How to Lay Bricks for Garden Edging

Last Updated on May 21, 2024 by Kimberly Crawford

Are you tired of looking at messy garden edges? Learning how to lay bricks for garden edging might be your perfect solution. Garden edging not only keeps your flower beds looking neat but also adds a touch of elegance to your yard.

Using bricks for this task is popular because they are durable, affordable, and easy to work with. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know, from gathering materials to the final finishing touches.

By the end, you’ll have a beautiful, well-defined garden edge that enhances your outdoor space. Let’s get started on this DIY project!

Materials and Tools Needed


To get started with laying bricks for garden edging, you’ll need to gather a few essential materials. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Bricks: Choose bricks that fit your garden style and budget.
  • Sand: Sand helps level the bricks and keep them in place.
  • Gravel: Used as a base layer for drainage and stability.
  • Landscaping fabric: This prevents weeds from growing between the bricks.
  • Concrete (optional): For extra stability, especially in high-traffic areas.


Having the right tools makes the job easier and ensures a professional finish. Here are the tools you’ll need:

  • Shovel: To dig the trench and move soil.
  • Rubber mallet: For gently tapping the bricks into place.
  • Level: To make sure the bricks are even.
  • Tape measure: For accurate measurements.
  • Wheelbarrow: To transport materials.
  • Trowel: For spreading sand and concrete.
  • Garden hose or string: To mark the layout of the garden edging.

Step-by-Step Guide

brick garden edging

1. Planning and Preparation

Choosing the Location and Design for Your Garden Edging

Before you start laying bricks, it’s crucial to plan out the location and design of your garden edging. Think about where the edging will look best and serve its purpose most effectively. Do you want to create a border around flower beds, pathways, or the entire garden?

Consider the existing landscape and choose a design that complements it. Whether you prefer straight lines for a formal look or curves for a more natural feel, deciding this beforehand will save you time and effort later.

Measuring and Marking the Layout

Once you have a clear idea of where you want your garden edging, it’s time to measure and mark the layout. Accurate measurements ensure that you have enough materials and that your edging looks neat and professional.

  • Use a Garden Hose or String to Outline the Area: Lay a garden hose or string along the ground where you plan to place the bricks. This visual aid helps you see the design in real life and make adjustments as needed. It’s especially useful for creating curves, as you can easily reposition the hose until you’re happy with the shape.
  • Ensuring the Layout is Straight or Follows the Desired Curve: For straight lines, use a tape measure and string to create a straight edge. Place stakes at each end of the string to hold it in place. For curves, the garden hose will be your best friend. Check the layout from different angles to ensure it follows the desired path. Make sure everything is even and smooth, as this will make the installation process much easier.

2. Digging the Trench

How to Dig a Trench for the Bricks

Digging the trench is a crucial step in laying bricks for garden edging. It ensures that your bricks are stable and aligned correctly.

Start by using your shovel to dig a trench along the marked layout. The trench should be deep enough to accommodate a layer of gravel and sand beneath the bricks, typically about 6-8 inches deep. The width should be slightly wider than your bricks to allow for adjustments.

Depth and Width of the Trench

The trench depth and width are essential for stability. Aim for a depth of 6-8 inches to hold a solid base of gravel and sand.

The width should be about 2 inches wider than the bricks you are using. This extra space helps with aligning the bricks and making necessary adjustments during placement.

Removing Grass and Roots from the Trench Area

As you dig, you will likely encounter grass and roots. Remove these thoroughly to ensure a clean trench. Grass and roots can shift the bricks over time, leading to an uneven edge. Use your shovel and hands to clear out these obstacles completely.

3. Laying the Base

Adding a Layer of Gravel for Drainage

A proper base is essential for a durable garden edge. Start by adding a 2-inch layer of gravel to the bottom of your trench. Gravel improves drainage, preventing water from pooling around the bricks, which can cause them to shift or sink over time.

Compacting the Gravel Layer

Once the gravel is in place, use a tamper or the back of your shovel to compact it. Compacting the gravel creates a stable base that will support the bricks. Make sure the gravel layer is even and well-packed.

Spreading a Layer of Sand Over the Gravel

Next, spread a 2-inch layer of sand over the compacted gravel. Sand helps level the bricks and holds them in place. Use your trowel to spread the sand evenly across the trench.

Leveling the Sand Base to Ensure Even Brick Placement

Finally, take a piece of wood or a straightedge and drag it across the sand to level it. This ensures that your bricks will sit evenly and look uniform. Check the level frequently and adjust the sand as needed to maintain a flat surface. A well-leveled sand base makes laying the bricks much easier and results in a cleaner finish.

4. Setting the Bricks

Placing the First Brick and Ensuring It Is Level

Start by placing the first brick at one end of your marked layout. This brick sets the tone for the rest of the project, so make sure it’s perfect. Use a level to check that the brick is straight and even. If it’s not level, adjust the sand base beneath it until it is.

Tips for Aligning the Bricks

Aligning the bricks correctly is key to a professional-looking edge. Here are some tips to help:

  • Using a Level to Check Each Brick: As you place each brick, use a level to ensure it matches the height and angle of the previous brick. This helps keep the entire row uniform.
  • Maintaining Consistent Spacing Between Bricks: Consistent spacing is essential for a neat appearance. Use spacers or simply eyeball the gaps to keep them even.
  • Tapping the Bricks into Place with a Rubber Mallet: Once the brick is positioned, tap it gently with a rubber mallet to set it firmly in the sand base. This also helps level the bricks as you go.

5. Filling the Gaps

Adding Sand or Soil Between the Bricks to Fill Gaps

After all the bricks are set, it’s time to fill the gaps. Pour sand or soil into the spaces between the bricks. This filler material helps hold the bricks in place and prevents them from shifting.

Compacting the Filler Material to Secure the Bricks

Use a broom or your hands to push the sand or soil down into the gaps. Make sure it’s compact and fills all the spaces. Compacting the filler material ensures the bricks stay put and the edging remains solid.

Watering the Area to Help the Sand Settle

Finally, water the entire area gently. The water helps the sand settle into the gaps more effectively, securing the bricks. After watering, you may need to add a bit more sand to fill any spaces that appear. This final step helps ensure your garden edging is sturdy and looks great for a long time.

6. Finishing Touches

brick garden edging 1

Trimming Any Excess Landscaping Fabric

After setting the bricks, you might notice some excess landscaping fabric peeking out from the edges. It’s important to trim this fabric neatly to keep your garden edging looking tidy.

Use a pair of scissors to carefully cut away any visible fabric, ensuring that it doesn’t extend beyond the brick line. This small step gives your edging a polished, professional appearance.

Adding Soil and Plants Along the Brick Edging

Now that your bricks are securely in place, it’s time to enhance the area around them. Add a layer of soil along the edges to fill any gaps and smooth the transition from brick to garden bed.

This not only stabilizes the bricks further but also prepares the area for planting. Choose plants that complement your garden’s design and thrive in your local climate.

Placing plants along the brick edging adds a lush, vibrant border that enhances the overall look of your garden.

Optional: Applying a Sealant to the Bricks for Added Durability

If you want to give your brick edging extra protection, consider applying a sealant. A sealant can help protect the bricks from weather damage and prolong their lifespan.

Choose a sealant designed for outdoor use and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application. Typically, you’ll need to clean the bricks thoroughly before applying the sealant with a brush or sprayer.

Allow the sealant to dry completely before exposing the bricks to moisture. This step is optional but recommended if you live in an area with harsh weather conditions or if you want to maintain the fresh look of your bricks for a longer period.

Maintenance Tips

Regularly Checking for Loose Bricks and Adjusting as Needed

Over time, bricks can shift or become loose due to weather conditions or ground movement. It’s important to regularly check your brick edging and make adjustments as needed. Walk along the edge and gently push each brick to see if it moves.

If you find any loose bricks, reposition them and tap them back into place with a rubber mallet. Ensuring that all bricks are secure helps maintain the stability and appearance of your garden edging.

Keeping the Edging Clean and Free of Weeds

Keeping your brick edging clean not only enhances its appearance but also prevents damage. Regularly sweep away dirt and debris with a broom.

Weeds can grow in the gaps between bricks, so remove them promptly. You can pull them out by hand or use a weed killer for stubborn growth. Keeping the area clean and weed-free ensures that your garden edging remains neat and tidy.

Periodically Adding More Sand to Fill Gaps

Over time, the sand between the bricks can settle or wash away, creating gaps. Periodically check the gaps and add more sand as needed.

Use a small shovel or your hands to pour sand into the gaps, then compact it down. Water the area to help the sand settle further. This simple maintenance task keeps the bricks in place and maintains the overall structure of your garden edging.


Creating brick garden edging is a rewarding project that enhances the beauty and functionality of your garden.

By carefully planning and preparing, digging the trench, laying a solid base, setting the bricks, filling the gaps, and adding the finishing touches, you can achieve a professional and durable result.

Regular maintenance, such as checking for loose bricks, keeping the edging clean, and adding more sand, will ensure your garden edging remains in top condition. With these steps, you’ll enjoy a neat and attractive garden that will stand the test of time. Happy gardening!