PDA

View Full Version : Lawn edging


lawnstudent
04-09-2002, 05:43 PM
What do you guys use for edging planters in a lawn? I live in NE Illinois and would like to add this to my business. Any advice you pros have I sure would appreciate. Thank you!

1) steel? aluminum? whose ? why? Does steel heave from winter frost? Doesn't Kentucky Blue just send rhizomes under steel into the beds?

2) poly? does this stuff hold up to the UV? I've never seen poly that wasn't 2-3" up in the air. Can this stuff be installed to take frost heaving?

3) Brick, Pavers & Stone. Do you need a barrier under these to keep rhizomes out? What do you use as barrier? What base? Gravel? Stone dust? I assume no joints to allow movement. Do you use the poly edgers to keep in place? Do you taper bricks for turns? Do you use a wet saw to cut?


jim

lawnstudent
04-10-2002, 08:49 AM
The department chair of our local community college said last night that Kentucky Bluegrass rhizomes should not go more than 2 - 3" deep. Therefore, most of the steel or poly edging products should contain this grass. I also mentioned the poly edging and its tendency to lift and heave out of the ground. He offered that it is difficult to install properly and some of these products use soil nails to hold them in place. Any advice on the best way to install poly? Any experience with these soil nails? Do they really hold the poly in place? Is this a bad service to offer customers? Am I barking up the wrong tree again?

jim

LawnLad
04-10-2002, 12:47 PM
[B]What do you guys use for edging planters in a lawn? I live in NE Illinois and would like to add this to my business. Any advice you pros have I sure would appreciate. Thank you!

1) steel? aluminum? whose ? why? Does steel heave from winter frost? Doesn't Kentucky Blue just send rhizomes under steel into the beds?

We'll use either black or regular aluminum edging over steel if we can since it's easier to work with. From our local vendor, don't know the brand.

2) poly? does this stuff hold up to the UV? I've never seen poly that wasn't 2-3" up in the air. Can this stuff be installed to take frost heaving?

Poly will pop in frost zones, I believe it to be a waste of time.

3) Brick, Pavers & Stone. Do you need a barrier under these to keep rhizomes out? What do you use as barrier? What base? Gravel? Stone dust? I assume no joints to allow movement. Do you use the poly edgers to keep in place? Do you taper bricks for turns? Do you use a wet saw to cut?

Nice to use brick/pavers since your lawn/beds won't migrate into each other, but this is the most labor intensive of the options.

Personally, we like to spade edge. I like the natural look and you can adjust the bed edges more easily in the future than you can with a mechanical edge.

lawnstudent
04-11-2002, 11:55 PM
Lawnlad,

you like to spade edge. Are you literaly using spades? Or are you mechanized? Are these bed edgers work anything? Thanks for the info!

jim

Ssouth
04-12-2002, 12:36 AM
I like to use metal eding because it's a money maker and easy to install. When maintaining properties I like the natural edge. We do many jobs with a natural edge. For some we use a bed edger and for the smaller jobs we use a tiller, hoe, and spade. I refuse to install poly edging. In the south it will not rise out due to frost, but after it's been hit a few times with a string trimmer by the owner (who may or may not know how to trim) it will become thin and eventually split. The poly is just not an option for us. It's either metal edging or natural edge. I wish we had dealers for aluminum around here but I can't find one and know nothing about it.

David Haggerty
04-12-2002, 05:16 AM
Landscaper supply houses like AM Leonard www.amleo.com have the poly in the commercial grade 5" width.
You can also get it at Lowe's. If you get it in a roll, you must warm it up before you unroll it. Lowe's always seem to be out of the little plastic stakes that keep it down.
If you use 5" commercial grade poly edging and install it properly it won't heave out of the ground.

The maintenance supervisor wanted to know how long this installation would last. I told him 30 years. He was OK with that.
No weedeater string is going to phase this stuff. In this climate it'll outlast steel edging.

I'd like to make the big bucks installing steel and aluminum edging. But most of my customers are industries. They have professional purchasing agents who can smell a screwing from a mile away. I'd rather keep my job than rip off a client by selling them steel or aluminum edging.

I installed this using a shovel and a hoe, but for the next installation I'm going to rent a bed edger.

LawnLad
04-12-2002, 08:00 AM
Jim -

Yes, I do like a "spade" edge. If we're just maintaining an edge, we'll most likely use a spade to clean out the gutter of the edge. Otherwise we'll use a walk behind edger to trim the grass/edge with a little touch up with a spade.

For new bed edging, we have a bed edger, but it only cuts the edge. You still have to manually remove/dig out the sod strip. This is okay - and has worked.

I looked at another model of bed shaper that rolls the strip of soil/sod back. Will I spend the $3,500 for it? Perhaps. But there are a few other things that I'd like to get first. As well, I'll have to adjust my pricing for edging to the linear foot or by the job instead of by the hour. Getting paid T & M does little to motivate you into buying more efficient equipment. So when I do, I'll have to change my pricing for it. No biggie - just have not reached that point yet.

lawnstudent
04-12-2002, 09:20 AM
Great info. Sure do appreciate the help here! So is the proper way to prepare a "spade" edge to trench the edge well below the lawn level (3-4")? And don't fill the mulch up to the grass level? When I've seen mulch up to the grass level the grass moves rapidly (rhizomes) into the beds and the "spade" edge trim-up now becomes a grass pulling session. How are you keeping the grass out of the planters with just a spade edge? Also, with all that exposed soil on the edge, don't you get a lot of weed germination?

jim

Ssouth
04-12-2002, 04:51 PM
I'd like to make the big bucks installing steel and aluminum edging. But most of my customers are industries.
David, what I meant by this statement is that people around here seem to like it and it's in high demand. We have a great source for it. What we buy is a little thicker and two feet longer than what you get at HD or Lowe's for the same cost.

LawnLad
04-12-2002, 05:46 PM
Jim, no problem on weed germination on the vertical side of the exposed edge. Weed seeds can't germinate/sit on the vertical side, and typically due to the spading, the soil is "compacted" - or has a shovel sheen or shine to it.

We do not mulch to the top of the gutter or to lawn level as the grass will grow too quickly into the bed and the mulch will migrate into the lawn. It's an accepted and desireable look around here for exposed edge - as it's neat and clean. With good bed lines, it really accents the lines of the beds. Bad bed lines are just accented with bed edging.

lawnstudent
04-12-2002, 08:32 PM
Lawnlad,

this has been very helpful. Thank you! The beds I've encounter here in Il. have diagonal edges. What you say about vertical edges makes sense. I assume those edging the beds I've seen don't know or take the time to get the job done right. It was seeing angled edges that got me thinking that edging may be a better choice, but now I am thinking that "spade" edging is better if done right. Thanks again to all that gave contributed. I certainly have learned something!


jim