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Mar 162014
 
Brick paver garden border

Brick pavers provide a wide border that keeps grass out of the garden

This simple, attractive border will keep grass from invading your garden and eliminate the need for edge trimming. Not only does it look great, this border require almost no maintenance.

Both concrete and brick pavers make a simple, handsome border and work well as edging material too. They’re ideal when you want a wide border that keeps grass out of the garden, yet allows flowers and other plants to spill over without intruding onto the grass. You’re less likely to chop them up with the lawn mower.

The paver design shown here also provides a nice, flat surface for the lawn mower wheel to roll along and make a clean cut. You shouldn’t have to trim the edges after mowing. Concrete pavers (55ยข each) are designed for rugged outdoor use. Brick pavers ($1 each) are too, but don’t confuse them with regular bricks, which are typically softer and more likely to break down. Set the pavers in a bed of sand for easier positioning and leveling.

The sand bed that you lay over landscape fabric keeps most grass types from sending roots under the edging and getting into the garden. Paver borders work well for straight, formal gardens but even better for informal yards with gradual curves and varying slopes. You can easily adjust them to follow the contours of an uneven yard. But they won’t fit as well on tighter curves unless you alter the design and are willing to cut them to fit with a diamond blade saw.

Various colors and shapes of pavers

Concrete and brick pavers are available in a variety of colors and shapes.

Use a garden hose to mark the best-looking border shape and to make gradual curves. Don’t hesitate to trim the trench a bit here or there as you cut the edge to smooth curves or alter the garden bed shape. For straight borders, follow a tightly stretched string line. Follow the photos for installing the pavers. It’s important to set the front edge of the pavers about 1/2 in. above the soil in the lawn so the lawn mower can cut the grass cleanly. We also leveled our pavers from front to back to keep the row from dipping and rising, but it’s not necessary and on slopes might look better if set on an angle. Just make sure the top of each paver sits flush with its neighbor and that the front edges create a smooth line. You can go back later and whack them perfectly flush with a block of wood and a hammer or a rubber mallet. The pavers we set on edge will raise the garden bed slightly and help retain mulch. Set them higher or lower to fit the needs of your garden.

Steps to build a great mow-over paver garden border

Identify the border
Use a hose to define your border

Lay out the edge of the border with a garden hose, using the brick pattern as a spacer. Make curves gradual and smooth. You might want to run the lawnmower across the area to be sure you haven’t made any curves too tight.

Dig a wide trench
Dig a trench for the border pavers

Dig a 4-in. deep trench about an inch wider than the brick pattern, using a square spade. Cut the edge along the grass smooth and square.

Fill the trench with landscape fabric and sand
Fill the trench with fabric and sand

Cut landscape fabric to fit the bottom and sides of the trench and dump in about 2 in. of sand. Smooth and flatten the sand with a block of wood.

Lay the bricks on the sand
Lay the bricks on the sand

Set the bricks tightly together so the tops and front edges are even and about 1/2 in. above the soil. Sweep sand into gaps and pack soil against the backside.

 

You can also do a simple metal edge border or a raised bed stone border. You’ll find them both at and with thanks to The Family Handyman.