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How to Lay Steel Landscape Edging

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If you want to enhance the look of your landscape, install a steel landscape edge. Steel landscape edging improves the yard's appearance by adding neatly defined borders around plants and flower beds as well as a defined mowing edge. Steel landscape edge can also be adapted to fit around curves and corners.

You should be able to install steel landscape edging yourself. Here are tips to install a steel landscape edging.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • tape measure
  • garden hose
  • wheelbarrow or wagon
  • landscaping spray paint
  • stakes
  • sledge hammer
  • two-by-four strip of wood
  • block of wood
  • shovel
  • hacksaw
  • steel edging

Before you start installing the edging, call "Before You Dig" at 811 or contact your local utility company. They will send someone to uncover hidden utility lines and pipes so you won't dig into them.

When choosing steel landscape edging, ensure it is galvanized, or it will rust. Also, buy edging with rubber edges to cushion bare feet, if possible.

Mark and Dig the Trench

Lay the garden hose around the area where you want to install the edging. You may need more than one hose. Use the spray paint to mark the outline. Remove the hoses and measure the perimeter of the area to determine how much edging you need.

Dig the trench following the spray outline; pushing the blade into the ground. Shake the blade gently and remove it. The depth of the trench depends on how tall the edging is and how far you want it to protrude above the ground.

Place the soil in a wheelbarrow or wagon to use for backfill. Measure the trench every foot to ensure it is even.

Lay the Edging

Press the edging in the ground, forming curves with your hand. Bend the steel to fit curves, if possible, or trim it to fit with a hacksaw.

To install the edging at corners, use the hacksaw to cut the edging lightly on one side. Cut one inch from the bottom up. Insert the edging in the ground, and set a two-by-four over the edging to hold it in place while you bend the corner. Trim the corner and bend it back and forth until it comes off the edging.

Insert the stakes in the edging pockets. Place a wood block over them and hammer them into the ground. Fill spaces with the dirt you dug earlier, and press the soil with your foot.

Steel edging lasts longer than plastic edging. If you don't trust your skill or you need landscaping ideas, contact a landscaper such as Ironwood Earthcare.