How To Install Landscape Edging Using Bricks

Bricks have been among the most commonly used construction materials since yore. These decorative building blocks look great in different masonry projects and are easy to handle.

The fired clay contains rock particles and natural impurities that create diverse, lasting color shades. Its practical aesthetic value is no less appreciated on the lawn, where they’re used as landscape edging bricks. 

Can You Use Bricks for Edging?

You can use bricks as landscape edges. Bricks serve multiple purposes when used as edging. For instance, they can mark flower bed borders or separate tree and shrub areas within the garden. You can also use them to line lawn walkways to isolate different vegetable-growing beds.

Bricks are better than other landscape edging, like chiseled or natural wood or stone, because they don’t rot and are uniformly sized. You can use them for both straight and curved garden beds.

You can move them if you decide to redesign your garden or recycle them if you remove the garden bed altogether. But while choosing landscaping bricks for edging is a great idea, you’ll need the right tools to pull it off perfectly.

The Necessary Tools and Materials for Brick Landscape Edging

Besides your bricks, you also need the following materials and equipment to get the job done:

  • A rope
  • Masonry brush
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Masking tape
  • Tamper
  • Circular saw
  • Rubber mallet
  • Nails
  • Pointed trowel
  • Masonry pencil
  • Tarp
  • Water bottle
  • Tape measure
  • Spade
  • Hose with nozzle

Once you have the suitable materials and tools, proceed to install your landscape edging bricks.

Step by Step Process of Installing Landscape Edging Bricks

There’s no standard procedure for installing edging bricks in your garden. The method and design you choose will depend on your preferred finish, lawn size, number of bricks, or the garden shape. That said, focus on these crucial steps:

Order the Bricks

You need the correct number of bricks to complete your project. To find out how many you require, lay a rope along your garden bed’s edge, following its contours. Then, mark it with tape at the end of the bed, pull the cord taut, and measure the length to the mark.

Finally, divide this length by the width of a brick and then add 10% to your order. Preferably, choose clay pavers, also known as severe weather-rated bricks.

Scout the Curves

Line your garden’s edge with bricks. Place them tight against the grass line, close but not touching one another, leaving room for the sand.

Fan them out slightly to create softer curves. But for a tight curve, you’ll need to find the curve’s peak or center and then leave a triangular gap. The gap’s widest point shouldn’t be wider than a brick.

Mark the Bricks

Fill the triangle gaps using angled edging bricks. Center a block over an opening, then mark the end where it overlaps with the adjacent bricks using the masonry pencil. Use a similar method to draw the brick’s opposite end.

Next, flip the block over and transfer the markings to its face. Use a straightedge and a masonry pencil to create your cult lines, formed by drawing lines that link the marks on either end of your brick.

Cut your Keystones

After marking your brick, place it on a work surface, add the diamond blade to your circular saw, and adjust its depth. You’ll then cut through the block in a single pass as you trickle water onto it to minimize dust. Once you’re done cutting your keystone brick, set it into the gap to confirm if it fits.

Dig the Trench

With your bricks ready, you’ll now start the digging. Get your spade, then dig a trench as you collect soil using the tarp. Work from the grass line towards the bed and ensure the groove is several inches wider than your bricks.

Dig until you get past the topsoil, noticeable by a change in soil color. Your trench should be at least six inches deep, allowing for a two- to three-inch paver base layer, an inch of stone dust, and enough space for the bricks to lay parallel to the ground.   

Pack the Paver Base

Spread the paver base uniformly through the trench, halting regularly to pack down the tamper. Add the material in small batches until you create a base at least two to three inches deep.

If you dig beyond six inches, continue packing till you achieve a depth equal to your bricks’ width and an extra inch for the stone dust.

Mix Your Stone Dust

Mix stone dust and cement at the ratio of 6:1 in the wheelbarrow. Add a shovelful of cement to six shovelfuls of stone dust, then mist the mixture using the garden hose to activate your cement. Ensure it doesn’t soak.

Lay the Edging Bricks

Cover your paver base with the mixture using the trowel, working in several feet-long stretches. You’ll then press your bricks into place as you tap them down using the rubber mallet one at a time. Make sure the face of each block aligns with the ground on both sides of the trench.

Do this brick by brick as you set the keystone at curves and maintain a constant gap. Finally, you’ll backfill along the bricks’ back edge using leftover stone dust, then cover it using soil.

Fill the Gaps

After setting your bricks, you’ll pour polymeric sand on top of them, then sweep it into the gaps using the brush. Working your way down your lawn, whack the edging bricks using the rubber mallet, forcing the sand to pack tight. Continue filling the gaps till the sand aligns with the faces of the bricks.

Hose Off the Edging

Lastly, brush away the extra polymeric dust or sand to prevent them from staining your bricks. Use your hose to wash the edging while maintaining a gentle spray to dampen the sand between the blocks. As it absorbs water, the sand will set and act like grout, locking the brick edging in place for years to come.

Bottom Line

Not many edgings can beat the longevity, stability, and (unfortunately) the effort required to install landscape edging bricks in your garden. The project can also be relatively costlier unless you have some bricks. But a little elbow grease and cost are often worth having a great-looking, robust, and durable edge for your bed areas.

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