Using rip rap for landscape border?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by mike all together, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    I agree....every time I see rip-rap bed edging it makes me sick...its always grown up with grass and noway to trim it. I would go the least expensive option which would look better and that is use a shovel and dig a bed edge. 86 the rocks, it looks unnatural. Rip-rap is for erosion prevention not bed edging.
     
  2. mike all together

    mike all together LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    With the trench idea, would you mind explaining the best route to go in digging this out? What angle in which direction do I cut the trench to ensure the grass stays separated from the mulched bed?

    I've looked online for a bit now but I've struggled to find good pictures to go with the limited instructions to give me a good practical explanation. Yes, I need pictures. I'm that guy.

    I'm actually warming to this idea, as it'd look nice and it'd put more of a focus on the bed rather than the border.
     
  3. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    Send me a PM with your email and I'll shoot you a picture.
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  4. macgyver_GA

    macgyver_GA LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 826

    Trying to fight bermuda from growing into the beds is a battle you are never going to win. You need a barrier that goes at least 4" below the soil-line. I have a 4-5" deep X 6" wide trench around my beds and I edge it weekly with a stick edger. I still get a few runners from time to time but the trench REALLY helps keep the bermuda out of my beds. I have some landscape edging around the trees on the backside of my backyard burried about 3" below the soil and the bermuda still gets under it. I'm going to rip that stuff out and trench those as well when I do the next mulch job on my yard.
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  5. JCinNC

    JCinNC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    I did this at my house. I still hate it, just no $$ to do it right. The only way I've been able to keep the weeds out of the rocks is RoundUp. Another bonus is that occasionally you "bump" one of the smaller stones and it rolls under the mower deck making quite the racket.
     
  6. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    I had a customer with the same edging and the same thing happened to me, the rip-rap rolled under the mower. I told this customer that I would trim what I could, but I would not floss their rocks.
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  7. ACA L&L

    ACA L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,108

    you can always go with some landscape timbers, or get creative and use a tree and cut it into 1ft-2ft sections and bury them alternating there height.............again not what i would do but have seen done nicely before. the timbers might be your best bet here.
     
  8. mike all together

    mike all together LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    Thanks for the advice, everyone. We ended up going with a trench. I'm pretty damn happy with it, especially considering our amateurness with landscaping (and, really, tool use in general). It took quite a few hours this weekend, but it was worth it!

    Still need to get some more mulch, but other than that.

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  9. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    One thing to do is to taper the trench back towards the inside of the bed...also keep your radius large so you can get a mower around the bends.
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  10. mike all together

    mike all together LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    Towards the bed, huh? I used a square/flat shovel and did a 90ยบ cut about 6-8" or so down. Then my trench was about that or a little bit wider and then tapered it up from there. I wanted to be sure I had good separation from the bermuda. Wouldn't angling toward the bed allow the roots to run through the dirt a little easier since there'd be less depth and less mulch to separate it?

    You confused me on the radius part. The radius is large except the middle where it curves back in, but that won't be a problem with the mower. It sucks, though, I wanted to keep that grass area beside the sidewalk because I thought it looked bad originally when they had the bed going right up against it. But now I'm going to have an issue with being able to mow that slice on the right side. Without re-doing the shape of the bed, I'm not sure what option I really have, aside from just carefully using a weed eater there?

    I did get a 7-blade push reel, but I haven't used it yet (sod just got laid on the 15th). Perhaps it'll work pushing it along that little area if I hold it evenly with one wheel in the air. That's probably a recipe for burnt grass, though.
     

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