A DIY tutorial on how to install concrete landscape edging to improve your homes curb appeal.
Do you want to create a border between your landscaping? The process is not complicated and can be inexpensive if you DIY it. Use this tutorial on how to install a simple concrete landscape edging.
How much does it cost to install concrete edging?
I wish I could say it would cost “X” amount to install concrete edging. But it will depend on how wide the edging will be and how long.
To give you an estimate, you will be looking at it costing about $3.75 per square foot.
Simple Concrete Borders
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- 1/4″ bender board (plywood) or 1/2″ plywood (or 2×4’s)
- 12″ wood stakes
- 1″ screws (or 1-1/4″)
- circular saw (or table saw)
- wheel barrel
- trenching shovel
- concrete margin towel
- concrete edging tool
- rubber float
You can print the material list and instructions below.
SIDE NOTE: This is my first time doing any concrete work. There are probably techniques to make the process easier. I am completing this project with the least amount of tools needed to help save on the cost.
STEP 1: Layout the plan
To start your concrete edging project, you will need a plan on exactly where the edging will be in your landscaping.
You can layout the plan by using your garden hose or string. We decided to use a string with wooden stakes.
After you have placed one side of the layout, you need to add a gap then lay out the other side of the border. But first, you will need to decide how wide you want your concrete edging.
TIP: Have your edging a minimum of 4″.
You also need to factor in the width of your form. So take the width of the edging and add 2″ (if you’re using 2×4’s, add 4.5″), this is how wide you need the gap between your layouts.
Layout the other side according to this width.
STEP 2: Dig out the layout
Once you have the layout you want for your concrete border, use a trenching shovel to dig along with the design, both sides.
After you have dug along with the layout, excavate the dirt and possibly grass inside this area until you have a 4″ deep trench.
SIDE NOTE: This is when a tarp and wheelbarrow come in handy.
TIP: Try to make the sides of the trench straight up and down, not angled.
STEP 3: Create for concrete edging form
Now that the trench is dug, you can start creating your concrete form. The boards that you will use to create the form will need a place to anchor to (wooden stakes).
Start by cutting a 1/4″ or 1/2″ sheet into 3-7/8″ strips. You will get twelve 8 foot strips per sheet.
SIDE NOTE: The 3-7/8″ is factoring in a 1/8″ blade cut.
TIP: If you are using a circular saw to cut the sheet, use a rip-cut to make the cutting easier. If you’re not sure what that is, see my post about how to use a rip- cut for a circular saw.
And while you have the saw out, create a spacing template. The template will be for the width of the edging plus the size of your wood material (1/4″ or 1/2″). Cut a board to this measurement.
SIDE NOTE: Use a stake if you do not have a scrap board.
Once the strips are cut, you can start creating your form.
Place a 12″ stake at the beginning of one side of the trench. You will hammer the stake into the ground so that the top of the stake is level with the ground.
Then place the strip of wood into the trench. Clamp the wood to the stake making sure the end of the board hits the beginning of where you want the edging plus the top of the board is level with the top of the stake.
Secure the board to the stake using two screws, one toward the bottom and one toward the top. You will need to remove the clamp for one screw.
TIP: You may need to use a 90-degree drill attachment.
Depending on the size of your strips will determine how far apart you will space the stakes. If you are using a 1/4″ strip, you will want a stake about every foot, 1/2″ material, about every two feet. You should place as many as needed to keep the form within the layout.
SIDE NOTE: You will need to use more stakes around turns.
Start placing stakes along the layout and secure the board to the stake.
When you are at the end of a board, place a stake where the board will be in the middle of the stake. This way, you can install another board on the same stake.
Continue this process for this side of the layout.
Once you are ready to place the form for the other side of the layout. You will begin by using your spacing template (a board the size of the desired concrete border plus the size of your form material, 1/4″ or 1/2″).
Place the spacing template against the already installed form then place a stake where the template ends. Keep installing stakes the same way for the length of one strip of board.
Then attach the board to the stakes using clamps and screws.
Continue this process until the form is complete.
SIDE NOTE: If you are having issues with a board staying in place, you can cut spacer to help the boards from bowing together.
SIDE NOTE 2: You may notice that my concrete edging is not the straightest there are two reasons why: 1. I did not add enough stakes to keep the form straight and 2. I should have used 1/2″ for the straight sections. So please learn from my mistakes!
STEP 4: Add gravel into the form
Now that your form is created, you need to pack down the dirt inside the form.
Then add a 1/2″ layer of gravel into the form.
STEP 5: Pour concrete into the forms
You are now ready to mix your concrete and pour it into your forms.
Depending on the amount of concrete you need (most concrete companies have a calculator), you may want to use a mixer. If you’re not mixing a ton of bags, mix it in a wheelbarrow or plastic tub according to the instructions on the bag.
Once you have the consistency you need, pour the concrete into the form.
Work the concrete into the edges and make it level with the forms.
Then use the concrete edging tool to give you a slightly rounded edge.
About every three to four feet add a joint about 1″ deep. This is a controlled joint so that the concrete will crack on this line if needed.
Work the concrete to give you the finish you want.
Continue this process until you have added concrete the whole length of the form.
STEP 6: Cure the concrete edging
Once the concrete is in place, it needs to cure. Make sure to follow the instructions on your concrete bag by either applying a sealer or keeping the concrete slightly damp for a couple of days.
Remember that you should not allow a lot of water (rain or sprinklers) to hit the curing concrete, so be sure to cover the concrete with tarps if needed.
STEP 7: Remove the forms
After the concrete has cured, around three days, you can remove the forms.
I found I had to use a pair of pliers to clamp the stakes to pull up.
STEP 8: Fill in around the concrete edging
Once the forms are removed, fill in around the concrete edging with the dirt you removed before.
And now enjoy your concrete edging! Mowing around your landscaping will be simple, plus it will look fantastic.
Interested in more Concrete Edgin
Or you will love these other landscaping projects of ours:
- Sprinkler System Installation
- Install Underground Gutter Drainage
- Automatic Watering System For Plants
- Build a simple hose sprinkler
- Install a rain barrel
And don’t forget you can see before and afters in our full house tour by clicking HERE.