A driveway provides a clear and level path for vehicle traffic between the street and your home or business, as well as providing a place to park. However, if you have a loose-fill driveway, the gravel can travel from the driveway to the far side of your lot. If you have a concrete or asphalt driveway, adjacent weeds or grass will begin travelling over the edges of the driveway, making it look overgrown. Driveway edging is the answer to both problems: it defines the driveway, contains the loose fill material and keeps the weeds and grass from spreading over the driveway.
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The function of a driveway is to provide a clear and level path or road large enough for vehicles to reach to park close to the entry of a home or building. Some driveways are made simply of gravel, loose rock, packed dirt, or other loose material. Whenever loose material is used in landscaping, some of it will travel. Driveway edging creates a barrier between the loose material of a driveway and the surrounding yard, pathways, and landscaped areas so that the driveway filler material stays in the driveway. Other driveways are created by pouring concrete or asphalt over a levelled area, or by laying brick. These driveways don't have any loose material that will disappear over time, but the edges will be encroached by grass and weeds, which creates an untidy appearance and can make it difficult for drivers to determine where the driveway ends and the yard begins. Driveway edging on hard-scaped driveways separates the driveway from the rest of the yard, discourages weed encroachment, and defines the driveway for drivers.
Different types of driveway edging include block edging, brick edging, concrete curbs and log/sleepers. Block edging is created by digging out a trench, the same width as the concrete blocks to be used, adjacent to both sides of the driveway, then levelling it and placing the concrete blocks end to end in the trench. Mortar can be used but in most cases is unnecessary and requires regular maintenance. Brick edging is created the same way as block edging, but makes use of landscaping bricks rather than concrete blocks. It is more decorate and looks especially nice in front of a brick house. Concrete curbs, unless you have the equipment and experience, generally require professional installation. They are just like the curbs on the street side; they blend in well and require little, if any, maintenance. Logs or sleepers are another type of driveway edging commonly use. They are installed in the same basic way as block or brick edging, but they create a softer, more natural appearance while still providing an effective barrier.
Installing edging can be a time-consuming project, depending both on the length of your driveway, the type of edging you want to install, and the shape of the driveway edges. The basic installation of block, brick, or log edging requires that you clear away any encroaching weeds or grass from the driveway area. Then you will need to create a trench that is the proper width for the edging material you will use; the trenching is best accomplished by renting and using a trencher. A trench of the proper width and length for driveway edging, when dug by hand (with shovel) will require much more time. Once you have dug the trench, you will need to level it out, first by tamping or rolling the dirt and then by spreading a layer of sand. The edging material goes directly on the sand. Plan for at least one full weekend for a driveway edging project. It's not complicated, but it is a good deal of labour. If you have a particularly long driveway or overgrown areas to deal with, you may need more than one weekend.
The effect of a driveway edging is just what its function suggests: it defines the driveway, separates it cleanly from the surrounding area, and keeps the grass, weeds, and loose material of the yard or garden out while keeping the loose material of the driveway in. Driveway edging also creates a nice, clean line for a flower border along the yard side of the edging.
When you do install driveway edging, keep in mind the type of yard maintenance you do and the kind of equipment you use. You don't want to make it impossible to mow or trim by putting the edging in too high. If you grow herbs or edible flowers in a bed right next to the driveway, you don't want to use chemically treated logs or sleepers. Also, keep in mind the aesthetics of the resulting driveway edging. If you have a log cabin style home and install industrial-looking concrete block edging, you will create a landscape incongruous with the style of your home. Or, if you use rough-hewn logs or sleepers in front of your modern, glass-front home, you will be reducing your curb appeal rather than enhancing it. Be sure the type of edging you choose complements the style and material of your home.