What is "lawn edging?" On an aesthetic level, it could be said to "define a border" within your yard, namely, between a lawn and a mulched garden bed. The simplest type of edging is a shallow trench cut at a lawn's edge. But trenches must be re-cut periodically, and most homeowners prefer a type that doesn't require so much maintenance.
Enter the various garden or lawn edging products that are sold commercially. Be they metal or plastic, wood or brick, the idea behind most of them is the same: installed in the ground between lawn and garden, they'll give you the look of a clean edge.
Should you still consider installing lawn edging even if you don't care about having a clean edge? Yes, because to appreciate the full scope of lawn edging's potential contribution to the landscape, we must go beyond aesthetics to a more practical level. Yes, most people prefer the finished look that a clean edge lends to a landscape design; but, as is generally the case in aesthetics, that's just an opinion.
Opinions aside, however, there are practical reasons for separating a lawn from a planting bed with edging:
- Many grasses spread via stolons. Without lawn edging, you'll be constantly pulling grass out of your planting beds.
- If you don't contain the mulch in your planting bed, it will spill over into your lawn (and you'll end up distributing it even further afield when you mow).
- One form of lawn edging is a "mowing strip" (or "mower strip"; see photo above). When mowing, you run the wheels on one side of your mower right on top of the mowing strip. This allows you to mow borders up-close, so as to avoid having to use string trimmers.
I discuss the materials and tools needed to install garden or lawn edging on Page 2, as well as providing more information about mowing strips....