A lovely landscape always consists of defined gardens and orderly blooms. Boundaries and maintaining a freshly groomed look can be easily created through the use of decorative edging.  You will be able to create a clean appearance, prevent mulch from overflowing onto your lawn, keep gravel out of your flower beds and eliminate grass from growing into garden areas if you install your new edging properly.

So today, improve how your yard looks and reduce your garden maintenance with our tips on decorative edging.

Edging can add both definition and design to your yard through a variety of materials, styles and colors. When you’re planning your design consider the following questions:

  • How important is it that the edging be easy to install?
  • What are the temperature extremes in your area?
  • When it comes to design, are you trying to create a straight or curved border?
  • What is the estimated budget for your edging project?

Types of Edging

When it comes to edging there are four main types available: spade-cut, strip edging, masonry and wood edging. It’s important to choose a look and materials that are aesthetically pleasing to the design and style of your space.

Spade-Cut Edging

041097052-01_xlgIf you’re looking for more of a simple type of border, choose spade-cut edging. This type of edging involves digging a narrow trench around the outside of the bed being set apart. Spade-cut edging works in most yards, regardless of the slope or size of the yard. You may have the occasional maintenance such as weed removal and keeping soil out of trenches. Some things to keep in mind for spade-cut edging:

  • This type of edging does not require the purchase of extra materials.
  • The leftover soil can be used in your compost pile or the bed you are edging
  • To keep your edging fresh, recut once or twice per season.
  • We recommend using a flat spade with a straight cutting edge for easy installation.

Strip Edging

psmainThis consists of a shallow barrier anchored beneath the ground and slightly visible to set the garden and yard apart. Strip edging creates curves, comes in plastic and metal varieties and is the least expensive option.  Here are key differences between both plastic and metal edging:

  • In extreme climates, plastic edging is more pliable and not prone to crack.
  • Metal edging is less resistant to ground heaves than plastic.
  • Professionals often use metal edging for projects since it may be painted to match the style of the outdoor space.
  • Aluminum is lighter than steel edging and does not rust.
  • If you’re looking for edging that lasts, invest in metal rather than plastic. This is the more expensive option.

                                                                                         Masonry Edging

shutterstock_123529732The most expensive type of edging, masonry edging, is composed of stone, brick or concrete. This type of edging is attractive because of its ability to match borders to pre-existing stonework in the landscaping or exterior of your home. If you choose to use bricks, you can either stand them on end, lay the bricks flat (making it easier to mow over) or you can mortar them for a more traditional look.

Pros and cons of masonry edging are the following:

  • Brick or cement pavers are less expensive options that typically come in pre-made sections, allowing for an easy installation.
  • Weeds generally grow quickly between this type of edging so general yard maintenance will be required.
  • Brick, stone or concrete edging is extremely durable.
  • Brick edging offers a wide range of texture and colors in comparison to the other types.
  • Patterns and curves can easily be created with concrete edgers.

Wood-Landscape-Edging-IdeasWood Edging

For those that prefer a rustic, natural look consider wood edging. Either as round logs or flat boards, wood edging comes in precut sections of various heights and conveniently pre-stained or pressure treated. The types of wood normally used include cypress, cedar and redwood.  Some other factors to consider for wood edging are:

  • Wood that is pressure-treated will not harm soil or plants.
  • Perfect for creating straight beds or stacks to create raised beds.
  • Sold as 1×4 inch or 1×6 inch boards.
  • Wood edging is the most durable and affordable.


Now that you’ve decided which type of edging is right for you, read our installation tips to build your dream garden.

Masonry: Brick

  1. Dig a trench low enough to show the amount of brick you want visible.
  2. For vertical edging, set the brick edge-to-edge in the trench. For horizontal edging, you’ll want to lay a sand base and then place the bricks on top to cushion them and protect from extreme climates.
  3. Keep the top faces flush with the soil surface. Be sure to add or take away sand to allow for variations in thickness.
  4. Bricks then need to be pushed up against the soil.
  5. To finalize the project, sweep sand in gaps to add stability.

Masonry: Stone

  1. Dig a trench low enough to show the amount of stone you want visible.
  2. To define the area you are filling, drive two stakes and run a mason’s line of string between them.
  3. Once concrete is mixed, shovel into a 3-foot stretch and smooth the concrete out.
  4. Place your stones into the concrete.
  5. Using a rubber mallet, level the tops of the stones to match the masonry line.
  6. When all are in place, push concrete about 6-inches up the backside of each and trowel smooth at a 45-degree angle.
  7. For corners, keep the stone faces tight to each other. Remember to always end a row with a full stone.


  1. Outline your desired area with a rope, garden hose or other materials.
  2. Dig a trench between 3-4 inches deep.
  3. Keep your lawn edge vertical and angle the inside of the trench toward the bed.
  4. If you want loose soil, angle the spade rather than cutting straight up and down.
  5. Once the perimeter is cut, rake the trench and pull the leftover soil into the bed.

Strip Edging: Metal

  1. Outline your desired area with a rope, garden hose or other materials.
  2. Lay edging along the border of the bed if your soil is soft. Using a board to muffle the blow, tap it into place with a hammer.
  3. If your soil is hard, using a spade dig a shallow 4-inch trench around the perimeter of the bed.
  4. The top edge of the metal needs to be at soil level.
  5. Drive enclosed stakes through pre-existing holes in the strips or by driving long, bent spikes over the strips to keep edging in place.
  6. In the garden, rake soil against the edging. Make sure it’s a bit lower than the lawn side to show separation.

Strip Edging: Plastic

  1. Outline your desired area with a rope, garden hose or other materials.
  2. Dig a shallow 4-inch trench so the bottom of the plastic edging is at soil level.
  3. Set plastic strips into the trench.

Wood Edging: Boards

  1. Around the edge of the bed, dig a trench to the depth of the edging boards.
  2. Place boards in the trench and drive strakes in about 5-inches apart and about 1-inch below the boards top edge.
  3. Nail the stakes to the edging board. You should add something behind the stake to absorb the hammer blows.


All of your edging materials can be purchased at your local Ritter Lumber store. If you’re looking for design and detail to your garden, use our tips on edging to have your landscape gorgeous and orderly


Ritter has you covered! Our knowledgeable associates are here to help answer your questions and help you find what you need.