Make a Mowing Strip

Leave a 6- to 12-inch-wide mowing strip between the edge of your beds and borders and the lawn to save time and effort in the garden.

A paved strip between grass and beds or borders means you can mow your lawn without worry of damaging plants or trimming afterward. The ground-level strip enables the blade to cut freely. And making it 12 inches wide provides a stable path to walk on or a dry perch for while working in the bed.

Rubble, a mix of irregular fieldstones, and broken concrete chunks provide ideal materials for creating a mowing strip. There's likely a shattered sidewalk or driveway ready for recycling and perhaps free for hauling. Road-base gravel is a rough-edge, unrinsed material that also works well as a base for the strip. The quantity of materials necessary for the project depends on the length of your bed and the width of the strip.

Here's a list of what you'll need:

-Waterproof work gloves

-Flour or powdered chalk

-Coarse sand

-Road-base gravel

-Rubble (with at least one flat side) or fieldstones

-Quick-setting concrete mix

-Hand brush or broom

-Garden hose with spray attachment

-Decorative items, such as colored sea glass, sparkly rocks, or other treasures

-Sheet plastic or burlap

Step 1

Mark the area for your mowing strip by using flour or powdered chalk. Then use a spade to cut through any sod and remove it, excavating a 6- to 8-inch-deep trench.

Step 2

Cover the bottom of the trench with a 1- to 2-inch-deep layer of sand; top with a 1- to 2-inch-deep layer of road-base gravel.

Step 3

Position the rubble or fieldstones at ground level with flat sides up. Add gravel under pieces as needed to create a level surface. Leave 1-inch-wide or larger gaps between the pieces. Sprinkle gravel into the gaps until they're mostly filled and the area is level.

Step 4

Use a flexible scoop, such as a plastic yogurt cup, to sprinkle concrete mix into the gaps. Brush any excess off the adjacent rubble.

Step 5

Attach a spray nozzle to the garden hose and gently sprinkle the installation with water just until the concrete mix is saturated. Add dry concrete mix to level any areas and saturate.

Step 6

Concrete sets within 15 minutes, so work quickly to add finishing touches, tucking decorative items into the wet concrete. Cover the finished installation with a sheet of plastic or burlap to keep the concrete damp while it cures. Wait two days before walking on it.

Share the gallery

Better Homes & Gardens may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.