Choosing a landscape edging material that meets all of your needs can be a challenging quest. You need a material that can guard your garden bed from invading grass roots and clippings, fits into your budget, can adapt to the shape of your garden bed. Additionally, you need a landscape edging choice that works well your soil and grass type, and something that has a “pretty face”.
There is a wide array of landscape edging material options to choose from, but it can’t be solely based on looks, it also has to have the ability to serve its purpose.
Us humans can be very indecisive, so hopefully after doing some reading, you can choose a landscape edging material that checks all of your boxes.
Ornamental Landscape Edging Options
Broken Concrete/Flat Stone:
These can be arranged along a curve, in a pattern, or any way that you choose, offering lots of design opportunities to catch the eyes of your guests.
Concrete can be hand poured or poured using a curb machine, allowing it to be flexible with the design of your garden bed. Concrete can also be stamped, stained, or painted to draw attention.
By raising the height on the height of the garden and installing metal landscape edging, you can attain a rustic, modern look that is sure to be found attractive.
This is a structure composed by having posts every couple of feet with rock filled wire. It provides a very natural look, yet structured and edgy.
These are thick and sturdy. Having such a thick structure, they have the ability to make a bold statement within your landscape. They can also be arranged in a creative pattern to catch the eye of someone just passing by.
The possibilities are endless. Think outside the box and create your own unique design that fits you, your personality, your landscape’s theme, and be sure to grab the attention of anyone that has the chance to see your landscape edging ideas come to life!
Is Cheap Landscape Edging Worth It?
Cheap landscape edging includes, but is not limited to, some plastic products, wood, and fencing. If you are on a small budget, it is very tempting to install the cheapest edging material you can find, but is it worth your while? While it is not always the case, you get what you pay for most of the time.
Most plastic landscape edging doesn’t require a certain skill level to install, for it usually has a fairly simple installation process. Higher-quality plastic landscape edging products may be more durable than cheap plastic, but cheap plastic will not last long.
Cheaper plastic edging products can become brittle over time, especially in the colder seasons, causing the pieces to crack or break. Cheaper plastic products are also very prone to fading over time from sun exposure and other weather conditions. Thin plastic products (such as those you might find at Walmart or “off-brand” online marts) may be strong enough to resist severe damage from a weed eater, but will become very unpleasant to look at after so much corrosion and small damages over time. This type of plastic edging will need to be replaced every so often, which will cause excessive puncture wounds and damage to the ground it resides in.
On the other hand, quality plastic landscape edging products like our Grass Barrier landscape edging product can be durable and attractive. Grass Barrier, for example, is easy-to-install, less expensive than most other quality landscape edging products, is fade resistant, and can even stand up well to the weed whacker and other minor damage.
Wood landscape edging products provide a natural, rustic look to your landscape and is a very inexpensive edging option. But wood edging products also carry a lot of negative aspects along with it. Natural, untreated wood is prone to rot in a short period of time, having to be replaced. Replacing the wood planks can quickly go from inexpensive to expensive after several replacements.
If you choose to use chemically treated wood, those chemicals do not completely protect it from rotting and can cause health concerns when used to border gardens containing edible plants. Wooden boards, treated or not, can splinter and crack from excessive sun exposure. They can also warp from enduring excessive rainfall, causing your garden bed border to lose it perfect shape you worked so hard to attain. Wood is also prominently known for attracting pests. For instance, termites, which will make a meal from your wooden planks. Other attracted pests could invade your neighboring garden bed, ruining the plants and even contaminating them with diseases.
Fencing as a landscape edging is affordable and can be classy, usually coming in kits with pieces that interlock together, creating a border around your garden bed. Since they do have individual pieces, it is easy to run along curves and bends of your border.
The downfall of fence edging is that it’s not a solid wall, leaving gaps for grass clippings to flow freely onto your mulch or soil. This fencing solution is also known to be flimsy and not very sturdy, especially when trying to drive the stakes on the bottom of the fencing into the ground. If you want to stay inexpensive, the fencing will more than likely be plastic, carrying over the cons of plastic material as well.
Functional Edging in Your Circumstances
All lawns are different. Different grass. Different soil. Different climates. Different curves. You will want to find a landscape edging product that works well under your lawn’s circumstances.
Analyze your grass and identify what type of grass composes your lawn. (Check out this article HERE [link to article #4] to learn more about how grass type should impact landscape edging material selection.)
Once you’ve identified the grass you have in your lawn, you can research its characteristics, such as the root depth, spreading ability, aggressiveness, etc. Base your landscape edging material decision off of your findings.
For instance, if you have a deep-rooted, aggressive grass, you’ll need something that can be driven at least 6 inches into the ground to prevent grass roots from invading your garden bed and to keep the grass where it belongs, in the lawn.
When your lawn has hard soil underneath, the “no dig” edging option might the best route. No dig landscape edging options include setting bricks or stone directly on top of the soil, purchasing a “no dig” edging kit, or superficial edging that can be staked into the ground. (Remember that there are some products like our Edge Right metal landscape edging that have teeth or a sharp edge that make it easier to penetrate hard soil.)
Soft soil can make it difficult to secure your edging. Digging a shallow trench and place stone or brick into the soil, using mortar as a base to secure the materials is a great option for when you have too soft of soil to work with. You can also attempt to harden the soil by adding sand, silt, or clay and compacting the soil with a shovel or packer. If the soil does harden, you can use any edging material or method that works for you.
The environment you reside in can affect your landscape edging materials and should definitely be a factor that is taken into consideration when choosing your landscape material. For example, if you live in a damp, boggy environment, steer clear of wood because wood is susceptible to rotting in these conditions. If you live near the ocean, metal edging is not in your best interest because the salt spray from the ocean will cause the metal to rust more rapidly.
Garden Bed Curves:
Not all landscape edging materials are able to hug those curves of your garden bed border. If you don’t already have plant beds installed, design your beds so that they will work with whichever material you use. If your garden beds are already established and have curves, use a material that can bend easily or be placed along a curved line. These materials include metal, plastic, concrete, and brick.
Some metal edging products even comes in rolls or pliable sheets which can be bent to fit your curves. Plastic edging either comes in individual pieces or a roll, which both can accommodate to your curves by either bending the plastic or strategically placing the pieces around the curved border.
Concrete landscape edging products can be poured by hand or installed using a curb machine, both of which can be used to fit a curved edge. Bricks can easily be placed along a curved line and you are still able to stack multiple brick layers on top of one another in a curved line.
Grasses That Do Not Require Digging
Some grasses, like St. Augustine grass and Bermuda grass, have very deep and extensive root systems that require digging to place landscape edging material deep enough to prevent the roots from invading your garden bed.
Other grasses, such as Perennial Ryegrass and Kentucky Bluegrass, have shallow root systems that do not require digging to install landscape edging that will prevent root invasion. While these shallow-rooted grasses do not require digging, a small trench could help to prevent root invasion of your garden bed.
If you choose not to dig and want a “no dig” landscape edging, there are several different options as mentioned above. These options include a “no dig” edging kit, bricks, pavers, sidewall aluminum edging, gravel, natural stone, and materials that can be staked or hammered into the ground.
The Best Landscape Edging Is the Edging That Works Best for You
Installing landscape edging onto your property allows you to add value to your property, express yourself, keep weeds from invading plant beds, improve soil retention, and give a more overall disciplined look to your landscape.
Edging your garden beds and other hardscapes also reduces the amount of maintenance that is required to keep that fresh, crisp scenery.
With plenty of options to explore, you are sure to find a landscape edging option that can meet all of your landscaping needs, as well as being a sight that is easy on the eyes. Be creative and use the variety to your advantage. You have several different materials to choose from, then you can create a design as simple or as complex as you desire.