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New products and best practices for landscape edging installation

February 20, 2023 -  By
Aluminum edging gains in popularity as a lighter alternative to steel. (Photo: Siteone Landscape Supply)

Aluminum edging gains in popularity as a lighter alternative to steel. (Photo: Siteone Landscape Supply)

Landscape edging is a tried-and-true product in the green industry, and new advancements have made way for more edging applications than ever. 

LM spoke with Nick diLorenzo, product manager of landscape products at Horizon Distributors, and Ian Freeman, hardscapes and synthetic turf category manager at SiteOne Landscape Supply, to discuss the latest products and installation best practices in landscape edging. 

What does edging do?

“Edging essentially creates a physical barrier or separation between grass, pathways, mulch beds and driveways without taking up too much space,” says Freeman.

DiLorenzo says edging also helps distinguish different parts of the landscape.

“We like some sort of organization and differentiation, and edging provides that clean look of transition between different aspects of the landscape,” he says. “Edging also provides contour to break up straight lines and bring a more flowing landscape.”

Alternative edging products

While these applications represent the traditional use of landscape edging, alternative types of landscape edging are emerging.

With unstable steel prices, manufacturers and installers look to alternatives in aluminum and composite edging.

“Aluminum edging is making its mark as a metal edging,” says diLorenzo. “With the price of steel going up, aluminum is becoming more utilized. Aluminum is (a) much lighter material and gives you the flexibility of composite without the risk of degradation and rusting.”

Freeman says steel edging is a best-seller for SiteOne.

“Due to the volatility of the steel markets, we’ve seen aluminum edging grow in market share — as well as plastic — because of its cost-effectiveness,” he says.

Freeman says plastic landscape edging remains popular for its ability to provide great flexibility, literally.

“Plastic edging comes in different colors and is usually a more affordable option in the edging space,” says Freeman. “Plastic can be adaptive to most tight curves compared to other materials.”

New needs for edging

In addition to defining borders between beds and lawns, landscape edging also serves as a way to keep pavers in place.

For contractors, edge restraints are a critical part of the paver installation process. The demand for hardscapes continues to increase as upscale outdoor living grows in popularity. Edge restraints make the work of paver installation quicker and the end product longer-lived.

DiLorenzo says this includes keeping pavers in place.

“Once the outer pavers start moving, the rest of the paver system is compromised, regardless of any chemical stabilizer,” he says. “Contractors don’t want to come back once they have installed the pavers, so edge restraints minimize the lateral movement of the paver system.”

Additionally, the growth of synthetic turf in low-maintenance and low-water applications has seen an increased demand for edge restraints that help to keep artificial turf products locked into place.

“We have seen an increase in edging products being used as a border or nailer board on synthetic turf projects to attach the turf to the base underneath,” says Freeman.

Meeting contractors’ needs

As landscape edging manufacturers integrate new and more efficient installation methods with emerging product lines, that means responding to consumer trends.

“The edging business is constantly changing, says diLorenzo. “Big Box and DIY drive a lot of the new changes that we see, which ultimately makes its way into the commercial and professional channels where we reside.”

No matter the product, good edging installation comes down to preparation.

“Regardless of what material you are using, prepping the site is crucial to make sure the installation goes smoothly and that you get the edging installed properly the first time,” says diLorenzo. 

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