How to edge your beds
Nice edges can make a huge difference to the look of your garden. It's a lot more convenient to edge your beds properly too since you won't trip over landscape fabric or get it stuck in the lawnmower. Perfect!
Edging beds might just be one of the trickiest tasks in my garden. After all, it's easy to create a new growing space. But making the transition to other areas of my garden like a lawn, path or patio? This seems to be a lot more difficult.
I realized a long time ago, that the aesthetic aspects of my gardening had to come second. My vegetables are my first priority after all. But I want to keep my garden practical too. And keeping my edges clean is one way of doing this. There's just nothing worse than weeds growing into my beds. Or getting wayward landscape fabric stuck in my lawn mower for that matter.
That's why I decided to write a bit about this. I know that many of you probably want to know more about this subject too. So, check out my tips below!
Edges with landscape fabric
If you use landscape fabric covered by wood chips in your garden, then you might have some issues in the transition to your lawn. The wood chips get scattered all over your lawn and the landscape fabric gets stuck in your lawnmower. I solved this issue by adding old logs or some rocks to edge my bed. It worked really well!
Read more about my new area:
I decided to use this method for the new area in my garden too. My kids got the rocks from the back garden and I got some help placing them from visitors on a recent open day here in the kitchen garden.
You can, of course, do much more, if you want to go the extra mile. Why not remove some of the wood chips, cutting an opening into the landscape fabric and then planting a hedge? This is exactly what I'm planning to do with the newest area in my garden, by using a privet hedge to edge my beds.
If you dig the edge between your bed and the lawn, then you need to keep up and maintain it throughout. It's not difficult, but it does take time and I don't always take the time to keep up with it. Of course, I do this work from time to time. After all, all I need to do is get my potato hoe and remove any roots that have started growing into my bed. It's usually just grass growing around the edge though and most of the work is done simply by pulling or cutting the grass.
I often use a wooden pallet collar frame to create an automatic edge to my beds. It's a great alternative to using rocks around your growing area too. My pallet collar frame is filled with wood chips, but it could just as well be soil. I have landscape fabric underneath which prevents grass or my nearby ash tree roots from growing into the bed. It's really easy to just trim the grass off around the frame too.
Whenever I put pallet collars on top of my lawn, I always add a layer of newspapers in the bottom to smother any weeds that might grow in my bed. I make the layer a bit wider than the width of the pallet collar too, which means that the grass growing right next to the pallet collar gets smothered in a really effective way.
What about plastic?
Some of you want to use less plastic in your gardens and want to know if you really need landscape fabric. I can absolutely understand this point of view. For me, it's so important to find quick solutions in my hectic everyday life. Using landscape fabric is an amazing quick fix that I just don't know what I would do without. Like I mentioned earlier, I often add newspapers (non-toxic ink) whenever I make a new bed in my garden. But only using newspapers, for example underneath straw or wood chips, just doesn't work. The weeds still manage to survive. That's why I keep using landscape fabric in my garden. I hope that I will be able to use less of it for example in my pathways, by keeping up with the weeding. My garden is so large now that I just haven't had the time yet though.
I use wood chips on many of my beds. On top of a layer of landscape fabric of course. What can I do to prevent the soil and mulch from falling on top of the wood chips? Well, my go-to solution is of course to build beds that aren't so tall that this could happen. If you worry about soil falling, you should know that a layer of mulch on top will keep it in place. Check out the post below to learn more about mulching with wool. Sounds strange? Try it, it works!
It gets a bit trickier when I rake or dig in my beds of course. For example my long deep bed by the brushwood fence. I honestly don't mind getting a little soil on my wood chips though. This is after all not supposed to be a perfect display garden. I'm happy as long as my vegetables grow!
You can edge your beds in plenty of other ways too of course. For example by burying frames made of plastic or metal, or building a brushwood fence. I love these fences, they are so pretty! They take a while to make though, so be prepared for that. How do you do it?