+7 tips to follow when you are edging your garden beds

Without a doubt, having a clear marked edge between your garden beds and your grass makes your space look more polished and put together. There are many options for edging -- you can just create a clear delineation and mulch up to the edge or you can add pavers, rocks, metal or plastic decorative edging.
Regardless if you want to only clean up the edges of your garden beds, or add some sort of decorative edging, it's best to follow these tips.
1. Check with your local utility companies
Before you even think about jamming that shovel into the ground, you need to pull a quick call into a local service that will alert you to where the utilities in your yard are. Knowing where power and phone lines are will stop you from cutting them with your shovel.
2. Mark out underground obstacles
Now that you know where underground utilities might be, take some time to mark out anything else beneath the grass that could be unexpectedly damaged when edging. This includes sprinkler lines, drainage pipes, and underground fencing for pets.
3. Outline the flower bed with spray paint
Grab a cheap can of spray paint from the local store and use it to mark out the outline of your garden bed. Some people like to use their garden hose or some rope but paint won't move unexpectedly nor do you have to worry about accidentally damaging your garden hose.
4. Use an edging tool to cut grass
To make the project easier, you can purchase a half-moon shaped edging tool at your local home and garden center. The metal tool has a sharpened edge that allows it to easily slice down through the grass. Make your way allow the outline you created, slicing downwards first and then slicing in again from the garden side on an angle to free the grass from the soil. This downward angle (or undercut) will help keep the edge distinct and also creates a pocket if you are going to install pavers or other stones. Den Garden has an illustration showing how the undercut should look.
5. Remove grass to create a distinct edge
With either a garden trowel or a shovel, or even just your bare hands, remove the grass you just cut to create a sharp, distinct edge. If you have some bare spots in your lawn this is the perfect time to use the pieces of sod to repair them. Family Handyman walks you through the process of resodding dead patches.
6. Tamp down soil
To prevent the soil from settling where you removed the sod at the edge of the garden bed, use your hands to gently tamp down the soil. This will keep the your garden bed nice and level as you begin watering it.
7. Lay down weed block fabric
The grass is going to try to make its way back into your garden bed over time. To prevent this from happening, or to prevent other weeds from coming up in the garden bed lay down commercial weed block fabric before filling the bed back in with soil.
8. Install edging material
If you're going to install some sort of edging, follow the directions for the product you purchased to accent your garden bed. Installing pavers or garden stones is fairly easy, just time consuming, but is well worth the effort.
9. Finish garden bed
Now that the edge is clearly defined it's time to finish your garden bed. Add in some extra plants if you have space and then spread mulch around your plants and flowers to minimize soil erosion, increase water retention, and deter weeds.

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