You have worked hard, and your home landscaping looks amazing, but how can you keep grass from invading? Grass and weeds are fierce and aggressive. They love to be in places they don’t belong. Nothing will completely contain these garden nuisances, but it doesn’t take an army to combat the invasion. You can have a beautifully manicured landscape that will make the neighborhood take notice with just a little maintenance.
English-Style landscape edging establishes an elegantly divided lawn and landscape. Defining the spaces with a shallow ditch or trench, the English border is simple to create using tools that you probably have in your garage. This ditch makes it difficult for grass to cross over and taint your beautiful landscape. If you choose to use a hard material to divide the spaces like metal edging, bricks, or pavers, you can apply the same principles to help keep the weeds and grass out.
First, lay out a rope or hose to locate the line of your landscape. A curved line with rounded corners offers more interest than straight lines and sharp corners. When you have decided on the path, use marking paint to clearly define the edge and remove the rope.
Next, use a half-moon edger or straight blade spade to make a vertical cut approximately 6 inches deep along the paint line and remove the sod from the landscape side of the line. Keep this cut as vertical as possible on the lawn side of the trench. The desired result is a 90-degree angle as you move along the paint line in small sections to create smooth curves. It’s a good idea to do this when the soil is moist, but not wet.
The landscape side of the trench should have a nice slope from the plants down to the newly created trench. You will need to remove some soil from the landscape side to achieve this gradual slope. (A thick kneeling pad is a relief to weary knees for this step.) Use a hand shovel to clear out the soil at the bottom of the trench, mounding the soil up and away from it as you move along the ditch. You can now see the defined edge clearly and should use hand shears to cut any remaining grass blades from the vertical edge.
At this point, you can add a weed barrier fabric to the landscape side of the trench. However, if you use 2-3 inches of a quality mulch the weeds will be naturally suppressed. The new mulch adds a rich contrast that highlights the newly created edge.
You will need to trim the edge line a few times during the growing season. A powered lawn edger is handy for this job and will run along the curved edges with ease. You can also use a string trimmer turned on its side. Otherwise, a pair of hand shears or your trusty half-moon edger will do the trick.
That’s it! Now it’s time to stand back and take in the awesomeness that is your landscaping. This simple process will make a remarkable improvement to the curb appeal of your home and your neighbors will think you hired a professional.