Lawn edging is easy to install and prevents lawn grasses from spreading to flower or vegetable beds via stolons, which are the long, bladed stems that bend or run along the ground surface and produce roots and drop seeds along the way. The hardest task when installing your lawn edging is deciding which type of paver or edging to use.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Tape measure
- Long spirit level
- Hand shovel
- Garden hose
- Hand trowel
Pick the paver style you wish to use. Often, two or more different styles may be combined to give a custom, professional appearance. Buy enough to finish the job; extra pavers may be saved for repairs later or returned to the shop.
Define the borders (layout) of your edging project by placing a garden hose along the proposed path of the pavers. Vary the angles and twists until you get the look you wish to use. Rope or an extension cord may be used to plan short sections of edging. Be sure to keep the proposed edging far enough away from plants to avoid interfering with their root growth.
Measure a paver that will be used in the edging. Decide how much of the paver you wish to see above the surface (or grass). Depending on the size of paver chosen and where it will be located, the pavers are generally buried in a trench to a depth of 7.5 cm (3 inches). This provides enough support so they don't move, yet allows them to still be seen above the lawn or other surface.
Dig a 10 cm (4 inch) deep trench along the entire path of the proposed paver route. Use a hand trowel for soft dirt and mulch removal or a small shovel for any hard areas (compacted dirt). A hand trowel and mallet can be used for really stubborn areas. The trench should be approximately as wide as the pavers are. Try to maintain any graceful arcs needed in the trench by following the garden hose path accurately. The trench should be the same uniform depth throughout.
Lay landscaping fabric into the trench to keep weeds or grass from sprouting up between the paver joints. The fabric may be extended into any mulch areas if you plan on adding additional mulch there that will cover the fabric.
Backfill the trench with about 3.75 cm (1 1/2 inches) of sand. The sand will be used to elevate all pavers to a uniform level and hold them securely. Begin to lay the pavers into the sand-lined trench. After laying several metres of pavers, use a level to align them evenly and make sure they are all at a uniform height. Add sand beneath any low pavers and gently tap any high pavers to get them aligned properly.
Inspect the finished edging. Any holes or spots of trenching that are still visible on the lawn side of the pavers can be filled in with extra sand. The sand will dissipate over time, and these areas will become filled with soil. On the garden (mulched) side of the pavers, add additional sand where necessary or simply add extra mulch.
Lightly water the pavers so that the sand beneath them will become tamped down. After a day or so of natural settling, it may be necessary to add a little sand to certain pavers to keep them elevated to the proper level. Periodically, add sand if you see pavers that are losing their alignment or are not sitting properly.
Tips and warnings
- Spend additional time planning your project, using the best paver/layout combination possible. Changes can always be made to an existing layout or pattern, but it is far easier to do it right the first time.
- Never dig deeper than 30 cm (1 foot) without first checking that there are no utility lines or other buried wires or pipes.