Completed installation of lawn edging | Source

9. Water the edging lightly, by spraying water on both sides of the edging. Then, using the remainder of your dirt, fill the trench to the top of your edging. If you have any left, add more to the lawn side of the edging, as it will settle over time.

If you haven't already planted your flower bed, this is the next step. If you already have plants in the bed, you're done for the day!

© 2014 Country Sunshine

Have you ever installed lawn edging? Do you prefer metal or plastic? Please share your edging tips here!

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    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 3 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Excellent tutorial. I've not done this but can see the wisdom in doing so. I'm sure it helps keep your flower or garden bed much more weed free and neater looking. :)

    • MJ Martin profile image

      MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose 3 years ago from Washington State

      Yay, your step by step instructions make this project something I know I can complete, thanks.

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 3 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Yes I have installed this before!! I wish I would have had your step-by-step then! Thanks

    • Country-Sunshine profile image
      Author

      Country Sunshine 3 years ago from Texas

      @JoanieMRuppel54: Hope it turns out the way you want! Glad I could be of help.

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 3 years ago from Keller, Texas

      I am in the middle of step 3 and thought I knew how to proceed; now I KNOW how to proceed. Thank you!

    • Country-Sunshine profile image
      Author

      Country Sunshine 3 years ago from Texas

      @SusanDeppner: I have to admit that it took me awhile to begin the project! However, after getting started, it really didn't take that much time. I hope you get yours done soon... but if not, there's always the cooler temps in the fall!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I bought some plastic lawn edging last year, late summer, intending to install it during the fall when the weather was cooler. Well, it's still out there, waiting to be installed, and the temperature is starting to climb again. Your edging looks great and you made installing it sound like a "just do it" kind of project. Hopefully mine will be done soon. Thanks for the inspiration!