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Readers Respond: Do You Avoid Plastic Edging Like the Plague?

Responses: 77

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From the article: How to Install Lawn Edging

Plastic edging performs such practical tasks as keeping grass stolons out of planting beds. But edging should offer an attractive definition for a border, too, so there will also be an aesthetic dimension to your selection of a material. Plastic edging is the most readily available type, in terms of materials, but many abhor it and seek an earthier (or, at least, classier) material with which to edge a lawn.

What's your opinion? Do you use plastic edging? If so, why? If not, what material do you use instead? Metal? Wood? Brick? Another material? Fill in the boxes below to give us your opinion on edging materials.

homeowner / lawn caretaker

I use the emerald green plastic edging in many places. If I get tired of it, I use it somewhere else. I like all edging materials but the flat black stuff with rolled edge and fancy lightweight fakery. I have St. Augustine grass and it runs all over without regular maintenance (trimming/mowing). I have poured concrete edging, also individual concrete edgers that I am painting right now.
—Guest agnes dunham

Using Plastic Edger

I use only commercial grade heavy duty vinyl edger in brown or green color. It's much wider and when staked stays put.
—Guest Roger VanNostrand

Black Edging as a Border

I prefer a more natural edging such as stone over the black edging. We have extensive landscaping and only have the black edging in a few locations. I dislike the way it shifts and rises and needs to be renailed. I think it looks too commercial.
—Guest Freda

No Plastic Edging!

We had some in our yard that we just moved into, no doubt installed in the 80s, when the house was built. Had to be removed!
—Guest Jen

No Plastic Edging: Not Natural and Ugly

Just use a weed eater to dig your trench around the beds or use cobble stones and edge in front of them to keep your grass from growing into the beds.
—Guest Betty

Plastic Edging Is One Option

I use brick, landscape timbers and plastic for edging. I like them all, it depends on location. The plastic edging is great with the lawn mower and trimmer.
—Guest jim49631

Quick Edge

Carol, I just bought the black Quick edge at my local Walmart in the outdoor section. It is called Eco edge Quick edge. It is made by Suncast and comes with 40 six inch sections (20ft.). It cost me about $ 9.97 a box plus tax of course. Hope this helps.
—Guest Shelly

Plastic Edging Not All the Same

Here in the UK, there are a few types of plastic edging. The common type at most shops is very bad: it gets brittle too fast and makes people hate plastic edging. The other type is a heavy duty lawn edging -- in weight about 10 times heavier, straight, and once in the ground barely visible, as is mentioned in the first response. We installed that one 3 years ago and we are very pleased (bought online).
—Ruthgardener

Heavy Plastic Edging Can Work Well

In the 80's, I used the heaviest black plastic edging from a landscaper for tree rings and curvy beds. They still have no signs of damage from mower or string trimmer, despite heavy black soil, severe freeze/thaw cycles & flooding. I drove stakes closer than recommended, NOT straight down, but as close to horizontal as possible. I also cut the top bead back 4-6" on one end, so the below ground plastic overlaps to keep grass stolons from creeping between. I suspect a cheaper product, hastily installed, wouldn't have lasted as well. Only the round bead is above ground, I mowed the grass 3-4" high, & had a nice clean edge that's barely visible. I recently move from North Dakota to South Dakota, am older and looking for easy maintenance. Foundation beds here are contained with poured concrete edging. For 8 deciduous trees I planted in the past couple years, the mulch proved hard to keep contained and grass creeps in - so I'm putting the same heavy plastic edging in this yard - for easy future maintenance!
—norskeneighbor

Agreed: No Metal Edging With Dogs!

My dog also cut her foot twice on the metal edging. Had to tear it all out of our yard.
—Guest guest

Plastic Edging Not That Visible

My opinion comes from maintaining many gardens, and designing and constructing many more. I can understand that people do not like to see plastic in their garden, as it is not part of nature. But the truth is, when using plastic edging properly, you will barely see it, as it is mainly in the ground. On the other hand, if it is thicker than 1mm it will last well, 2mm will last many years in any climate. It will not rot like wood- that tends to last 6-8 years in the ground. Lawn edging saves vertical trimming and can be used as a guide for trimming the ends of the lawn- horizontally. In total, it reduces the time it takes to edge a lawn, as well as the frequency. That is why I use trimmer-resistant lawn edging in every garden. I use it as a path edging too, as edging for landscaping gravel or slate in the garden.
—EnviroGardening

No Problem With Plastic Edging

I have used plastic edging around all my beds. It's easy to shape around the free-form beds. When put down deep enough, only the rolled lip shows, and there's no problem with the lawn mower. On newer beds, I have laid a row of bricks lengthwise for the lawnmower wheels.
—Guest Kathy

Plastic Edging

I would not put plastic edging in your yard. I prefer the tried and true 4 X 6 PT landscape timber. If put in properly, it serves the purpose and is unobtrusive, keeping all of your gardens clean and easy to maintain.
—jcstew

Plastic Edging is Ugly

Nothing is as nice as a clean cut edge done with a spade, This is the most natural looking edging.
—Guest wilma

Easy Alternative to Edging of Any Type

We have a large garden with a number of raised beds. My husband dug a trench along each bed. He just spruces up the trench in the spring. He then uses a power edger about once or twice a month as needed. We do not need a weed wacker to trim. We have no problems with grass growing into our beds and I am free to expand or change whenever I feel it is necessary.
—Guest Roxane
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