How to install plastic lawn and garden edging

Flexible, plastic landscape edging can provide delineation between a garden and the lawn. The edging helps to retain the soil and mulch in the garden bed while blocking grass roots from entering the bed. Plastic lawn edging is designed with a rounded top for safety of bare foot traffic and a hook-like bottom edge to help keep the edging in the ground. Plastic lawn and garden edging can easily be bent to accommodate curves in the landscape.

Tools

You will need a measuring tape, flat tip spade, pruners and utility knife.

Buying Lawn and Garden Edging

Measure the lawn where the edging will be installed. Purchase enough plastic lawn and garden edging to meet or exceed the measurement. Plastic edging is about 5 1/2 inches tall and comes in rolls or in sturdy strips that are available at your local garden center or home improvement store. Rolls are connected together with C-shaped clips. The C-clips are usually sold separately along with stakes to hold the plastic edging in place. Strips, which are more expensive than rolls and considered commercial grade (more expensive), may have interlocking ends for connecting to another strip. Strip landscape edging kits may come with stakes to secure the strips into the ground.

Dig a Trench

Dig a trench whose depth equal to at least the height of the edging; the depth can be deeper. While standing on the grass and with the back of the spade toward you, force the spade straight down into the soil and push the handle away from you into the bedding area. The trench should be a V-shape, with one side cut straight down and the other side at least at a 45-degree angle. Pruners can be used to cut any roots not severed by the shovel.

A lawn edger can be used to dig the trench.

Place the Edging in the Trench

Place the first strip of edging into the trench. The hooked edge at the bottom should face the bed. Use the utility knife to cut the strip if it is too long.

Connect pieces using a C-clip. Push half of the C-clip onto the top of one end of the edging and then push the other half of the clip onto the next piece of edging so the clip is evenly distributed over the two, butted-together strips.

Stakes

To install the stakes, dig out four areas along the trench and into the bed for each 20-foot strip of edging. Two of the areas should be 2 to 3 inches from the ends of each strip; the other two areas should be equally spaced between the ends. The area to dig out should be about 6 inches wide and 12 inches long, into the bed. This area will be used to hammer the stake through the edging and into the soil beneath the grass.

Pound the stake all the way into the edging, keeping the stake parallel to the lawn surface. The stake should start at the base of the edging, above the hooked bottom. No more than half of the curved top of the edging should be above the grass level. Finish by pushing dirt from the bed against the edging and then stomp the dirt to force out air pockets.