How to Install Lawn Edging

person in striped shirt installing plastic lawn edging

If you have a large lawn, chances are at some point you will need to install lawn edging. Lawn edging essentially creates a line, or edge, between grass and sidewalks or other types of landscaping. This is usually done in areas that a lawnmower can't reach and makes your yard look crisp and well kept.

Lawn Edging Types

There are actually quite a few options out there for lawn ending, including plastic, concrete, wood, and metal. Decide what type makes the most sense for you before you start your edging project.


Start by laying a piece of rope on the side of your yard, garden bed, or whatever area you want to define through lawn edging. Then measure it. Make sure to add 10% or more in case of waste or mistakes to your measurements.

Paint the line indicated by the rope with paint that is safe for your plants and to your pets if they try licking it.

Following the line, dig a trench. You can pick how you dig your trench but using a shovel is probably your best bet. Make sure you dig it the same depth throughout—around four inches deep.

You can now cut your plastic edging to the correct size. When you purchase the edging, make sure you also ask what the best method for cutting it is. Generally speaking, pruning shears and utility knives are great options.

In areas where you have to join edging strips, use a coupler.

Once the edging is fully placed in the trench you dug, it is time to fill it with dirt. Make sure the soil is compact and there are not any air pockets. As a general rule of thumb, you should leave it about ¼ inch higher than ground level since it will settle over time, especially after heavy rain.

You can then anchor the edging using edging stakes, which can be purchased at a home improvement or gardening store. Make sure the stakes are steady and will not topple over on the next windy day.


flower bed with wood divider next to lawn

The process to install wood garden edging, or any type of ending for that matter, is not very different from the process used to install plastic edging. Some people prefer to use wood edging, also known as timber edging, because it holds up to the elements better than some other edging choices, is often less expensive, and is easier to install than some other edging types.

The difficulty with wood edging, however, is that it is not very malleable. If you are looking to add edging in an unusual shape, this means wood edging will be difficult. It is, however, a great option for a project with straight lines.

The wood you use will also need to be pressure treated so that they do not rot in the ground.

One way the installation process differs from plastic edging installation is that timber edges are often secured using rebar to make sure they do not move. Not everyone, however, feels this is necessary.

The rest of the process is very similar to adding plastic edging. You will need to use a rope to indicate where the edging will go, dig a trench, add the edging, and fill it. Depending on the shape, you may need to cut angles, similar to the way you would for trim inside your home.

curved concrete lawn edge between grass and flowers

gloved hands with hammer installing plastic lawn edging

Metal edging is often an economical edging option. Since the metal used in edging projects is usually very thin, it is easily hidden and will make your yard look pristine without the eye fully understanding why the garden looks so crisp.

Metal edging is generally made of either steel or aluminum. Steel is usually the sturdier option while aluminum is more malleable.

Like with the other edging types, you will need to lay out a line and measure the space, dig a trench, add the edging, and fill it in.