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Retrofitting Lawn Edging to Stop Grass Breaching It

Did you put in lawn edging only to find the grass was growing over the top of it? Me too! In particular, if you have couch grass, you are in for a battle. Couch grass is highly invasive and takes a lot to control. This is what we happen to have for our lawn at our family house. In particular, the maximum available plastic edging depth is 150 mm, which doesn't cut it for couch grass.

Removing couch grass from a garden with a grevillea
Removing couch grass from a garden where the edging didn't work 🙄

For maximum resistance to couch grass, I would consider two 150 mm strips stacked on top of each other. I am trying a step down - 150 mm underground and 75 mm on top.

You will need:

  • Pitch fork

  • Spade

  • Needle nose pliers with the wire cutting part

  • Claw hammer

  • Two masonry nails or similar

  • Plastic coated wire (I used book binder)

Plastic tub of tools and wire
Wire cutters can be handy too

If you are putting in garden edging for the first time, the whole process is much easier. These steps are for if you have already installed the 150 mm edging and have found that wasn't enough.

Put the 2 mm drill bit into the drill as far as it will go - this will avoid it snapping off. You only need to drill through the thickness of the edging.

First, drill 2 mm holes in the edging you will install on top. The holes will need to be in groups of two, spaced about 1 m apart, like this. Each group of two will need to be 2 holes 20 mm apart and at least 10 mm from the bottom edge. Like this (I went for 20 mm from the bottom edge):

Clear some space and put the pitch fork behind where you will make the join. Hammer both nails into both drilled holes. Once the nail is in the drill hole, a few heavy blows is easier than many light blows - even with the pitch fork behind.

Driving a nail through two pieces of garden edging
Harder than it looks - patience is key!

Pull one of the nails out with either the pliers or claw hammer.

Cut 100 mm of wire, straighten the ends using the pliers and feed it through the hole left by the nail you pulled out. Make sure the wire is out of the way of the other nail - or it's coming out with the nail.

Pull out the other nail and feed the other end of the wire through.

If you accidentally bent the nail (I did it very frequently), straighten with the pliers. Or, worst case scenario, replace the nail.

Using your fingers, twist the wire to close it off. Tuck the loose ends between the two pieces of edging for safety. Avoid the temptation to use the pliers - this damages the plastic coating and can even snap the wire.

Tying two pieces of plastic garden edging together with wire
Looking good!

Continue along in the same fashion. You may need to clear soil away as you go so it will fit.

If you come across two pieces of underground edging that grass keeps getting into, join those together along with the above ground edging - effectively tying three pieces together.

Three pieces of overlapping edging about to be tied together
Let's join forces 😎

Have fun and good luck 😃

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