If you have a garden, or another feature that has a visually designated shape, but no real border, you’ve probably grown tired of the encroachment between your lawn and it. For years, the way to separate the two was found in a simple solution that did set a boundary between lawn and garden, or lawn and planter. It was a shallow trench, dug and cut to create a defined edge of grass, which ran along the often curved line of the planter or garden.
Unfortunately, there’s an ongoing problem with such a solution. It would fill with grass while mowing; what’s more, it would slowly be littered with mulch from the planter, requiring time and effort to clean out. This, not to mention the fact that the trench had to be periodically dug again and re-cut to stay defined. That’s a lot of work with very little function. Eventually, homeowners were introduced to lawn edging.
It comes in several forms and in a variety of materials. Lawn edging can be found in home improvement stores and nurseries everywhere. It’s available in wood, composite material, metal, brick, and plastic. What’s more, it comes in a wide variety of sizes and colors, allowing homeowners to pick one type that best fits their wants and needs.
Lawn Edging Functions
The function of lawn edging is quite remarkable, given how simple it is. Not does it only separate a lawn from a garden, from a planter, or from another feature, it actually stops grass from encroaching into the the planter mulch or garden soil. The reason is because grass is spread through what’s known as “stolons.” It’s a botanical term with a simple explanation–it grows upward, eventually bending its top down or grows horizontally, and thus, spreads the growth of grass. This is why you’re constantly having to pull grass from your mulch or garden soil.
Mowing strips, regardless of their complexity and ornamentation, are essentially paved borders that separate gardens from lawns. In addition to the functionality that comes from not having to worry about cutting the grass too close to your garden plants, they add aesthetic appeal that, if coordinated with other paved areas in your landscape, contributes harmony and visual balance to your property. It’s relatively inexpensive to make your own mowing strip, and requires items commonly found in most home and garden stores. —San Francisco Chronicle
Fabricated edging prevents that natural phenomenon from happening and thereby, keeps your garden soil or planter mulch grass-free. Edging also works to prevent mulch from spilling out onto your lawn, which is broadcast further out, thanks to your mower. Edging also serves as an aesthetic feature, clearly defining two spaces. It likewise can serve as a mower strip or mowing strip. Instead of mowing next to it and then using a string or line trimmer, you actually run the wheels of the mower along the top of it, which eliminates the need for further trimming.
Mowing Strip Installation Guide
To take advantage of this wonderful, yet very simple, lawn and garden feature tool, you only need visit your local nursery or home improvement center. There, you’ll find many choices in color, size, and material. Choose one that fits into your “theme” and be sure to purchase enough to completely separate your garden or planter from your lawn. To install it, follow these steps:
- Cut along the border of your garden or mulch. Using a spade shovel, place the tip right at the edge of your mulch or garden and use one foot to sink the spade shovel into the ground, then, pry it a bit to create a small fissure. Do this along the length of your mulch or garden to have a clear line to follow.
- Dig a small trench. Now use your spade shovel to dig out along that line, unearthing the grass. You can either choose to compost the sod or shovel it into a heap and let it degrade into loam. The depth and the width of the trench should be commensurate with the size of the edging you purchased.
- Line the bottom of the trench. Washed sand works quite well and provides a very effective barrier to keep weeds and grass from growing up through it. The lining should be about 1 inch to 2 inches thick, and evenly distributed across the bottom of the trench.
- Cover the lining with gravel. Once the trench has been evenly lined with sand, cover the lining with gravel and then use a hand tamper to compact it down. This will create a sturdy base so your mower strip doesn’t sink into the ground when you run your machine over it while cutting the grass.
- Insert the edging into the trench. Place the strip into the trench pushing down on it to further compact the base and make it steady within the trench. Backfill any gaps as necessary to finish.
Now, you can cut your lawn with your mower without having to trim along the edge of your garden or mulch.