Lawn edging will give your lawn a nice clean, neat look. You can separate your flower beds, driveways and trees from the grass, keeping mulch in your landscape and weeds and grass out of your flower beds. There are many types of lawn edging from plastic strips to natural stone and everything in between. This project can be inexpensive if you want it to be, but all forms of lawn edging are labor intensive. Without a strong back and sufficient time, you may want to consider hiring a professional.
The Cut Edge
To keep the cost within a budget and still have a nice clean edge to the lawn, you can buy or rent a lawn edger. Some are electric and others are gas but the important part is the blade. You will want to make sure you have a sharp blade with a guide that you can place up against your driveway or sidewalk and it will cut through all roots that are heading toward the places you don't want the grass to grow. While this looks great, it doesn't last very long and depending on the type of lawn you have, will need to be repeated at least once or twice a year.
Plastic Strip Edging
Black plastic landscape edging is an inexpensive way to edge your lawn. It works great when you have curves in your landscape because it's pliable and can be put into almost any shape. A trench needs to be dug for this type of edging or you can rent a trench digger at the tool rental store. Most of this edging is underground and will stop roots from crossing over. There is a lip on the top that will keep mulch in its place but is low enough that you can mow right over it.
Bricks and Stones
Bricks and natural stones or rocks make beautiful edging for your lawn. They are still relatively inexpensive and can be painted to create unusual landscape designs and colors. They are more decorative than useful when it comes to keeping weeds from spreading, but hold mulches in flower beds and around trees well. They need a shallow trench to keep them in place.
Lawn Timbers and Treated Wood
To bring out the natural setting of a tree-filled backyard, wood edging truly stands out. It requires a shallow trench to install and depending on your design, you may need to attach it to other pieces of timber. The basic drawbacks to wood edging are that it's hard to use around curvy landscapes and it does rot. Even treated lumber will eventually break down, so plan on replacing it every five or so years.
Formed Concrete Landscape Pavers or Curbs
Concrete pavers are the less expensive of the pair. They can be used to create almost any design you can come up with. You can use one layer to outline a feature or you can stack them up to 3 feet high using the interlocking type without using adhesives. They don't rot and can be washed off or painted easily. They don't do much to keep your lawn out of your flower beds, but work well keeping mulch or stones in. Concrete landscape curbs can be purchased in a curved design to work with the flow of your flower beds. They come in longer lengths, so they are heavy, but you don't need very many to outline your entire bed.