1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community on the Franchising Forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Cut bed edges vs edging material?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by ATV, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. JCS Landscaping

    JCS Landscaping LawnSite Member
    from NE WI
    Posts: 35

    BTW... we have sandy soil also, and never found this method to become an issue.
     
  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,783


    Just trust your gut. Even in the sandy soil go with at least some steel edging. Dare I say it, but you could even do plastic. :hammerhead: Either way you could use the angle bit and cut the circles like you would if you were doing a cut edge. Then you'll have a good cut out to lay your metal or plastic edging.

    If, you were to do the plastic, the key is to get it low, and buy 10-12 inch spikes and install one spike per foot. Don't use the crappy L pins they try to sell for the plastic edging, they don't work, and that is why you generally see the plastic edging that has come out of the ground.

    The only major advantage I see to steel or plastic over the brick is that they will be semi-temporary so you can expand them as the tree grows.

    So good luck on you decision. The key with the brick edging is that it's tedious. You'll go through about 3 bags of mortar before you figure out the right consistency. Too stiff and you can't pound them down if you need to. Too loose and your bricks will sag when you set them in the mortar.

    To get a semi-perfect circle around a tree, I take a piece of string and make a loose loop around the trunk of the tree. Then I wrap the string around a can of marking paint and tie it to keep it place. Then I gust go around the tree with my paint. If all your circles are the same size then just make it so that you can re-attach it to other trees easily. Kinda like a compass.

    Get latex gloves to wear if you do the brick and mortar. That way you can get your hands in it without tearing them up. Masonry tools can be hard to deal with if your not used to them.

    Use Type S-Mortar. Even though in 80lb bags, it has a better consistency when dealing with it along with the greater strength over Type M.

    Good Luck.
     
  3. shooterm

    shooterm LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 457

    Around trees and in the upper midwest wouldnt a solid structure of only a few inches like mortar just crack and heave retaining its spring position? I'd just lay it as normal paver base. Just me but a trimmed edge with mulch seems more healthy for trees and doesnt train roots to grow at the surface.
     
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,783

    A normal paver base is a waste of time. Reason being is when you do a paver sidewalk or patio, don't you at least put in some sort of restraint on the edges, such a mortar edge, or plastic snap restraint to keep the pavers in place?

    Even if the brick/mortar edge happens to crack or move, it's in larger sections instead of one brick moving. So ultimately it will retain it's shape better in the long run.

    Even some of the brick/mortar edgings I've done in the last 3 years haven't moved a bit.
     
  5. shooterm

    shooterm LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 457

    I dont know its a big no no to mortar brick in when used on the ground. If your not placing anything to the frostline you make sure it can flex so I cant see why this is special.
     
  6. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,783


    Why is it a big no-no, I'm not following you?
     
  7. shooterm

    shooterm LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 457

    You dont put paver or brick on the ground without a flexible base. The mortar ruins the base you put it on because it doesnt flex just shears.
     
  8. shooterm

    shooterm LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 457

    Mortar isnt bad or brick it just need to flex as a unit just like a sidewalk slab.
     
  9. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,783

    PD, this is brick edging we are talking about, not a paver sidewalk/patio.

    There is no difference between bricks laid in mortar and poured curb edging. The only big difference is you get a better look, and your bricks can be at grade with the brick rather than a poured curb edging.

    Basically I feel like you are telling me an apple is an orange.
     

Share This Page