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How to dig a border in the lawn

Updated November 21, 2016

Creating a border in your garden defines where the lawn ends and the drive, flower bed or path begins. It is an effective way to promote a clean look that separates your lawn space. Choose what type of border or edging you want to use. Stone, wood, cement or metal edging are popular among gardeners. You can enhance your border for a natural look by planting ornamental flowers or shrubs along the edging. Be creative when designing your border to achieve a visually impressive landscape.

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Use a piece of string and stake it into where you want your border to begin. Stake the string all the way to the end of the border, so you can play around with how you want your border to look. Not all borders have to be straight; you can create a border that naturally flows and bends with the rest of the garden.

Determine what type of material you want to use as a border.Take a measurement of the material, because it will dictate the depth of the trench you'll dig. You'll want the trench to be deep enough to stabilise the edging yet allow for however much of the edging you want to appear above ground. For example, if you plan to use bricks standing tall-side up, side by side, you may want to dig a trench that is half as tall as the bricks. Generally, you want your border to remain at one height but if you are going for a natural approach you may want varying heights of stone.

Take a sharp shovel blade and dig into the soil at a 45-degree angle. You can place the dirt in a wheelbarrow to use in other parts of the garden. If you are digging up grass or have hard, compact clay soil, you may want to water the area to soften the soil before digging. Follow the string along the perimeter of the lawn.

Place a spirit level at the bottom of the trench to make sure that it is level. Take measurements of the depth of the trench every metre. Remove or add dirt as needed.

Tip

Use a spade to flatten the sides of the trench to the shape of your bordering material.

Warning

Reduce the amount of weeds growing in between your bordering material's cracks by spraying the trench with herbicide.

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Things You'll Need

  • String
  • Stakes
  • Tape measure
  • Shovel
  • Spirit level
  • Wheelbarrow

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