How to Edge Flower Beds with Landscape Rocks

How to Edge Flower Beds with Landscape Rocks

Landscape rocks edging a flower bed add form and function to your garden design, reducing weeding time, and enhancing the visual appeal. Landscape rock can be either natural stones or manufactured landscape rock edging.

TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Susan Patterson cautions you, "Installing rock is labor intensive, be sure you are in shape before beginning a rock project. Always wear gloves when working with landscape rock."

Step 1 - Consider Your Design

Flower bed edging should reflect the shape of your flower bed and the flavor of your garden design. A square or rectangular flower bed lends itself to square or rectangular stones, while a curving flower bed will look nicer with more rounded stone. Lower profile edging can be mowed over without damaging the mower blade, saving grass trimming time.

Local stones are the most accessible and least expensive. Garden supply stores carry a wide variety of natural and manufactured landscape stone edging material. Choose a stone that is suitable for your installation and the look you are going for. This is also a good time to incorporate electrical or irrigation lines into your flower bed edging plan.

Step 2 - Measure the Area

Calculate the number of linear feet of materials that you need by measuring the perimeter of your flower bed.

Step 3 - Prepare Trench

The landscape rocks need a pocket to set in securely. Dig a trench around your flower bed equal to the width of the stones, and a depth of at least 1/5 the height of the rocks you are using. Calculate 1 or 2 inches of sand into your depth. The trench should be at least 3 inches deep to clear grass roots. Contour the trench to match to bottom contour of the rock you are using. Now is a good time to install any electrical or irrigation lines that you want to pass under the trench.

Step 4 - Install Ground Fabric and Sand

Cut a piece of ground fabric to fit in the trench using sharp scissors. This prevents weed infiltration. Next, install a uniform layer of sand, ½ to 3 inches thick, on top of the ground fabric. Use a deeper layer for more irregularly shaped stones.

Step 5 - Set Stones

Choose a spot to begin and set stones one at a time. Slide each stone laterally a couple of times and tap into place with a block of wood. Once you have a few rocks in place fill the joints with sand. Continue in this manner of setting a few rocks and filling the joints with sand all the way around.

Manufactured landscape rock edging has a very uniform profile. Sand may not be required to install these blocks. Refer to the manufacture’s installation instructions.

Step 6 - Trim

Trim off excess ground fabric with scissors and tuck cut ends into sand.

That's it. Stretch your legs and enjoy.</p