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Install Decorative Edging

Easy half-day project: keep the grass out of a planting bed and make mowing around it a breeze.

Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything
edging marks out boundary of lawnHow To Grow Practically Everything ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

Edging is both practical and aesthetic. At its most useful it marks out the boundary of a lawn, while also allowing you to simply run the mower over it. With a wide variety of materials to choose from, edging can be a decorative feature in its own right, chosen to complement the plants it contains.

When to Start: Any time
At Its Best: All year round
Time to Ccomplete: 5 hours

Materials Needed:

  • bricks
  • string and pegs
  • sharp shovel
  • wet mortar mix
  • dry mortar mix
  • mallet
  • spirit level
  • trowel
  • brush

Use String as a Guide

Use one brick to measure the correct distance from your raised bed (or border) and set up a line of string between two pegs from which to work. Cut through the turf along the line using the sharp edge of a shovel.

use brick and string as guide for edging borderHow To Grow Practically Everything ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

Remove a Strip of Turf

Dig out a strip of turf deep enough to accommodate the bricks plus a 1" layer of mortar. First slice the turf up into manageable sections, then slide the shovel underneath and lift them out onto a piece of tarpaulin.

lift out turf in one piece using a spadeHow To Grow Practically Everything ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

Level the Ground

Use the spade to roughly level out the ground. Mix wet mortar and add a 1" layer to the bottom of the trench to bed in the bricks.

level ground using a spadeHow To Grow Practically Everything ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

Lay Bricks on Mortar

Place the bricks on the mortar and set slightly below the level of the turf. Leave a small gap between each. Use a spirit level to check they are horizontal, and firm them using a mallet.

use club hammer to firm bricks in mortarHow To Grow Practically Everything ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

Apply a Dry Mix

Finally, use a dry mortar mix to fill the joints between the bricks, working the mixture in with a trowel. Clean off the excess with a brush.

work dry mortar mix in joints using trowelHow To Grow Practically Everything ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

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