|In the last issue of
the newsletter, we examined the different types of retaining walls
available for residential landscaping. Another essential element
of the landscape is edging. There are five types of edging used
by Miller Nursery: natural, poly, prefabricated concrete, steel,
The basic function
of edging is to create a boundary between grass and a planting
area. A boundary is necessary to prevent grass from spreading
into a planting area and to keep mulch out of the grass. Before
deciding on a type of edging, it is important to consider longevity,
cost, aesthetics, and installation.
Natural edging, a small
trench between a planting bed and grass, is very easy to install
and very low cost. But natural edging requires a great deal of
maintenance. Weeds, leaves, and other yard debris can often litter
the natural edge and must be cleaned out frequently. A homeowner
who chooses natural edging should be prepared for monthly maintenance
to make the edging effective.
The most common type
of edging is poly. Poly is a black, hard polymer plastic. Miller
Nursery only uses a commercial grade. It is significantly stronger
than edging found at a home improvement store. Commercial grade
is key for the longevity of the edging. Thicker grades of plastic
are capable of withstanding more impacts from a lawnmower or line
Poly edging is very
easy to maintain and is cost efficient. A 20-foot strip with a
stake kit costs $20. Installation is not difficult, but there
are certain techniques that must be followed for the edging to
last over time. Poor installation can cause the edging to heave,
crack, or break during the freeze/thaw process. Poly will expand
and contract as the temperature changes. A commercial grade of
poly edging, installed properly should last at least 10 years.
edging is rapidly growing in popularity. Miller Nursery uses a
product called Classic Edge made by Rockwood. Classic Edge comes
in a variety of colors that can be matched to a house or a retaining
wall. A piece of Classic Edge is 4 inches wide, 10 inches long,
and 4 inches tall. Each piece has a curve on both ends for connection.
Classic Edge retails for $1.70 per piece.
The obvious advantage
of Classic Edge is longevity. Classic Edge will not suffer from
the freeze/thaw process and will not be hurt by the lawnmower.
Installation is more time consuming than poly edging because it
is essential that the pieces interlock properly. There is virtually
no maintenance required for Classic Edge.
Steel edging is seldom
used in residential landscapes. It is very difficult to bend into
desirable curves for bed lines. The lack of flexibility makes
construction time consuming. And steel edging will rust over time.
However, steel edging is more durable than poly edging. It is
commonly used in commercial landscaping because it can withstand
commercial grade lawnmowers.
By far the most expensive
type of edging is limestone. It retails for approximately $4 per
foot. Installation is very difficult and time consuming because
there are many cuts required to create a curve. Limestone will
lose its natural color over time and can suffer from the freeze/thaw
process. But limestone does have a natural feel and a neutral
Miller Nursery's landscape
designer, Craig Westfield, says that poly and Classic Edge are
by far the most popular choices for his customers. This is based
on their durability, ease of construction, and low cost. Edging
is a necessary part of any landscape, but done properly, it can
add to the entire appeal of the garden.