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Edging Landscape | Edging Lawn | Edging

Edging Landscape | Edging Lawn | Edging

You will need some essential tools for grooming your lawn and making trimming easier. There are hand operated grass shears that work like scissors for trimming. These will also even edge smaller lawns. There are two types, short and long handled. The long handled grass shears are probably a better choice because they will allow you to stand while you trim your grass.

Probably the more popular trimmer is the string trimmer. These are available in both gas and electric forms. The electric form is fine if you have a smaller lawn, but your cord will not reach all areas in a larger lawn unless you extend the extension cord beyond recommended lengths. Also, electric trimmers tend to sometimes be a little more cumbersome because you must make sure you do not accidentally cut the cord. It must drag along behind like a vacuum cleaner cord. Both have nylon string that whirls rapidly and trims or edges the lawn as you squeeze the trigger.

Also available, and probably a little safer than string trimmers, are gas powered trimmers with reciprocating blades. They tend to eject less debris, are easy to handle and are fairly lightweight.

The string and blade trimmers may be used as edgers also, but if you’ll be doing a lot of edging along sidewalks, flowerbeds, and driveways, a device designed specifically for edging will probably be your best choice. There are several different types of edgers, but the two most popular are probably the turf edger and rotary edger. Both are manual and designed specifically to cut vertically, giving you that crisp look when edging a lawn.

Once you have your equipment, you’re ready to go. Edge and trim your lawn first instead of mowing first. This allows the lawn clipping generated by the edging and trimming to be picked up by the mower and collected as the lawn is mowed.

When trimming around trees and other plants, take extra care. If you accidentally use a trimmer and damage the cambium layer just under the bark of the tree, the tree may die. You should always wrap the base of the trunk with a protector before using a trimmer around the tree. These are available at many nurseries for a minimum price. Most are rectangles of heavy-duty perforated plastic that have been pre-rolled to stay in place around the trunk of the tree and will expand for larger trees. If you do not wish to protect your tree, every time you trim, you may want to install a mulch ring around the base of the tree. This will allow you to only edge and trim up to the mulch ring, saving the tree from accidental cutting.

Be careful when using any type of edger or trimmer around landscaping. These tools can, easily damage decks, concrete and stone patios. Take extra precaution when using around such construction.

Another form of edging is permanent edging. This type of edging can help maintain the shape of a lawn and reduce maintenance by keeping mulch, bedding plants, and groundcovers from infiltrating the lawn. Preformed edging also reduces damage from foot traffic, automobile tires and other sources.

There are a wide range of edging options available through nurseries, garden centers and home improvement stores. These include plastic, wood, masonry, decorative concrete sections, and even metal. Edging can be either flush or aboveground.

Above ground edgings are usually decorative and are anchored in the ground. In addition to the decorative look it provides, it also provides a physical barrier to keep materials such as mulch and stones from scattering onto the lawn.

Above ground edging styles all have benefits and drawbacks. For example, the wood edging is inexpensive and available in many styles, but in time, the wood may rot, even if it’s treated. Masonry, (bricks) are durable and widely available, but they’re very expensive and can be difficult to work with and install.

Some relatively inexpensive above ground styles would be timbers, ties, and stone. All are relatively inexpensive and durable and will not break down with the elements. However, all are hard to use on curved edges or slopes and they can leave an unbalanced look if you’re looking for a uniform presentation.

Another option is flush edging. This edging is sunk into the ground with only the lip of the edging present above the surface. This type of edging makes clear divisions in borders, but will not draw attention away form the border like some above ground edgings will.

Tip

Do not install edging after excessive rain. The ground may be swollen with moisture and the edging you install may move once the ground dries, creating an uneven look in your lawn.

The plastic rolls of flush edging also have benefits and drawbacks. A benefit would be that they are inexpensive and easy to install. However, they may need to be reinforced on a regular basis as the ground moves.

Another type of flush edging is metal. Although the metal is more durable than the plastic type, you need to make sure your edging is rust resistant. Many metal edgings will rust after being in the ground for a while, requiring replacement every so often.

Regardless of what type of edging you choose, you should use it where you need a clear separation in the landscape. For example, a flowerbed or sidewalk needs to be set apart from the rest of the lawn.

Project

Installing Preformed Edging

YOU WILL NEED: Preformed Edging; Stakes and string; Half-moon edger; Shovel; Sand; Hoe; Mallet.
Step One: Lay out the Line. If you’re lining a straight section, use stakes and string. If you are lining a curved section, use a regular garden hose to line the area you will be edging.

Step Two: Cut the Turf. Using an edger, slice the edge of the border and remove the sod. The edged section should be two inches wide and four to six inches deep depending on the type of preformed edging you’ve chosen.

Step Three: Add one to two inches of sand to the bottom of the trench for a stable base for the edging. Set the edging into the hole and use a level to keep it even.

Step Four: Use more sand in the trench to raise or less sand to lower the edging as desired. Once you have the preformed edging at the desired height, fill in the trench with soil on both sides of the edging.

Step Five: Continue laying the edging until the project is complete. Once all edging is in place and the soil is added to the sides, walk the line firming down the soil along the edging. Use the rubber mallet to pound in stakes that may be loose.

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