Natural Mulch Landscape Edging

Updated: Sep. 06, 2023

Try natural planter edging instead of plastic.

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Hate the look of plastic landscape edging? For a more informal, natural border around planted areas, try trench edging and mulch borders.

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Natural landscape planter edging for plantings

planter edging

Photo 1: Digging the planter edging trench

Dig a trench 4 to 6 in. deep and about 4 in. wide with a straight spade. Angle the sides outward at the top.

Photo 2: Add mulch

Fill the planter edging trench with wood chips or other organic mulch for a more finished look and to deter weeds.

Trench landscape edging looks great in informal garden settings. Use trench edging as a border around spreading evergreens or groundcovers or in areas where vinyl or other permanent landscape edging material would look too formal and unnatural. You can easily shift it if plants outgrow the bed. An open trench (Photo 1) holds back the adjacent grass better than a trench filled with mulch. But if you prefer a more finished look, fill it with mulch (Photo 2). You’ll have to redig the trench once in a while to keep it neat and to hold back the lawn, but it doesn’t take long and you can add the trimmings to your compost pile. Do you prefer the look of flower bed stones in your landscape? Check out five more of our favorite flower bed edging ideas.

Popular Mulches

Wood chips, cocoa beans or cypress bark all work well for filling trenches.

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY planter edging project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Spade

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • Organic mulch