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How to lay edging stone

Updated February 21, 2017

Installing edging around a garden or flowerbed can serve several purposes. It provides a visual line between the lawn and the soil in the garden or bed, it can help prevent soil or mulch in the bed from spilling onto the lawn and it can provide a physical barrier that blocks you from accidentally going into the bed when you're cutting the lawn. While you can use plastic or metal for the edging, another option is stone.

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  1. Calculate the number of stones you'll need for the edging by measuring the perimeter of the bed (in inches) and dividing it by the width of the stones.

  2. Lay the stones on the ground with the back edge of the stones where the lawn and bed meet. Make a score line in the ground with an edging shovel an inch away from the stones along both the front and back edges. Do this around the entire bed and remove the stones.

  3. Dig a trench between the two score lines, digging deep enough to contain half the stone. Flatten the bottom and sides of the trench and tamp down the soil on the bottom to compact it.

  4. Place a stone in the trench on the end. Check the stone for level and tap it down with a rubber mallet if needed.

  5. Lay the second stone in the trench next to the first one. Lay a level across both stones to make sure they're even. If necessary, tap on the second stone with the rubber mallet.

  6. Continue laying stones in the straight portions of the trench using this technique.

  7. Place stones into the curved areas of the trench. You can either purchase curved stones or cut standard stones to fit.

  8. Back-fill the gaps around the stones with dirt.

  9. Water the soil around the stones to get it damp and gently tamp the soil until it is flat and compacted. This will help keep the stones aligned.

  10. Tip

    When ordering the stones, add 10 per cent to the total to provide extra stones you can use in case they are damaged in transit or you miscalculated. You will also have replacements available if any get damaged in the future. Cut standard stones to fit curved areas by placing the stones over the trench where they will be installed and marking the outline of the trench onto the stones. Cut them with a wet saw. Keep track of the order curved stones are being installed by placing masking tape on them and numbering them.

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Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Edging shovel
  • Tamp
  • Level
  • Rubber mallet

About the Author

Carson Barrett began writing professionally in 2009. He has been published on various websites. Barrett is currently attending Bucks County Community College, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in sports management.

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