How to install lawn edging

What you’ll need

  • edger
  • edging
  • garden hose
  • lime or landscape paint
  • shovel
  • string

Lawn edgings will give your lawn a neat, finished look. They will keep flowers and shrubs from invading the lawn, and keep the grass out of the flower beds. This is particularly true with southern grasses, which have a tendency to “creep” into nearby areas.

Choose your edging

Decide what type of edging you would like to install. There are various styles of edging on the market such as wood, concrete, brick, rock, metal and heavy grade plastic. You can buy above ground or sunken edging. See some styles at

Define the area

Mark the area where you will install the edging. You can use lime, landscape paint, string or a garden hose. If the edging is being installed around an existing garden bed, then you can skip this step. Dig out the grass on the non-lawn side of your marked area to define the area of the garden bed.

Dig a trench

Now that you know where your edging will be installed (along the edge of your garden bed and lawn), it is time to start digging again. Dig a trench along the landscaped edge about four to six inches deep and as wide as it needs to be for the edging. For example, if you are installing brick edging, and the brick is four inches wide, then dig a trench that is four inches deep and four inches wide.

Why four to six inches deep? In order to keep the roots of the grass from invading your garden beds. Obviously, your first layer of brick (or other material) may be below the ground, but that is OK.

Install the edging

For thick edging, like brick: Fill the trench with a thin layer of sand (about one inch), and lay the edging on top. Make sure the edging is level and lined up properly. If you are installing wood edging, secure the pieces together with metal spikes.

For thin metal or plastic edging: Push the edging into the trench, or cut line, so that it sits about 1/2 inch above the finished grade of the lawn. Secure with stakes if necessary.

Back fill the gaps

Once the edging is in place, fill in the gaps on the non-lawn side with back fill, topsoil or garden soil and tamp it down so it is even. TIP: if you are installing brick, rock or similar material, place a layer of plastic between the edging (or retainer wall) and the garden bed to prevent dirt from flowing through the cracks.

Finishing touch

Cover the area on the non-lawn side with mulch to prevent weeds from germinating. Use a string trimmer and edger each time you mow to maintain a neat appearance around your newly edged landscape.