How to Use Landscape Timbers to Build a Border

Written by mason howard
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Give your lawn and garden a naturally manicured look by creating borders with pressure treated timber planks. Timber borders can be used around gardens and flowerbeds to help contain soil, or they can be used to outline pathways or trails. Plan your project out to determine how many planks are needed, and make sure the ground is not too rock laden for digging.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Rake
  • Shovel
  • 1-inch by 12-inch pressure treated stakes (can be cut from planks)
  • Saw
  • Hammer or mallet
  • String
  • Crushed rock or sand
  • Level
  • 1-inch by 6-inch pressure treated timber planks
  • 1 3/4-inch galvanised nails

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  1. 1

    Hammer wooden pegs into the ground at all corner points. Tie a line of string along the pegs to outline the path of the border.

  2. 2

    Rake the area to loosen the soil. Remove all rocks. Dig a trench along the outer perimeter of the stakes for inserting the boards. Dig as deep as you want the boards to be protruding from the ground. Higher planks can be used to create raised flowerbeds, or planks buried deeper can be used to create edging that is subtler. Trail the shovel along the bottom of the trench until you create a level bed for placing the planks.

  3. 3

    Add a thin layer of crushed rock to the bottom of the trench (sand can also be used). Tamp the rock down. Sprinkle the trench with the garden hose to ensure that the soil and rock are settled.

  4. 4

    Put the planks in place. Place a level on top of the planks to ensure that they are even. Add or remove gravel as needed to level out the board.

  5. 5

    Hammer in the corner stakes until they are flush with the top of the wood. Also hammer in stakes along the seams where two non-corner boards meet. Insert additional stakes every 3 feet. Nail all stakes to the planks. Nail the corner planks to each other.

  6. 6

    Back fill the remaining gaps around the planks with the previously excavated soil and tamp down.

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