How to Install Plastic Edging to Spruce Up Your Garden or Lawn

Give your garden a distinguished look with a modest budget

Ben Kissam
Written by Ben Kissam
Updated April 28, 2022
front yard flower garden with plastic edging
Photo: MargaretW/ iStock/ Getty Images
Time to complete

2 hours

It may take 2 hours or more to finish this project.

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What you'll need:


  • Tape measure
  • Garden shears
  • Trowel
  • Shovel
  • Mallet


  • Plastic edging
  • Plastic couplers
  • Landscape stakes

Whether you're trying to make your garden bed or lawn borders look pristine and neat or add definition around the perimeter of outdoor living spaces, there are many ideas for garden edging to choose from. Installing plastic edging is wallet-friendly and relatively easy, even if DIY isn’t always your jam. Learn how to install plastic edging in this seven-step guide.

  1. Measure Your Garden Beds or Outdoor Spaces

    You'll first need to figure out exactly how much plastic or landscape edging you'll need and where. Use a tape measure to figure out the length you'll need to cover, then write down the dimensions to know what you'll need to cut later. You may find it helpful to DIY edge your lawn before taking your measurements and digging your trench. 

    Remember, 60 feet of plastic edging for garden beds and outdoor spaces starts at around $30 at home improvement stores.

  2. Uncoil Your Plastic Edging

    Plastic edging typically comes in a coil and often maintains that shape once unraveled. You'll want straight plastic edging to work with to make the job as simple as possible, so uncoil it and set it in the sun for about 60 minutes first.

    Set a rock or other lightweight object on each end if it keeps curling back to its original shape. Nothing too heavy, as you don't want to bend it too far.

    *Feel free to skip this step if you’re installing edging around a circular perimeter. 

  3. Dig a Trench for Your Plastic Edging

    woman creating lawn edge in the garden
    Photo: Smole/ Adobe Stock

    The trench you dig needs to be at least 3-inches deep for plastic edging to fit. This helps secure the edging underground but allows for an extra 1/2-inch to 1-inch space above to help maintain uniformity around your garden's perimeter.

    Pull up any weed-control fabric before you start digging.

  4. Cut Your Edging to Fit Your Spaces

    Use a pair of garden shears to cut your plastic edging according to your measurements. Set each strip down roughly where it needs to go on the edge of the trench.

  5. Install Your Plastic Edging in the Trench

    Place your edging in the trench you dug. Keep a trowel handy to dig or backfill any spaces. Before you begin hammering in stakes, you want it as even as possible.

  6. Hammer in Landscape Stakes to Secure Your Edging

    hammering lawn edge in garden
    Photo: ronstik/iStock/ Getty Images

    Place landscape stakes every 3 to 6 inches along the perimeter. Use a mallet to install them from the inside of the garden or flower bed for garden edging. (Don't use a metal hammer, as this will break the stakes.)

    You may consider using plastic coupling to secure corners or odd angles together. If you made accurate cuts and backfilled properly, it may not be necessary.

  7. Backfill Your Trench

    Use a trowel or shovel to backfill dirt into the trench on both sides. Gently move the dirt to avoid shifting your new plastic edging, and gently pat it down with your hand. 

    To help the dirt around the edging settle, lightly water your garden or flower bed.

Installing Plastic Edging DIY vs. Hiring a Pro

For most homeowners, plastic edging installation will only take a few hours and isn't that difficult. It's a great, low-cost project that you can get done with basic household tools. 

That said, it may not be for everyone. If you have a specific vision in mind for your garden beds, a local gardener can give you tips to help your gardens or flower beds truly pop.

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