Installing grass edging is a great way to add definition and organization to the look of any landscape. Grass edging comes in many styles, but the most common and most affordable is the heavy plastic type that can be purchased in rolls of various lengths, some as long as 200 feet (61 meters). Grass edging may also be made from metal or molded from resin to resemble wood shakes or bricks. A little planning and a few simple techniques can make installing edging a simple matter.
The first step in installing the edging is to determine how much you need. When edging long, straight lines, use a long, flexible measuring tape to get an accurate measurement of the amount of edging required. You may need to take notes. Add up the totals of the separate sections. When edging curves, a cord or string is useful. Lay the cord along the outline of the area to be edged, and then use a measuring tape to measure the length of cord used.
When purchasing edging, it is worthwhile to spend a little more to get high-quality edging. Higher-quality edging will reach further into the ground, last longer, and provide a better barrier to the roots of trees and other plants. This will help keep the plants on each side of the edging from crossing the barrier, which is the main purpose of edging. Better brands will come with metal stakes to set the edging. Cheaper types will require the stakes be purchased separately. Staking will help keep the edging secure and protect against damage or displacement due to frost heaving in areas with cold winters.
Making a cut in the grass will help make installing the edging easier. Edging is designed to be pushed down into the ground, usually at least 4 inches (10 cm) and sometimes more. Dig a narrow trough on the bed side of the edging as deep as the height of the edging itself. Marking the path the edging will take with a cord while doing this will help to keep your cuts accurate and in line.
With the aid of a few basic tools installing the grass edging itself is relatively easy. A razor utility knife or heavy shears can cut the edging to the desired lengths. Gloves may be a good idea, as working with tools and wrangling the pieces of edging into the ground can sometimes cause blisters. A rubber mallet can be used to pound the edging into the ground without damaging it.
A connector is an accessory designed to fit over the ends of two pieces of edging where they come together, sealing the joint. It should be affixed so that it extends equally over both ends being joined, as an uneven installation can cause one of the pieces to come loose from the edging.
Set the edging so that it just shows above the ground. It is not meant to protrude upwards more than half the height of the rounded top portion. This will allow mowing around and over the edging without damaging it.