Create clean and simple landscape and garden edging inexpensively with a cement-edge garden center staple and this tutorial.
I have been wanting to share this cheap and easy garden edging idea with you for awhile now, since it’s a question I’ve gotten many times. Whenever I’ve shared our garden in a tour or a garden video on our You Tube channel (like this one for killing weeds with newspaper and mulch), it’s likely that someone will ask, “what did you use for your edging?”
I basically stumbled on it because
I’m a cheapskate I like to reuse things. When we moved into our 80’s ranch-tured cottage we inherited a number of things, as you might imagine. One was a super common garden edger that I really didn’t like – and there was a LOT of it.
While there’s nothing wrong with these scalloped garden edgers (and if you like them as they are – great! We’re all different and it’s all good…), they just are a bit frou-frou for me. I prefer a clean, straight edge in my landscape.
Since we had so many, though, I had to think of some way to use them. So I simply…turned them upside down!
We had plenty of straight edgers for our beds and pathways as we redid the front garden and entry.
When it came time to makeover our backyard with a gravel patio we discovered that there were curved pieces you could buy, too.
But the main thing we discovered when we had to finally purchase some to match our other landscaping was that this edging was one of the cheapest options out there for a long-lasting cement edge. They are between $1.69-2.00, depending on where you live for a 2-foot section, and $1 or less per foot is a good price for landscape edging that’s not plastic.
I did have to coax the edgers into making gentle curves like in the bed shown above by using broken edgers. There’s always some broken pieces, though – I don’t think I had to break any on purpose, but it’s not a big deal if you do.
Brian and I thought we’d make a quick tutorial for you to show how easy it is to install these upside down, so we took both still shots and made a video. First up is the video and after that you’ll find the written steps we took, plus how well they held up.
How to Install Cement Garden Edging – Upside Down
The Supplies (affiliate links included):
- 2 ft. scalloped cement garden edging in gray – the amount needed for your area.
- a heavy duty pick mattock (depending on when you do this, your ground may be softer and you can use a pointed shovel or hoe)
- garden trowel
- heavy duty leather work/garden gloves
- a small level (not shown, but really helpful)
- 5-gallon bucket or other container to hold dirt
- Plan your garden border, laying out the edgers to make sure you have enough
- Use the pick or shovel to dig a trench 3-4 inches deep (this will leave 2-3 inches above ground), scooping the dirt into a bucket or wheelbarrow.
- Lay your edge piece in trench, adjusting for level as needed by scooping out more dirt or adding it in places it’s too low.
These edgers have triangle male and female ends that make it easy to connect them together without them moving around too much. As you’re creating your full edge, make sure to firmly connect the pieces together as you go.
- After making sure your edge is level and connects into the previous edge, fill in both sides of the piece with the dirt you removed. Tamp it in as firmly as you can with both your hand and by stepping gently along the sides (being careful not to rock it out of place).
Continue on until you’ve completed your landscaping project. Time and rain will work to fully set your edging in place over the next few months.
Most of the edging you see in these photos was in place for the 12+ years we lived in our cottage. It held up well, was easy to mow and use a weed-eater around the lawn areas and worked great to keep the gravel paths and patio from seeping into the lawn.
This was one of those happy things that can come from the limitations of a tight budget – I’m not sure I would’ve thought of this otherwise, and it turned out to be a great garden edging solution.
What kind of garden edging do you use?
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