Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Edging the Flower Beds the Old Fashioned Way

Remember this photo from the Tour of Our Yard?

The grass growing up into the flower bed was driving me crazy!   The front yard looked so messy and shaggy and generally made me embarrassed to claim that I know anything about gardening.  I had to do something.   Luckily, the weather has been pretty accommodating lately, giving us lots of rain followed by cool air.  That meant that the soil was nice and soft, and it wouldn't be too sweltering to be out in the yard taking care of this messy business.

My approach?   First, I laid out the garden hose to outline where I wanted the edge of the flower bed to be.  I noticed that the hose was floppy and din't hold its shape very well unless I turned the water on. Once I had the hose turned on, the water pressure kept the hose nice and firmly in place, giving me a great way to design the shape of the edge that we wanted.

After I figured the edge layout, then I just used a half-moon edging tool like this one to cut the sod along the shape I'd laid out.   This tool is AWESOME!  With just the slight push of one foot, the sod gets cut lickety split!   I cut the entire edge around the flower bed.

Next, I got down on the ground with some good gardening gloves and a waste bucket, and I just started pulling the sod and weeds out of the flower bed.  I gave a good shake to the sod clod to get most of the dirt off, and tossed the grass and roots into the compost bin.   (I gave some of the clods to my husband to use to fill in some bare spots in the back yard, but most of them had so many weeds, we just tossed them into the compost bin.)

After about two hours of chilling out on the ground in the cool evening air, enjoying some tunes off of the iPhone in my pocket, and saying hello to random worms, crickets and spiders that I discovered, I ended up with a nice neat edge on the front flower bed.

What a difference!   It's like a whole new front yard!!!

We've got a lot of beds and borders that need to have their edges cleaned up.  Here's a shot of the back yard, left side, where half of the length has been edged and the rest hasn't.  What a huge difference.  Guess we should get out there and finish, huh?


  1. Suzanne of Simply Suzannes at Home

    Wow! Beautiful! You did a great job!
    I'm sure you found all the hard work worth it.
    Thanks so much for sharing,

    1. Thanks Suzanne (Hey, that's my sister's name too!). Hope you have a great day!

  2. It looks good and there's no ooops! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  3. Hi Jenny, I've done various things to edge my garden beds over the years: plastic edging (didn't like it), boulders, and my latest: using a spade and the half-moon edger like you did. I then filled the edging "hole" with my mulch. (I mulch with pine needles.) It made a great looking neat curved edge.

    One issue with my edging has been that with rains, etc. the edges tend to go away...i.e., they fill with soil. So edging where I garden isn't a one time and done task. I have to re-edge periodically. The good news is, it's easier the second - and third - and fourth, etc. - time around as the soil isn't so hard.
    Blessings, Beth

    1. Yes, I've found that same thing happens. Usually we do one big edging in the early spring, and then try to maintain it with the string trimmer once a week all summer. Sometimes the grass sends runners deeper than the string trimmer can get, so we have to go back with the half moon edger again in late summer. Quite a chore, for sure. I think my next investment in edging will be to try the metal edging that you can get in 8' lengths. It would be a big money investment to do the whole yard, but it seems like it would be worth it in the end. Maybe next year. :-)

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