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When a lawn needs a hard, trim edge.

Healthy lawns are imperialists: they want to spread-especially into the fertile, well-tilled soil of neighboring flower and shrub beds. Mowing strips slow or stop them, and give you a good surface to edge against. Here we show such strips made from brick, concrete, wood, and steel.

To make these fit into overall garden designs, most were constructed from the same materials used in fences, paths, and decks elsewhere in the landscapes. Even the galvanized steel strip (bottom, page 201) in Richard Peters' garden in The Dalles, Oregon, is a natural match with the chain link fence above it.

(Galvanized strips aren't available off the shelf, but sheet metal shops can easily make them; cost for duplicating the one shown is about $1 per lineal foot.)

When you design a strip, keep its job in mind. If you plan to edge against the surface frequently, as Jim Beard does his poured concrete strip (top, next page) in Sumner, Washington, width isn't very important. But if you plan to edge against it only once or twice a year, make the strip wide enough to double as a path; grass will have trouble crossing anything much more than a foot wide.

Special cautions

If You use brick for a mowing strip, mortar it; otherwise, creeping stems may grow through the cracks between the bricks. In Jan and Martel Bryant's Palo Alto, California, path, the outer courses of bricks are mortared, inner ones are laid loose.

If You choose poured concrete, strengthen it with reinforcing bar wherever you might drive over it, or where tree roots might press up from beneath it.

If You use metal, don't let grass grow right up to it; since the metal has little depth, creeping roots go under it. Keep nearby grass down with an herbicide.
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Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Oct 1, 1988
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