Why Cheap Landscape Edging Might Do Your Lawn More Harm Than Good

Why Cheap Landscape Edging Might Do Your Lawn More Harm Than Good

Landscape edging serves multiple purposes, including making the border of the landscape element sharp and distinctive, providing a barricade to keep grass roots and weed seeds out of the flower bed, and keeping the mulch or gravel within the boundaries.

One thing that landscape edging is not intended to do is harm your lawn. But sometimes that could happen if you’re not cautious.

What do I mean? Well, if you’ve put some effort and work into your landscape’s appearance, it would be a shame to get this far and harm the appearance by adding a cheap looking edging, bringing the beauty of your landscape down.

Additionally, certain materials used for some landscape edging can also attract insects and other bugs to your garden bed. Ants and many other bugs prefer the protection provided by larger landscaping elements like rocks, bricks and timbers. These items have a larger "footprint" in your landscape and encourage subterranean insects more than edging that only makes a thin line or small footprint.

This destroys not only your landscape edging, but also your ornamental plants you’ve planted in your garden bed. Then, there is also the fact that if you choose the “wrong” landscape edging option for your type of grass root system (its depth), it could fail at its intended purpose. And finally, your selection could result in more work or maintenance than less—if you’re not careful.

The bottom line is you need to ensure the landscape edging option you choose for your lawn and beds is the best for your aesthetic desires, grass type, maintenance and upkeep preferences and budget.

What are you willing to sacrifice?

Some individuals may be willing to sacrifice a bit more money to ensure they are having to do the least amount of maintenance possible.  Others are willing to sacrifice a bit on appearance to ensure that the landscape edging is reaching its full potential in serving its many purposes.

Weigh some different options that the world of landscape edging has to offer you and determine what you are willing to sacrifice verses what you are not willing to sacrifice. You may even ask yourself, “What is a want and what is a need?”  Is the cheap edging route worth it? Will you need to replace that edging less than a year or two later? Will it even save you money in the long run?

Cheap Landscape Edging Options

Some cheap landscape edging options include plastic, wood, fencing, and recycled materials. Being on a small budget, it is very easy to become tempted to purchase the cheapest edging material you can find, but is it worth your while? Unfortunately, that’s always the case. You get what you pay for most of the time.

Plastic edging

Plastic edging is one of the simpler edgings to install.

Basic plastic edging - On the downside, cracking, breaking, fading, and becoming brittle are all common outcomes associated with basic plastic edging. Most plastics can endure the weed eater hitting it a time or two, but the basic ones will definitely not last a lifetime. Over time they will also become unappealing and will need to be replaced. The time frame can range anywhere from months to years, varying on the type of plastic along with the environmental conditions.

HDPE plastic edging – Alternately, there is the HDPE plastic edging like our Grass Barrier landscape edging product. This option is a high-quality, durable, recycled plastic selection that can actually last 100 years in the ground. Yet, it’s still flexible like other plastics.

Wood edging

Wood edging is inexpensive as well as natural. If you are aiming for a rustic look or looking for an edging option to compliment your rustic landscape, wood may be one of your considerations.   If being completely natural is of interest, you will need to check if the wood has been treated with harsh chemicals or not. Although, all natural wood is prone to rot in a short period of time, attracting termites. Termites will eat away at the wood and can even damage your plants, harming your landscape. On the other hand, chemically treated wood can be harmful to your plants if the chemicals are absorbed into the soil and can harm you if these plants are edible.


This fencing isn’t the fence that surrounds your backyard. This is a short, garden fencing that is used to create a decorative edge around your garden bed. In most cases, fencing comes in kits for easy purchase and installation. Fencing isn’t typically a solid barrier, it is more commonly a wire or metal fencing that has gaps left open, exposing the garden bed to small debris from the lawn.  Thus, it is more decorative than protective and will still mean frequent weeding of your gardens.

Recycled Materials

Those with creative minds may be drawn to this idea of using household objects and materials to create an edging border for your garden bed. Check around your house and yard, you may just find a diamond in the dirt. Some materials that could be recycled as landscape edging consist of terracotta pots, glass bottles, pallets, or even ceramic dishes. Since these aren’t very formal edging options, they can be displayed as creative as you can imagine. You could place them at an angle, stack them on top of one another, use a mortar to make them more permanent, maybe even combine a few different objects to create a pattern. The sky is the limit with recycled materials.

Ultimately, the key is remembering that whatever landscape edging material you choose has to suit your purposes, style, maintenance preference and budget.

We’d love for you to check out two of our favorite landscape edging options—Edge Right and Grass Barrier.

Edge Right is a COR-TEN steel landscape edging sheet product with teeth that can be installed without digging. The teeth slice into the ground and can be further secured with a rubber mallet or hammer. Edge Right ages nicely – to a rustic patina finish – and looks better and better as time goes by, as opposed to other metal products that just rust. Edge Right is also malleable and can be curved as desired around your bed.

Grass Barrier is a HDPE high-density recycled plastic landscape edging that is extremely durable. While it’s economical, it’s nothing like other plastic edging products. Aside from its durability, it also goes two times deeper into the ground than most other products too. Further, even though it is a beefy plastic, it’s still flexible and can also create the curves you desire.

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