Leading edge(ing)

May 14, 2019 -  By
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Metal and concrete and rubber — oh my! With so many landscape edging products on the market, it’s important for landscape professionals to consider their region’s climate and the edging’s intended application before settling on a material.

“Edging is not one size fits all,” says Daniel Martin, director of marketing at Permaloc in Holland, Mich.

To get the lowdown on different types of landscape edging, we chatted with five experts from four manufacturers — Martin; Larry Rea, business consultant for the producer group of Rosetta Stone in Charlevoix, Mich.; Mike Nesdahl, vice president of sales, marketing and customer service for Bedford Technology in Worthington, Minn.; and Sean Fierst, director of marketing, and Sean Broderick, director of business development, at Coyote Landscape Products in Denver.

Aluminum Edging (Photo: Permaloc)

Photo: Permaloc

Aluminum

Manufacturer: Permaloc

Preferred applications: Landscape beds, patios, aggregate walkways, green roofs, permeable pavement and asphalt.

Benefits: The material is lightweight and flexible, so landscape professionals can achieve the right curves they’re after. It doesn’t expand or contract with temperature or moisture and it also won’t rust, rot or break down as quickly as other materials, according to Martin.

Potential drawbacks: It may corrode over time.

Odds and ends: Permaloc offers up to 500 different types of edging in various widths, heights and thicknesses. The company’s L-shaped pavers connect through a sliding tab connector, while other types connect by the individual pieces telescoping to one another.

Words of wisdom: Install the edging low by first trenching and then putting it down. If it’s installed too high, it doesn’t stay in place and allows grass and weeds to go under it, defeating its purpose.

“We believe in function over form. Our edging is there to keep things in place, not to draw attention to itself.” —Daniel Martin

Concrete edging (Photo: Rosetta Stone)

Photo: Rosetta Stone

Concrete

Manufacturer: Rosetta Hardscapes

Preferred applications: Landscape beds with plants, mulch and/or natural rocks, sidewalks and driveways that include a slope.

Benefits: While man-made concrete edging resembles natural stone, the pieces are chopped evenly and consistently, making for easy installation and maintenance.

Potential drawbacks: The material is inflexible.

Odds and ends: For its Bordo edging, Rosetta offers 32 different textures of two different sizes. The height is consistent at 3.625 inches.

Words of wisdom: When installing this type of paver, be sure to lay it level. For the edging to be most effective, bury about three-quarters of the product in the ground.

“The product has a chopped look. It has a rock face, but it’s consistent.” —Larry Rea

Recycled plastic edging (Photo: Bedford Technology)

Photo: Bedford Technology

Recycled plastic

Manufacturer: Bedford Technology

Preferred applications: Retaining walls, high-moisture environments and marine applications.

Benefits: Made from recycled milk and detergent jugs, the edging products also can be recycled at the end of their lifespan. Insects don’t bore into the material, as they do with wood and other organic materials.

Potential drawbacks: The plastic material expands and contracts with temperature.

Odds and ends: For added dimensional stability, the edging is reinforced with fiberglass.

Words of wisdom: When cutting the material, use a carbide-tip blade. Otherwise, the blades may end up milling the material, instead of cutting it.

“We’re taking single-use plastics and making them a long-term solution. Our 50- to 100-year-old product can also be recycled, so it never has to hit the landfill.” —Mike Nesdahl

Steel edging (Photo: Coyote Landscape Products)

Photo: Coyote Landscape Products

Steel

Manufacturer: Coyote Landscape Products

Preferred applications: The light-duty products (called PerfEdge) feature a series of perforated holes for areas that require easy drainage, and its heavy-duty applications (called ToughEdge) are best used for retaining walls and gravel walkways.

Benefits: The product is durable, doesn’t pop out of the ground and is ecofriendly since much of the steel is made from 90 percent recycled product and can be continually recycled.

Potential drawbacks: The edging requires a lot of physical manpower to install; its heaviest piece weighs 86 pounds.

Odds and ends: Coyote products come in five finishes and three colors. All of the manufacturer’s products come in 10- and 16-foot lengths. Fourteen-gauge products or thinner can incorporate a rolled edge, which creates a rounded end that’s less of a hazard for children and pets.

Words of wisdom: Consider the environmental conditions before installing Coyote’s raw material products; they may rust and cause the product to deteriorate faster if they’re installed somewhere other than in a dry, noncoastal area.

“Consider the amount that you will need. Sketch out a design before you install it or even buy it.” —Sean Broderick

Sarah Webb

About the Author:

Sarah Webb is Landscape Management's associate editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University, where she studied journalism and Spanish. Prior to her role at LM, Sarah was an intern for Cleveland Magazine and a writing tutor.

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