Is there a more beautiful part of your garden than the flowers? Probably not.
But keeping that section trouble-free requires a bit of work.
Like constantly mulching to keep weeds out, removing pests by hand, and more importantly, installing an edge to secure against critters and people.
Now, how to install flower bed edging when you don’t have the SLIGHTEST IDEA?
Well, that’s what we’re here for.
YOU DON’T NEED TO WORRY…
The opposite, actually. Well-made garden bed edging will keep your flowers safer, improve drainage, and even ensure longer-lasting flower plants.
Here, we teach you how to make that possible – so keep reading!
What Type of Flower Bed Edging Are You Installing?
Before you start, consider whether you’re going for wood, plastic, stone, brick, concrete, or metal.
What difference does this make?
Let’s show you…
A flower bed edging stone makes the place look cleaner and much more attractive. If you want to add a natural yet long-lasting look, this one has no match.
Even better, stone tends to add excellent protection against outside factors and tends to last A LIFETIME.
As a negative, stones are either too expensive or difficult to install (or both).
BE AWARE: Stone works better for small flower beds than large ones (you will need to put in a lot of work).
It looks GREAT. Timber is probably the cutest type of edging you can install. Not only because wood matches with the landscape better than other materials but because it may also come in different shapes and sizes.
However, there’s a downside. A flower bed edging wood will need to be more exposed. Wood doesn’t withstand being underground like other materials, as it will likely rot and break down over time.
TIP: If you’re going for timber edging, make sure the wood is pressure-treated (it is less likely to rot).
Using flower bed edging concrete means you’ll have maximum customization and the ability to make it as protective as you want. There’s almost no limit to what you can do with poured concrete.
However, you get the downside of expensiveness and an IMMENSE AMOUNT OF WORK. Pouring concrete in your backyard is not easy in the slightest, not to say slightly dangerous to your plants.
PLUS: Concrete LASTS A LIFETIME. Despite its price and effort required, concrete is super long-lasting
You won’t find it as beautiful as other materials, but it gets the job done. Also, plastic tends to be decently long-lasting (at least 5 years) and requires little to no effort to install.
And what’s even better, plastic is SUPER-CHEAP.
But like everything, it has a few disadvantages. For example, plastic tends to break down over time which could cause trouble with your plants. Some eco-friendly plastics may not cause any damage, though.
CONSIDER THIS: Plastic can’t be painted or customized, so buying the PERFECT plastic edges beforehand is essential.
Few man-made materials will give your landscape edge a natural look like bricks. Using flower bed edging bricks gives your garden a neutral look while giving you the chance to come up with a wide array of shapes and customizations.
Like everything, bricks have their disadvantages. This time, it’s the price. Bricks are not necessarily expensive but can cost you a lot more than other options. Plus, they take a bit of extra time and effort to install.
WHAT TO KNOW: You can’t paint or modify bricks, so be careful when buying them in the first place.
Few materials will withstand the weight of time as metal does. Aluminum or steel makes for excellent flower bed edging metal.
Just be aware of how hard metal can be to install. And that’s without saying metal looks weird (not always).
WORTH KNOWING: Given you pick laminated metal, you may be able to give it any shape. This could make it an even more attractive edge.
Install Flower Bed Edging in 11 Steps
Let’s get into the real work…
You want to build the BEST FLOWER BED EDGING, regardless of the material you chose.
For that, follow these steps:
1. Get the Materials
If you haven’t bought anything yet (or don’t know what you’ll need), here’s a brief list of garden tools to consider:
- A mason’s string for marking
- Tape measure
- A hammer
- A shovel
- A spade
- A steel rake
- A level
- The material you’re using for the edge…
For those working with wood or plastic, a saw for cutting may also help.
2. Ready Yourself Up
Now, it’s crucial to get into the right mindset. Plus, you need to make sure your body can handle the job – it won’t be a straight-up easy process.
That’s why we recommend doing the following:
- Stretch your arms, legs, and back (you’ll use them A LOT)
- Put on your dirt boots, gardening gloves, and your best garden hat.
- Check the area before starting, so you know what you’re doing
Preparing yourself will save you unnecessary pain later on. Now you can proceed with the nitty-gritty.
3. Measure and Mark the Edge
So, do you know EXACTLY where the border is going? Chances are you don’t.
That’s why measuring the edging as you would like it to be PLUS marking will give you a draft to work with.
Remember to shape the edge in any way you prefer as long as the materials you’re using can follow that shape.
For the markings, use the stakes and the hammer to set angles/points. Then tie up the mason’s string from stake to stake as needed.
This line will tell you where the edging is going, so be sure it follows PRECISELY the path you’ll want for the edge. That will give you a better visualization of the job at hand.
4. Reduce the Turf
Before you do anything (and without getting the measurements/markings off), you need to reduce the turf. This includes grass and weeds (plus any other plant in the path).
You may need a spade or edger to remove the excess vegetation. A great solution is to remove every inch in the edge path right off. Don’t hesitate to remove roots and cuttings as well.
The reason is that vegetation tends to be problematic. It causes the soil to feel a lot looser while damaging how the edge looks eventually.
Plus, removing the soil gives you a cleaner path to work with – so you’ll have ONLY SOIL to handle.
5. Dig the Base
With the path vegetation-free (marked), you can now start digging.
Remember to get the stakes and line out of the way first…
The depth of the trench you’re digging will depend on what material you’re using.
For wood, you shouldn’t dig more than 4 inches. But if you’re using metal laminate or plastic, you can dig up to 6 inches.
The width should match the material as well. Laminates will require little to no width, but rocks and concrete will probably take at least 6 inches.
Dig accordingly, and you’ll have an easier time setting everything up.
6. Fill the Trench (For Bricks and Concrete)
Installing a concrete or brick border? Then fill that trench with gravel.
The focus is to leave the trench at the soil level while adding extra stability. Gravel tends to be perfect for this.
It’s important to set everything nicely so there’s no gap or overreaching gravel that may unbalance the bricks or concrete later on.
Use the level to flatten up everything correctly.
7. Set the First Edge
Now you can set the first edge, regardless of the material. But be careful. The first few pieces of the edge you install will arrange the rest in balance, shape, and precision.
For stones, wood, plastic, or metal, it’s all about laying the pieces in the trench. Bury it until the first portion is underground.
You can now have an idea of how the edge will look later on.
For concrete and bricks, you need to pour some of the concrete over the gravel. Then you can start giving it shape (or placing the bricks on top). Make sure there are no gaps.
8. Install the Rest
As you start to place the edge, you’ll see how everything starts to gain shape.
Here, you need to start to do everything carefully but making sure the edge has the shape you wanted.
Follow the path as necessary, placing the laminates, stones, bricks, or timber ideally in place.
For wood, you may need to overlap the pieces. In some cases, you will need to connect them using braces or mending plates. The same applies to metal and plastic.
As for stones, bricks, and concrete, you need to just pour and place. Make sure the piece you’re setting is stable and firm, so it doesn’t move over time.
Repeat until you finish placing all the materials and shaping the edge as you wanted.
9. Fill the Gaps
You’re almost done now. However, you will still see some gaps here and there.
Fill the gaps with the soil you dug up beforehand. You should cover everything that doesn’t look okay.
This includes gaps between stones and pieces of wood. At the same time, cover portions uncovered by the edge of metal.
You should also try to adjust the laminates, boards, stones in this step.
10. Secure, Pack and Settle
Here, it’s all about settling, packing, and leveling the soil before finishing.
Use the rake to remove unnecessary vegetation and soil from the place. Make sure everything looks nice and clean.
Then proceed to stomp over the soil. It should be well-compacted to make sure the edge pieces don’t eventually loosen up.
Use the level to make sure the soil is well-leveled and compacted. Keep raking and stomping if not.
Once you’ve made sure everything is perfectly settled, you can proceed to water down the area. Water will finish the settling.
TIP: Avoid watering if you’re using bricks or concrete. Wait for the material to dry up first.
11. Finish Up
To end the whole installation of the bed edging, you can now proceed to clean EVERYTHING. Get rid of unwanted debris, soil, and unwanted vegetation in the area.
Moreover, you should reseed the area if needed. This may include using grass seeds or other flower plants. For most flower beds, however, covering the bare soil with some mulch will suffice.
You’re probably done by now. You’ve successfully installed an edge on your flower bed. It’s time to do it yourself!
So, did you learned how to install flower bed edging? It’s a lot easier than you may think.
But you’ll have to try our steps above to find out!
As long as you follow our advice and steps to the letter, that flower bed edging will be as perfect as it can be.
Just remember to put your creativity to work and give that edge a personalized flair. Either way, you won’t regret building that edge by yourself!