Stake Driven, In-Ground or Hybrid Landscape Edging: How to Choose

There are many reasons one might choose to install landscape edging. Sometimes, the goal is aesthetic—where it’s done purely for looks and appeal. Other times, it’s done for function… to make getting and keeping a clean line between lawn and garden or beds clean and neat.

No matter the initial goal when you set out to implement a landscape edging product, the bottom line is that you want it to:

  1. Look Good
  2. Perform
  3. Last

In terms of landscape edging options that will meet these demands, you do have many choices today. There is landscape edging made of different materials, that comes in different colors, and also, installed with different installation methods.

We’ve talked a lot about the different types of landscape edging materials that are on the market.

To summarize the most common materials used for lawn and landscape edging, those usually include rubber/composite, various strengths and qualities of plastics, and metal—including aluminum and steel.

The material you choose as your preferred landscape edging selection will likely depend on your desired aesthetic, your budget, the effort you’re willing to put into installation, the work you’re willing to do to maintain or upkeep the material itself, and the work you will need to do keep your landscaping looking good.

When it comes to lawn and landscape edging installation method, the “best option” isn’t always as clear-cut.

You basically have three different choices when it comes to how your lawn and landscape edging will be installed into your landscape or hardscape: stake driven landscape edging, in-ground landscape edging, or hybrid—a combination of the two.

So, which is better?

Stake driven landscape edging is pretty much just as it sounds—landscape edging that is secured into the ground (and place) with stakes.

Advantages

This type of landscape edging has been preferred by many for a long time because it’s fairly easy to install. Furthermore, the stakes add a level of security in regard to both initial placement and longevity.

Disadvantages

While stake-in landscape edging is fairly easy to install, it’s limited in its ability to block grasses or weeds that might invade beds, since the edging itself sits above the ground. Stake-in edging is also more susceptible to impact damage since the stakes are generally only used at intervals and not along the entire expanse of the edging product. Therefore, on the areas where there are not stakes, the edging can be more vulnerable.

In-Ground Landscape Edging is edging that is installed into a pit or trench that is dug where you want the landscape edging installed.

Advantages

Many people prefer in-ground landscape edging because if so long as it’s tall enough, it can usually do a good job of blocking the invasion of grasses or weeds into gardens and beds. Additionally, in-ground edging is usually made of materials that both look good and last—such as higher-quality plastics and metals.

Disadvantages

The disadvantage of in-ground landscape edging is that while it does offer more weed and grass invasion protection, it does require more work to perform the installation. First, a trench must be dug in the desired depth/shape that you wish for the edging to be installed. Then, the edging is put in place. Finally, the trench is backfilled with the dirt that was removed when it was initially dug. For many people, this might be more work than they want to do, even in consideration of the benefits. Also, if the trench is not dug deep enough, or if the edging is not installed properly in an upright position, the edging could either not perform its job well or be easily subject to impact damage;

Hybrid installation landscape edging is sometimes considered the best of both worlds. Typically this type of landscape edging will cut into the ground, but the “stakes” (or sharp edges that can slice into the ground) are built-in to the edging itself.

Advantages

With hybrid install edging, you get the benefit of not necessarily have to dig a trench, but this edging can still be installed deeper into the ground if it has its own spikes or even better, a serrated edge. In such a case, you just place the serrated, knife, or spiked edge into the ground and tap it in with a rubber hammer or mallet. Since it is tapped into the ground, with usually only a smaller portion of the material rising above the ground, this means it can protect beds against invading weeds or grasses.

Disadvantages

The only real disadvantage to this type of edging exists if the installation is not done (or can’t be done) properly. For example, the landscape edging may not perform as well if it’s not (or can’t be) hammered into the ground deeply enough to make it secure. In this case, a trench would need to be dug—just not as deep as it would need to be with only in-ground edging.

Edge Right is a hybrid installation landscape edging product that does indeed give you the best of all worlds.

Edge Right is a Cor-Ten (marine-grade) steel product that doesn’t rust in the traditional way but instead, develops a nice, rustic, patina as it ages. It’s hardy and attractive with almost any design style.

For those who prefer in-ground landscape edging for its grass and weed protection, Edge Right does slice into the ground with a serrated edge. Therefore, you get that protection with a product where in most cases, digging a trench is not necessary. Alternately, for those who prefer stake landscaping for its secure positioning capabilities, the serrated edge of Edge Right provides that security too.

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