Installing Landscape Timber Edging

Landscape timbers are an excellent edging for a raised garden bed. While a single course of 4-by or 6-by timbers simply can be set into the ground, there isn't a lot more involved in assembling two courses and securing them to each other. Three courses of timbers stretches the term "edging" and starts to qualify as a retaining wall, which is subject to different procedures and code requirements.



Lay out the bed and dig a trench 3 to 4 inches deep for the timbers. Make sure the trench you dig is level by checking the depth with a tape measure and a level mason's line.


Place the timbers of the first course in the trench and abut the ends together tightly. Use a level to check that the timbers sit level. Add or remove soil as necessary.


To trim a timber to length, cut across each face with a circular saw. If necessary, finish the cut at the center of the timber with a handsaw. Alternatively, cut timbers with a chain saw or a bow saw.


Place the timbers of the second course so that joints are offset at least 4 inches from the ones in the first course. Overlap the ends at the corners.


Check that the course of timbers is roughly level. If necessary, shim the low ends with thin strips of wood. At corners, square the timbers with a framing square.


Drill pilot holes slightly smaller than the diameter of a 12-inch spike at each end and every 4 feet along the second course. Drive a 12-inch spike into each hole with a 3-pound sledgehammer.


Add soil to the bed behind the edging timbers. Smooth the bed with a garden rake.





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