Using the correct metal garden edging will save the smart gardener hours of work removing grass, weeds, and other annoyances that can creep into your flower beds.
In the gardening world today you can find many types of edging, from plastic, wood, stone, and even cement.
I won’t be talking about any of them, no sir indeed, instead I will offer you the low down on three different types of metal lawn edging, with pros and cons given for each type of edging.
Out of three metal edgings on review today, aluminium is by far the most flexible and easiest to install given my own personal experience.
Aluminium garden edging is mostly used by gardeners who prefer to let their plants and flowers grow naturally, but like to set divides between each species of plant or flower. Aluminium edging works best for these types of situations, as the metal can be easily manipulated to form asymmetrical shapes.
For the fancy gardener who loves sophisticated designs, aluminium edging is the best option out the three due its flexibility.
Compared to the other two metal garden edgings, aluminium is also the cheapest and often used by landscapers who work in big gardens, due to its low cost.
- The cheapest metal edging material
- Easy to install
- Very flexible and perfect for complex designs
- Perfect for softer soil types
- Not so durable compared to steel or iron
- The most expensive metal edging
- Not very flexible
Steel garden edging is the strongest metal edging of the three, but has the drawback of not being as flexible as aluminium edging. Steel edgings are perfect to use when separating flower beds by their color or species, using steel edging to create straight lined boundaries to separate one bed from the next, gives your garden a very clean look.
Steel is awesome if you’re a neat and tidy gardener who likes everything to look nice and uniformed, I wouldn’t suggest using steal for curvy or more advanced designs though.
- Very strong and durable
- Perfect to horizontal boundaries
- Provides a clean finish
- Perfect for heavier soil types
- Not very flexible
Compared against aluminium and steel, iron garden edgings is not as commonly used due to its lack of flexibility in comparison aluminium, and not being as strong as steel.
Metal properties in iron garden edgings are also prone to rust quicker than other metals, as a result they have to be more commonly replaced. Iron is a quite a heavy metal as well, installing and transporting iron edgings will end up taking a bit more time and end up costing more money.
Iron edging is not all bad, if you’re an old school gardener who is looking for a rusty or an old school beaten up feel, iron edging is the metal of choice, once rusted it provides you a look that the two other metals fall short of.
- Can provide your garden with an old rustic feel
- Perfect for heavier soil types
- Heavier than steel or aluminium
So which metal edging should I use?
Well that depends on a number of factors, picking the right metal edging doesn’t just rely on what design you’re after, but the type of soil you have as well. Softer soil types are perfect for aluminium edging, it can easily be dug into the ground into any shape you wish. Tougher or firmer soil that contain bits of rocks or chippings, you’re going to need to go with either steel or iron.
Pro tip – All metal is prone to rust, I like to paint my metal edging before I install them in the garden, paint along with making my garden look more aesthetically pleasing, also minimizes rust.
3 Tips to lay metal lawn edging correctly
Here are some basic tips to correctly lay metal garden edging.
Metal edging doesn’t come without it risks, they are really sharp and can do some damaged to your hands or thighs if not handled correctly. I would first suggest buying metal edging that comes with a plastic coating or rolled rims, if you can’t find that, then always wear gloves and be carful not to clip the edges against your skin.
Clean your soil and make some markings
Once you’ve found the spot to lay your metal edging, smooth out the soil by removing any debris such as rocks, chippings, and other rubbish. With a piece of chalk, create a line where you would like to place the edging, then proceed to dig a small trench around the perimeter, ensuring that the trench is big enough to firmly place in the edging.
Once you’ve cleared the area of debris etc, it is important to create a border between the grass and the soil. A manual lawn edger is an extremely useful tool for this task, allowing you greater control. You can find more info about edgers on bestweedeaters.com and determine which one is best for your needs, or read how to use them on www.wikihow.com
Next you should place metal stakes in the ground to ensure the metal edging says firmly in the ground when fitted. Make sure to fill up any areas that have gaps between your edging and the trench. This is vital, as it will prevent weeds and other grasses from coming into contact with your sectioned-off plants.
How to measure how much edging you require
This is simple but I figured I should explain it anyway, you first need to decide what area of the garden you want for your new flowerbed. Once you’ve decided I suggest using a chalk and a ruler to mark out the boundary of the flowerbed, using only straight lines chalk the boundary. Finally measure all the lines to figure out how much metal edging you need, in many shops edging is sold in lengths of 10 feet per piece, so maybe factor that in when you’re deciding on the size of your new flower bed to minimize waste.
You should now be fairly educated on the basics of metal edging, the benefits each one edging provides, and some insider tips on how to install metal garden edging correctly.
Please remember to do your research first on the soil type your garden has, and what type of look you’re going for, so you can pick the right type of edging for your needs.