Everything You Need to Know About Flower Bed Edging

Flower beds in a grassy lawn

Flower bed edging is a landscape detail that can really make a difference in the look and presentation of your garden. A distinct border around your flower beds makes your yard look pristine and well-groomed. Edging can also help keep rogue grass and lawn weeds from invading your carefully cultivated flowers.

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How to Edge a Flower Bed

Depending on the methods and materials you use, the finished product may look soft, relaxed, crisp, or formal. Here’s how to create an edge for a flower bed that looks great and reflects the effort you put into your garden.

Select Your Edging Tool

Half moon garden edging tool

Traditional low-cost options include a spade, half-moon edger, or manual rotary edger. However, a mechanized tool is the best way to edge a flower bed. The circular blade in the mechanical edging tool is the easiest and fastest way to cut a clean line at a consistent depth around the bed.

Mark and Cut the Edge

Plastic garden edging

To establish a boundary between your lawn and garden bed, lay out a string or mark the grass with spray paint. Then, cut around the flower bed with your edging tool. Remove the loosened soil and grass with a shovel to reveal a crisp edge.

Move and Dispose of Cut Sod

Soil in wheel barrow with garden tools

You’ll want to remove the broken-up earth and sod from the area and place it elsewhere on your property. Use a wheelbarrow or small tractor (if there’s a lot of sod that has been removed). The sod and dirt you take out around your flower bed can be reused in other areas of your yard or simply repurposed as compost.

Learn More About How to Arrange Flowers in a Flower Bed

Ideas for Flower Bed Edging Finishes

Now you must decide how you want the finished edge to look. Some of the most popular options for how to edge around a flower bed include the following:

Trench Edging

Trench flower bed edging

The simplest option is to create a natural edge with an unlined trench. After cutting the edge, top the garden bed with mulch. As you approach the grass line, slope the mulch downward to create a five to eight-centimetre trench. This results in a crisper edge as opposed to laying the mulch flush with the grass.

Metal or Plastic Edging

Flower bed with metal edging

Installing a long strip of edging material to create a physical separation between your lawn and the garden bed creates a nice, clean look. You can find several metal and plastic options at your local garden supply store. If you go with metal, just make sure it’s flexible enough and rust-resistant.

Bricks or Concrete Pavers

Flower bed with concrete edging

A thick, paved border could be an attractive option if you're concerned about grass creep from your lawn. After cutting the edge, dig a trench wide enough to insert bricks or concrete pavers. Line the bottom of the trench with a paver base followed by stone dust to create a solid foundation. Install the bricks and set them in place with a rubber mallet. Fill the joints with polymeric sand, sweep off the pavers, and hose them down with water to activate the sand and lock the bricks in place.

Raised Stone Border

Garden bed with raised stone border

A raised edge is the most impressive way to edge and define your garden. This option works best if you’re installing a new bed, as you will need to add soil to elevate it to the level of the short stone wall surrounding it. A raised border is also ideal for sloped landscapes because it creates flat terrain to plant your garden.

How to Maintain the Edge on a Flower Bed

Now that you know how to create a good edge around flower beds, the final step is to maintain it with edging and trimming throughout the growing season.

To keep your beds and landscaping looking their best make sure you continue to cut and trim the lawn where your mower can’t reach to maintain the vertical edges around your garden bed. You could hand cut the grass or use a string trimmer to cut the grass your mower can’t get to. To keep your flower bed looking pristine, trim your edges at least every other time you mow the lawn, otherwise the height of the grass will become noticeable and detract from the edge you have established.

Need Help Edging a Flower Bed in Your Yard?

Edging your flower beds really helps to accentuate the look of your landscaping, but maintaining them does require some time and effort. If you still have questions or need help setting up and maintaining your flower beds, The Grounds Guys® can help. Our team of local lawn care and landscape pros have the expertise and equipment to keep your property looking its absolute best. Contact us for all of your garden maintenance and flower bed edging needs. Contact The Grounds Guys or request an estimate online today!