Grass and Weed Barriers:  Lawn Edging & Landscape Edging 101

Grass and Weed Barriers: Lawn Edging & Landscape Edging 101

Lawn and landscape edging are used to increase to potentially increase value of your property.

But mostly, landscape edging products are used to enhance the appearance, define the borders, and keep grass roots and weeds from attacking your landscape elements or your garden bed. On top of that, landscape edging can also significantly cut down on the required lawn maintenance.

Once you’ve decided you want to reap the benefits of landscape edging, you’ll need to analyze the numerous options from which you can choose.

Some of these options may include wood, gravel, metal, plastic, concrete, stone, or brick landscape edging options. You’ll need to select what works best for you and your lawn, then purchase the material.

Landscape edging can be purchased at your local home improvement store, such as Lowes or Home Depot.

You can also check with your online retailers, such as Amazon or eBay, for lower prices. Alternately, you can pick up specialized landscape edging products from specialized brands and/or manufacturers.

The next step is to install landscape edging into your landscape, along the border of your garden bed or other landscape element.

There are several different landscape installation methods, which may be vary from material to material. Then, you are free to enjoy your newly edged landscape, maintaining and trimming the edges only every couple of weeks or so.

The “Right” Way to Edge A Lawn

Edging is the process of trimming your lawn edge of getting rid of those pesky blades of grass and weeds that hand over the side of your lawn. Edging has the ability to give your lawn an extra dimension of crispness; a professional-looking addition for any landscape.

Is there specifically a “right” way to do landscape edging?

That would be a broad assumption to make. There is, however, a basic outline to be sure you are edging your yard the “right” way that works best for you and your lawn and landscape.

The Best Time for Edging

To determine when the “best” time to edge is for you, you’ll need to decide how much effort you are willing to put in to achieve that crisp look. If you decide you only want to edge once a year, it is recommended to edge towards the end of June. Once the spring and summer seasons have passed by, you have also passed the peak growing season (April to May). By waiting until the end of June to edge your lawn, your edging effort lasts longer because you are clear of the peak growing season and the grass grows less from July to December.

If you decide you want to put in a little more effort, you can edge your lawn twice a year, which would make your “best” time vary from only edging once a year. The “best” times to edge for this scenario are once in early June and once in late August. Trimming those pesky grass blades at the start and end of the peak growing season, the edges of your lawn will be crisp all year round.

Tools to Use for Edging

A manual edger would suffice just fine if you are edging once or twice a year. If you want to put in the time and effort to edge every month, you could choose to use a mechanical edger to achieve the crisp look. Lots of people tend to attempt to use their weed eaters to edge their lawn, but that is a landscaping no-no. Weed eaters make it too easy to scalp your lawn, which sends out an invitation to all weeds in the surrounding area to gain a grip on the exposed raw soil.

How to get started

If you have never edged your lawn before or it has been a few years since its been edged, there is an easier way to get started. You can call a professional that has expertise in the edging field and allow him/her to clean up the overgrown jungle quicker and providing you with a clean baseline from which to start. So, you get a two-pronged bonus from using a professional for the initial landscaping—a professionally-drawn edge that looks beautiful AND that provides you with a guide for maintaining the edging yourself.

How to Edge Your Lawn with Metal Landscaping Options

Metal is a top-rated material for landscape edging.  It has certainly made a name for itself in the landscape edging world. Rightfully so, as it looks great and provides many benefits too.

Some of these benefits include:
  • Metal landscape edging creates a clear border of separation between your landscape element or garden bed and the lawn. It is also very sleek and has minimal visual distraction.
  • It serves as a grass barrier, keeping grass and weeds out, while simultaneously keeping mulch and soil in its place.
  • Metal is not susceptible to rotting, cracking, chipping, or becoming brittle in cold weather.
  • Metal landscape edging products resist ground movement staying in place very well. Ground movement can be caused from excessive rains or other extreme weather conditions.
  • Landscape edging made from metal will usually not be damaged by edging tools or trimmers.

So maybe you’ve decided metal landscape edging is your best option--something you want to invest in for your lawn’s polished appearance?

Now it’s time to look at your metal material edging options.

  • Steel is the strongest metal edging option. Even though it has a slim appearance, it doesn’t dent or lose its shape. It also doesn’t bend under the pressure of foot traffic or the weight of a car. Steel starts out as a shade of silver, then starts to develop a protective rust (oxidation) layer that lends a modern, rustic, blended look to compliment your garden or landscape elements. Sure, it could eventually rust in the traditional manner but that will take about forty or more years.
  • Heavy-gauge aluminum, unlike steel, does not rust. This material is perfect for those who do not particularly like the rustic look. Aluminum is not as tough as steel either, making it easier to mold so that it hugs the curves of your garden bed. BUT aluminum can ding and somewhat “stretch” or lose its shape.

How much does metal landscape edging cost?

Metal landscape edging can be of the expensive end of the spectrum. For this reason, it is best if you do some research to find the best deal on your landscape edging materials. However, do keep in mind that the slightly higher price is backed up by metal landscape edging’s ability to last half a lifetime. Metal landscape edging options usually run for anywhere from $2.50 to $6.50 per foot depending on the brand, size, and thickness.

Some places to compare prices and find the retailer that you can get the most bang for your buck include, but are not limited to:

  • Home Depot
  • Lowes
  • Landscape Suppliers
  • Amazon
  • eBay

Some brands to do research on and consider for your metal landscaping needs are:

  • EdgeRight
  • Col-Met
  • Ever Edge
  • Permaloc
  • Sure-Loc

Once you have decided what material will work best for you and have decided where to purchase your landscape edging materials, it’s time to learn how to install your metal landscape edging. You need a quick and easy guide to the installation process of metal landscape edging.

Here are some metal landscape edging installation tips:

  • Determine how deep you want to embed your metal edging into the ground. The further you penetrate the ground, the fewer grass roots and weeds that will squirm their way into your garden bed. It is recommended to purchase the tallest material to have enough material for above-ground and below-ground guarding. It is also recommended because there is more excess material to imbed into the ground, providing a stronger base and more stability.
  • Check your soil and decide whether it is hard or soft. If it’s hard, you will need to dig a small trench with a precision shovel. This trench is dug to have the ability to bury the edging in hard soil. If the soil is soft, you can simply use a hammer or rubber mallet to tap the metal edging to the desired depth. If you had to dig a small trench, use the excess dirt that was dug out to fill in the remaining space around the edging and pack it down with your foot to ensure upright stability.

How to Edge Your Lawn with Plastic Landscaping Options

Plastic landscape edging does not have as many benefits as metal options, but it is much more budget-friendly. Plastic edging products are actually the most affordable landscape edging option but can look cheap if not installed properly.

On a positive note, plastic edging is very flexible and thus, easy to manipulate so that it perfectly outlines the border of your garden bed. Furthermore, since plastic is manufactured, it has a variety of different options from which to choose. Some of these variations may include color, design, shape, and installation methods.

Two landscape edging installation methods were mentioned above in the metal edging section that can also be used with plastic landscape edging options.

These choices include:
  • Option One: You can dig a small trench and install the edging into the trench. Once you do so, you can then pack the dirt from the hole back around the edging to secure it.
  • Option Two: With some products, you can hammer the edging straight into the ground. Most plastics can be staked into the ground to provide more stability. This is nice because plastic can be flimsy. Some plastic landscape edging products also have easy connectors to conjoin the pieces of plastic into a consecutive line for edging your garden bed or landscape elements. Like metal edging options, plastic edging options can also be purchased at your local home improvement retailer or online, whether it be an online retailer like Amazon or a specific company’s website. If you’re interested in a hearty, reliable and attractive plastic landscape option, check out our Grass Barrier You won’t be disappointed.
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