new landscaping beds


Old 08-15-05, 08:39 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 109
new landscaping beds


We have purchased a new home on the coast of NC. This lot used to be heavily wooded but all the trees were removed to minimize potential hurricane damage. I love the nice St. Augustine lawn, but want to at least add a few beds.

My question is, how do you cut in new beds? I'm talking about the nice edge around the bed - ususally about a 2-3" drop that is maintained many times by turning a string trimmer on its end. But that isn't going to get the initial cut of the bed. I have several beds planned with approximately 200' of edge that will need to be cut in. I don't want to do this with a shovel of I don't have to. Can you use a pavement edger on the grass? Or do you have to rent some sort of tool designed to cut these beds in?

Thanks in advance for the ideas!

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Old 08-15-05, 10:39 AM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Indiana
Posts: 105
There is a piece of equipment that will cut a shallow trench in the lawn. I think they are be called "bed shapers". It cuts a groove/trench about 2-3 inches wide and deep. You might call some rental places in your area, I would think someplace should rent them.
Old 08-20-05, 03:57 AM
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A Trench Master can be rented to do the job or you can do it by hand.

1. Draw a line that separates your lawn from the adjoining bed. Use garden spray paint to create a gentle curve, straight lines or any combination that pleases your eye.

2. Choose a square-head spade to cut the edge and a hoe to smooth out the edge. Make sure your tools are sharp.

3. Stand on the lawn where it meets the bed. Get in close so that the lawn side of the trench will be no more than three inches from the bed edge.

4. Hold your spade at about 45 degrees, with its sharpened head on the edge line. Put your foot on the
head and guide it at a 45-degree angle 3 inches into the soil.

5. Lift out the grass and soil and toss it into your wheelbarrow. Take a step to one side and make
another cut and toss to match the first. Continue down the line you've drawn until the entire edge is dug
out. Set aside any healthy pieces of turf to patch bare spots elsewhere and compost the rest of the

6. Use your hoe to smooth both sides of the trench. It should be 3 inches deep, sloping up to 3 inches
wide at the top. Let the lawn grow right up to one side, with the garden bed meeting the other side.

7. Maintain the neat edge with regular scrapes of your hoe to cut out lawn or plants that try to cross
the trench. Keep the edge as dry as possible to suppress weeds.

Do this project the day after a rain or good soaking to make digging easier.

Keep a file handy to sharpen your spade and hoe - let the tools work at their best so you can, too.

Good Luck

Certified Arborist
Certified Horticulturist

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Last edited by majakdragon; 08-20-05 at 07:54 AM.

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