GARDENING: How to Put in Brick Edging
At long last, I finally got edging into the ground today for my garden. A garden without proper edging is like dropping a football a foot before the touchdown. Your lawn creeps into the garden and your husband doesn't know where the garden starts and the lawn ends, so he may mow over things. It neatens up the shape of the bed to showcase all the color and texture within it. It is an investment, so we had to wait a few years to do it. But this year is the year! Menards had the bricks on sale, so I went there. But after doing some math while I was there, I found the larger ones were less because I had to buy less than the smaller crescents that were on sale. SO be sure to measure and do your math, and compare for the best deal. You may be surprised. Also, larger bricks take less time to put down-so keep that in mind too.
It took a little over an hour for one side of the yard. Here is how I did it.
First, as you can see below, my lawn over the years kept creeping and creeping into the bed. Out of fear of mowing anything, my husband stayed clear of the edge, making the edge messy and distracting from the plants in the bed.
Measure the length of your beds by inches. Then divide the length by the amount of inches of the bricks you wish to purchase. These below were 12 inches. Whatever number you get is how many bricks you should buy. I round up the number, and get 10 extra for good measure. If you are adding some arcs to the design versus straight lines, you may need a few extra.
With a shovel, cut into your yard the shape you wish the edging to take. You may be cutting into turf, and if you do, don't let it go to waste. I take a first pass, just cutting the shape into the yard. Then I go again over it, fine tuning the shape, but digging deeper and starting to pull up turf. Then I start again on one side and really pull out turf and make a trench about 6-8 inches deep. I use the shovel as well as get on my knees and use my hands to pull, dig and shape. If you are pulling nice chunks of sod, do not toss them. Use them to patch dead areas. It is just like putting down fresh sod.
We have a dead area near our daughter's play house that I placed all the sod pieces I pulled up and put them down there to take. Waste not-want not!
Now comes the nitty gritty. Using a hand spade or rake, make an even footing in your trench and put your brick down. Look at your brick, is it level or wobbly if you press down? If so, work the dirt under it so that it is even and sturdy. You may need to hack at the trench wall to get it at the right angle and put the brick back in. The brick should be level and sturdy when it is placed. Now with your hand tool, build dirt up around it and press down, so the dirt is level with the brick and holds it in place. Now place your second brick in, following your shape. Continue using you hand tool to reshape your trench and move dirt around the next bricks. As you add bricks, be sure to push dirt into the interlocking areas as well, so they stay put together. After a handful of them in the ground, I gently step on each of them to make sure they are in there nice and sturdy, adding more dirt around if I need to as I do this. You may see some dirt movement from the pressure and that is just a sign that you need to build up around the bricks a little more. If one moves too much, you may need to pull it out and fix the dirt under it and try again.
In the end, you should have a level, sturdy, brick edging to make all the neighbors jealous!