Step 7: Tap down the edging

Tapping down the edging, using a hammer.
Photo: Kolin Smith
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As you hammer the edging into the ground, using a scrap-wood tapping block, check to make sure it's going in perfectly straight, and not leaning into the trench. Also, never hammer directly onto the steel edging, as this may damage its protective zinc-galvanized coating and lead to rusting. Once all the edging is installed, backfill along the backside of the edging.
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    Tools List

    • square spade
      Square spade
    • metal garden rake
      Steel rake
    • tamper
      Tamper
    • utility knife
      Utility knife
    • hammer
      Hammer and block

    Shopping List

    Shopping List

    EDGING: Three-inch edging is tall enough to contain a path with a couple of inches of stone. To line both sides of the path, you'll need enough edging to equal twice its length.

    GRAVEL: Most home centers carry gravel in bags of ½ or 1 cubic foot. Buying stone in bulk from a landscape center or stone yard is a better option for longer paths. For a 2-inch-deep layer of stone, you'll need about 5 cubic feet for every 10 feet of length on a 3-foot-wide path. View our gravel gallery, The Stone Yard.

    STONE PACK: Stone dust mixed with crushed ¾-inch stones. Because it gets tamped down, you'll need more pack than gravel—2 ½ inches to compact to 2 inches, or about 6 or 7 cubic feet to cover every 10 feet of path.

    LANDSCAPE FABRIC: A shiny black woven nylon that keeps weeds from coming up through the gravel and keeps the gravel from settling into the stone pack, landscape fabric comes in 3-foot-wide rolls.