A concrete curbing around plant beds creates a solid line of defense, creating a barrier between the plant areas and creeping grass. Durable concrete is also longer lasting than some other options, making the time and effort of installation well worth it over the years. To create the curb edge, you need to build a frame to hold the cement in place until it cures. This is accomplished with lumber and a little on-site construction.
Things You'll Need
- Flat-edge shovel
- 1/2-inch-thick plywood
- Measuring tape
- Power saw
- Tamping tool
- Wood stakes
- 1/2-inch screws
- Cement mix
Dig a trench 5 inches wide and 8 inches deep along your plant borders. Use a flat-blade shovel to create straight walls along the inside of the trench.
Cut a 1/2-inch-thick sheet(s) of plywood into strips 12 inches wide, using a power saw. Measure and mark the wood clearly before cutting to ensure even cuts.
Line the insides of the trench with the plywood strips, pressing them to the vertical wall. They should stick above the ground 4 inches.
Fill the trench with 4 inches of gravel and tamp down with a hand-tamping tool. The gravel will provide a sturdy base for your concrete and also help keep the plywood pressed against the sides of the trench.
Tap wood stakes into the ground along the outside of the plywood to prevent them from bowing out once the concrete is poured. From inside the trench, drill 1-inch screws through the plywood and into the stakes to force the boards against the dirt walls.
Mix cement and water in a wheelbarrow, following the package directions. Mix until you get a consistency similar to a thick milkshake. Pour the cement mix into the concrete form to fill the trench to the top of the plywood strips. Smooth the surface of the cement with a masonry trowel to even out after pouring.
Remove the plywood once the concrete has cured. Fill in the edges with dirt, and gently press it in along the sides with your foot to close the gap.
Tips & Warnings
- If you have curved landscape edges, 1/4-inch plywood works better, bending to mold to the curves more easily.
- To add decorative stamp patterns to the top of your concrete border, wait until the cement dries to a stiff, yet still moldable consistency. If you press the cement and it forms a small puddle, it's still too wet for stamping.
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