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Installing edging boards around planting beds and lawns.

If you're relandsccaping this spring, you may want to use wood edging to outline planting beds and lawsn. Although edging is simple to install, many gardeners pick the wrong lumber or fail to install it properly. We checked with the pros to find out how they ensure that edging will give years of sturdy service.

When choosing lumber, it's best to use construction-grade heart redwood or select tight-knot cedar, but remember that these labels don't always guarantee quality. Avoid any redwood 2-by-4s or benderboard containing streaks of lighter sapwood, as well as cedar with large knots.

Pressure-treated fir is another durable alternative. (Paint-on preservatives are less effective and most of them are being taken off the market by the E.P.A.)

A single benderboard produces flimsy edging; use at least three together, as shown. Don't try to force the benderboard into sharp curves--some boards will bend more easily than others, but a 6-foot radius is about as tight as you can get without breakage. For greatest flexibility, soak the boards before installing by placing them in a shady spot and repeatedly hosing them down for a couple of days, or immersing them in a swimming pool.

After you have incorporated amendments and graded the area, outline edging positions. Mark straight sections with a string tied to stakes. For curves, you can bend a hose to determine layout, then draw a line with gypsum powder.

Along the marked lines, dig trenches deep enough so that the top of the boards will be about 1/2 to 1 inch above the final soil grade. Where boards meet paving, they should be flush.

Lay straight boards in trenches. For short curves, you can ease all three benderboards between guide stakes at the same time. For longer curves, lay one benderboard at a time, staggering the ends so that the splices will be lapped. Secure all joints as shown at left.

Drive in more stakes (12- or 18-inch redwood 1-by-2s) at least every 4 feet on alternate sides of boards. Attach stakes to boards with 2-1/4-inch (7D) galvanized box nails. Nail benderboards together at 6-inch intervals with 1-inch (2d) nails.
COPYRIGHT 1985 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Feb 1, 1985
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