Tennessee Smart Yards Native Plants

A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants

Another Way to Edge Your Native Plantings

A few months ago I wrote a blog on how to maintain the edge where lawn and native plantings meet up. Since writing that blog, I came across another idea. A recent issue of Fine Gardening magazine had a reader’s idea of edging the garden with cut up sections of tree trunks, stacked on end and butted side by side. To tell you the truth, I probably wouldn’t have tried it if I hadn’t found the idea in a respected magazine. It sounded like an inexpensive, rather intriguing option. Then I lucked out and discovered that my neighbor was cutting down trees in his yard, sawing the trunks into sections and stacking them out front for anyone to take. You can’t get much cheaper than that!

I did purchase some EPDM pond liner and cut it into 17″ wide strips. I removed the old wood chip border and laid the pond liner down on bare ground where the wood chips had been. I figured that placing the logs on a rubber strip would make them last longer than sitting on wet ground. Plus the liner would keep weeds and grass from growing up to and in between the logs which would require hand trimming. We placed the bottom edge of the logs just far enough in from the edge of the liner to allow for the wheels on the lawnmower. So now we can mow right alongside them with ease.

Here are a few photos. Please keep in mind that these pictures were taken in March when nothing is up or green yet.

When I told a friend what we had done, he said “I hate to spoil your excitement but you are going to attract loads of termites.” At first I felt a little panic but then I thought “This is not next to my house, and I wonder what eats termites?” So I did a little research. It turns out that the top eaters of termites are ants and 100s of different species of birds. Next are frogs, toads, lizards, dragonflies and praying mantis. Plus ants are an important insect in the food chain. So, what a perfect edging for a wildlife yard! I have a feeling that as the logs decay, they will turn into a cafeteria line for wildlife. However, that decay process is going to be pretty slow. Some of these sections were so heavy we had to roll them into place.

2 responses to “Another Way to Edge Your Native Plantings

  1. Ruth Elias May 3, 2021 at 3:02 am

    I want to learn about native plants

  2. grayperry4@gmail.com July 13, 2021 at 6:47 pm

    Well this is such a cool idea, we will definitely give it a shot. Maybe the carpenter bees will like that habitat more than our porch :)

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