Edging mulch?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Ryall Landscaping, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. Ryall Landscaping

    Ryall Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 128

    I have never edged a bed of mulch before. Can someone please explain to me the easiest way to do so? I DO know what it is, but have never had to do it.

    Will a flat shovel do the job? How deep do I cut it? Straight cut? Angled?

    Thanks :|

    Also, how do you guys do your pricing on edging? We're charging 68/yard for the delivery/installation. Should I charge extra for clean-up (hourly rate maybe)?
  2. Mowbizz

    Mowbizz LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 970

    I like to angle the cut myself but I have seen many straight cut edges that look good too. The main thing is getting a good, even edge all around the bed. A flat shovel will work and they have specialized tools (edge hog) which I have, that are heavier than a shovel and make it easier to punch through a hard pack soil...I usually, make a trip around the bed with the stick edger to get my "line" (on a new or badly eroded edge) then follow with the edge hog to clear the strip of dirt and blend it into the bed where the new mulch will cover it up. A deeper, edge will endure and be a bit easier to maintain than a shallow edge. A shallow edge will collect rain washed mulch and eventually fill up more so than a deeper edge. Be careful of irrigation lines hiding beneath the bed too...had a gardener chop one in half on my GF's house recently when he was trying to clean up an bed edge where he was working...the water lines were only 4-5 inches deep in that spot.
    I will charge $40-50/hour for edging and spreading mulch. If you providing the mulch and all the service that goes with the installation, you should figure "clean up" into your "per yard" rate too don't you think?

    It's not rocket science, so a careful hand with the shovel and a good eye for the lines and you'll do great.
  3. Ryall Landscaping

    Ryall Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 128

    Well, I figured the clean-up of the mulching, but the edging would create quite a bit of excess dirt to clean up, right?

    How deep is a decent edge? 2-3 inches? What is a stick edger? Sorry for all the questions..I tried to search this stuff..Didn't find too much.
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Excellent Post MowBiz. That's just about the same way I tackle edges.

    I prefer the strait, non angle edged. It makes it easier to take a string trimmer on it's side and edge the bed a week or two later.

    I also use my trimmer when I'm done cutting an edge to clean up any grass leaning back into the bed that I didn't get with the shovel.

    A stick edger is a side-walk edger on the end of a trimmer. They are great for getting a good line to follow when you use your shovel.

    Yes, you will have dirt, and sometime you'll have a lot. If you can, try to grade it back into the bed before you lay your mulch, or remove it if there is too much. Sometimes that dirt comes in handy when you need to lightly grade beds next to buildings.
  5. Big C

    Big C LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,642

    A shovel ....muscle and sweat is what I use
  6. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,087

    Just use a spade. When applying the mulch, the mulch only comes up to the bottom of the edge, keep it off of the clean edge. This will make the edge stand out.
  7. Ryall Landscaping

    Ryall Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 128

    Would it be better to mulch FIRST and then edge the beds afterwards? So that no mulch gets into the edge? Or almost none?

    Thanks a ton guys.
  8. lawn crafters

    lawn crafters LawnSite Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 440

    NO bad idea then you will have dirt ontop of mulch
  9. Ryall Landscaping

    Ryall Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 128

    Ohh. I was going to haul the dirt away since there is existing mulch. Is it better, even if there is already 1 to 1 1/2 inches of mulch already, to lay the dirt down over top of it then re-mulch over it?

    Is it possible to come back and edge a bed after mulching? Just get rid of the dirt (Ex: haul it away)?

    Sorry for so many questions :laugh:. Just trying to learn a thing or two.
  10. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,087

    Don't worry about the old mulch. This is the order you should follow. Weeding, trim shrubs, edge, apply weed preventer, install mulch. Never edge last.

    When I say this please don't take it the wrong way, I am not bashing you. This is the perfect example of someone who is in the business and is not qualified or experienced enough. It will take you sometime to learn the tricks of the trade by figuring it out by yourself. You are on the right step by asking questions first but I do not think it will be enough. You need to work for someone first, a company that is profitable and estabilished. You will learn more in two weeks then you could learn in 1 full year working for yourself. Good Luck.

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