Sometimes the best home improvements are the simplest ones. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on high-end outdoor installations or lawn service companies, simple landscape edging can add immeasurable value to your lawn and increase the curb appeal of your home exponentially. Of course, landscape edging is only a simple project by relative standards, and good edging involves more than just throwing down rocks at the perimeter of your lawn.
Proper design and laying of edging materials can make all the difference between a stunning landscape edging and a haphazard attempt at lawn beautification. Your lawn is far from perfectly level and, once you lay down a piece of edging that won't lay right, you'll realize just how much work you have for any sizable edging project. Of course, you probably don't need to hire a landscaping contractor for a few feet of edging around a bush or shrub, but for larger projects, it may be well-worth the time and headaches you'll save.
Landscape Edging Materials
The first (and probably the biggest) decision you'll need to make is what material your landscape edging will be. You have several choices, each with their own look and advantages.
Wood Edging: Wood edging is a great landscape edging material. It has a timeless look. Unlike other wood home improvement projects, wood for edging can usually be scrounged together for little cost. Beware, though, that wood probably won't last as long as many other landscape edging materials.
Brick, Stone, and Concrete Edging: Brick, stone, and concrete edging are perfect for the homeowner who likes the look of brick or stone, but can't afford the high costs of masonry work. It can also be great in tandem with a brick or stone patio.
Metal Edging: Strong and durable, metal edging can be a great functional edging material or, for an additional cost, can be transformed into a decorative landscaping feature. Aluminum, in particular, is easily treated and surfaced for interesting decorative effects.
Plastic Edging: Plastic edging is most often a cheap alternative to some other landscape material. It can be a reasonable facsimile of brick, stone, and wood. Moreover, it's a flexible and durable edging material.
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As you might imagine, there are many similarities between landscape and lawn edging. One difference is that, while landscape edging is usually installed for aesthetic reasons, lawn edging has a larger functional aspect. Lawn edging is a great way to keep a weed problem under control. Besides keeping weeds out, lawn edging also helps keep mulch and other landscaping elements inside a designated area. The wrong kind of ornamental grasses, for example, can quickly become more a weed problem than a landscaping feature. You can always take a weed whacker to your lawn, but lawn edging will keep the edge of your lawn looking nice with considerably less maintenance.