| May 14, 2009

Back to HomeMaster Gardeners - May 14, 2009 Good edgers

by Margaret Inwood, Lanark County Master Gardeners

To keep a flowerbed looking neat, tidy and weed free, it is important to install some type of edger. There are different edging materials to choose from such as brick, stone, wood, plastic, metal strips and spade-cut.

First one must determine the outline of the bed at ground level. To make the outline for the bed you can use string and stakes for a straight edge, and for curved lines use rope or garden hose. For spade-cut edging, dig a shallow trench 10cm deep using a sharp, flat-bladed garden spade with a straight edge. Remove all the weeds and grass from the earth. To keep the edges really sharp and straight, you may need to re-cut them twice a year, removing any weeds and grass.

A permanent edge of brick or stone with its surface sitting at soil level allows the lawn to be mowed without requiring a return trip to cut the edges. This would give the finished appearance that keeps plants, lawn and soil in their own places. To do this, select a material that co-ordinates with the other hardscaping in the garden and also in a width that is in scale with the size of the edge. If the strip you use is too wide for the size of the bed, it may look like a path. If the strip is too narrow, the mower's wheels may not stay on it, Concrete paving stones are a good choice as they come in many colours, styles and sizes. Choose ones with smooth sides to fit tightly against one another. After the trench is dug, trowel in 2-1/2cm of an aggregate base, such as fine limestone screenings for the concrete stones to sit on. Smooth the screenings with a board and tamp it down thoroughly, making a firm foundation. Make sure the tops of stones are level. Use topsoil to fill in the gaps between the front edge of the mowing strip and the turf. Edging means less work and adds to the overall beauty of your garden.

For gardening information, phone Ankaret Dean 613-278-1203.

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