METAL EDGING INSTALLATION TIPS
These tips are included as a hard copy with every order.
Installing our metal edging onto a flat level surface makes life much easier. Forcing the edge to rise up and down mounds will cause it to lean, although gradual rises and falls can be accommodated.
When gravel edging, we recommend scraping the gravel away from the edge before installation. This prevents soil, hardcore etc getting mixed with gravel during installation and leaves the very satisfying job at the end of raking the gravel back against the new edge at edge!
Edge height and orientation
The edge should be set so the gap between the top of the stake sleeve and top of the edge is uppermost. We recommend setting a third of the edge in the ground or in driveways where it may be driven over, then at least half of the edge should be set below ground level for additional stability.
When lawn edging, we recommend setting the top of the edge at soil level so the grass and thatch layer is above the top of the steel, this works well aesthetically and ensures mowers do not hit the top of the edge.
Join two or more lengths together before installation
Due to the strength of our joining system it is possible to attach up to 4 lengths of our edging at a time while laying flat next to its final position, this will save time and is easier than joining individual lengths of edging when vertical in its final position, especially on curves.
Please take care not to over bend the edge if doing this. While our joining system is the most robust we have seen, joins are still the most vulnerable part of the edge. Small movements of the edge all along its length are the best way to get it into position.
That said there is no harm in installing one length at a time if you prefer!
We recommend leaving a portion of the stakes above the top of the edge until you are happy with the overall line. This will make it easier to remove them and to make adjustments if required. Once you are happy, hammer them home so they are flush with the top of the sleeve. Feel free to use a sledge hammer if necessary.
Metal edging lawns
There are a couple of additional tips for installing metal lawn edging.
While the steel will form perfect flowing lines it needs to be able to do this uninterrupted. Therefore any areas of lawn in the way of the curve should be removed, you can always backfill any gaps behind the edge with soil after installation if you remove too much.
Make sure the steel has a clear run as even a small stone between the steel and lawn edge is enough to prevent the edging being secured flush against the lawn. During installation we undercut the lawn edges slightly using a spade to help prevent this from happening.
Ensure you have dug out enough soil so the edge drops down to the height required. It’s much easier to prop the edge up during installation than to try and dig out more soil from underneath once the edge is in place.
Achieving straight lines
Ideally using a string line as a guide, this is also useful in achieving an even height. The string line is best set along the seen face (with no fixings) about a centimetre away and level with the top of the edge.
Installing our metal garden edging onto level ground will help to achieve straight lines. This is best achieved using the string line during the ground preparation by measuring the from the top of the line (to be the top of the edge) down to the ground.
Straight lines will usually require a bit of tweaking. Use a spade or bar to lever the edge forwards or backwards. Hammering the ground at the base of a stake (on the opposite side you want the edge to go) is surprisingly effective at getting the edge to stay in position. A large stone or half brick even can be hammered down the base of the stake if possible.
If forming a stand alone curve start at the end by knocking stakes into the two end sleeves before trying to bend the steel (a stake in a single sleeve allows the edge to pivot around the stake, the two stakes should give the edge enough grip to begging bending round). Gradually form the curve knocking the stakes in as you go.
If forming a curve as part of a longer run simply begin curving the steel to the desired arc and knock the stakes in as you go.
Permanently bending our metal edge to form tight curves or angles
In a majority of cases the steel will form a tight enough curve without the need to bend it to the point of no return. However if you need to...
Firstly mark where you want the bend usually best done by lying the steel in situ and marking with a pen or chalk.
Our 3mm thick edging is easily bent to form angles. We recommend using a plank or similar laying perpendicular over the top of the steel with the point you wish to bend protruding, then standing on the plank simply pull the steel up and bend it just beyond the angle your trying to achieve.
To create tight curves in the 3mm edge is a similar process but bend the steel slightly in small increments 2-3cm apart. These slight bends at regular intervals will together form a nice even curve. It does take some judgement to bend the steel enough each time to create the right curve. Most people tend to over bend so be cautious. Try and feel when the steel just gives and stop. A little tip is it to watch the surface crackle a little. Don’t worry if you over bend, flex the edge in the opposite direction slightly until you feel it give. It is possible to remove any wrong bends by hammering them out over a hard flat surface, concrete is ideal.
The 6mm is more of a challenge to bend past its natural flexing point but not impossible. The 75mm and 100mm high can be bent using the method described above, but the 150mm will most likely require another person. We don’t recommend trying to permanently bend our 200 and 300mm edging, although it will still flex to form curves.
As a guide to the flexibility of our edging the 3mm thick edge can form a complete circle with a diameter of around 2 metres without deforming and the 6mm thick edge 4 metres. Be careful not to over bend to the point at which it will not recover to the straight position as this would leave a kink.
You will get a feel for how the steel reacts, keep checking to ensure you have achieved a smooth curve or straight line. Small tweaks make a difference and during installation is the time to get it right as in time the ground around the edge and stake will settle and firm up the edge making it hard to adjust.
Keep the edge upright
As you go, check the steel is in the vertical position, by eye is fine. If it requires moving simply use a stake in the sleeve to lever edge one way or the other. Once in position hold the stake upright, over correct the lean slightly and hammer in, the edge should then return to the upright position.
Where metal edging an area in preparation for a lawn, use the top of the edge as a guide for your soil levels.
When edging existing lawns, the metal edge will show up any imperfections in lawn levels. Use this as an opportunity to achieve a level lawn by adding fine topsoil on areas where the edge is higher than the lawn and scraping off the highs. The back of a rake resting on top of the edge is ideal for scraping soil over the lows, then simply seed these bare areas. Vertical gaps between the steel and face of the lawn are common as the steel “irons out” imperfections in curves and staring runs, these can be filled in the same way and seeded.
On paths and driveways edging, refirm any hardcore dug out back around the base of the edge.
We hope you find these tips useful, if you are in the process of installing our edging you are welcome to contact us for advice. We would love to see photos of your finished edging installation and receive your feedback.