What’s the Difference Between Aluminum and Steel Landscape Edging?

Edged garden in front of home

Writing in the blog Gardenista, Janet Roth calls metal landscape edging the “little black dress” of backyard landscapes.

“Elegant, strong yet understated, tailored and timeless,” she writes, “a long-time design secret of professional landscapers, metal has edged its way into the amateur home garden to offer a clean-cut and practical solution to keep plants and materials in place.”

Front entrance of house with garden edgeThere are numerous benefits to using metal landscape edging. The most obvious? The way it creates a definitive yet unobtrusive border between your garden beds, grass, pathways and driveways.

Beyond that, edging keeps gardening materials like mulch or gravel from spreading around your lawn, while stopping grass from growing into nearby beds or pathways.

And because it’s metal, it won’t sustain damage from gardening equipment, or crack, chip, rot or become brittle when exposed to wintry weather. It’s sturdy and will stay in place even in the face of frost heave or heavy rains.

But when we say “metal” landscape edging, we’re really talking about two different types: metal made from steel, and its aluminum counterpart. Let’s look at the benefits of each variety.

Steel landscape edging vs. aluminum landscape edging

Border Concepts Steel Edging SplicerThe benefits of steel landscape edging include:

  • Definition for your landscaping – Steel landscape edging gives you the ideal method of creating definition for things like flower beds.
  • Protects your soil – In addition to keeping soil, gravel or mulch inside your flower beds, steel landscaping edging can prevent weeds from sprouting along your pathways and driveways.
  • Nice to look at – Some metallic edging has an unappealing greenish hue, but steel comes in many inconspicuous, attractive shades that blend in with your landscape.
  • Designed to last – It’s close to impossible for steel landscape edging to break. We won’t say it’s a permanent fixture, but it’s close enough. It won’t be displaced when the ground freezes and thaws in winter.

As for aluminum landscape edging:

  • Aluminum is flexible and resilient, allowing for smoother curves as well as straight lines.
  • Aluminum is strong, withstanding years of maintenance. It has excellent resistance to corrosion. It will never crack, rust or become brittle.
  • Aluminum is lightweight, making it easy to work with.

The bottom line

Beautiful summer edged gardenSo, in the end, what’s the difference between steel and aluminum landscape edging?

Steel is definitely stronger. It’s thin but holds its shape. It won’t bend if someone, say, accidentally runs over it with their car.

It’s the ideal edging for commercial projects such as office parks, parking lots and playgrounds or anywhere where a heavy-duty, functional edging is necessary.

Unlike steel, aluminum edging doesn’t rust. It’s softer than steel, making it a good choice for curved designs. It’s considered a more decorative option than steel. But it’s also not as strong as steel, although it will still provide more durability than plastic edging.

No matter which type of landscape edging you need for your project, Yardville Supply can help. We’re one of the few local supply yards that stocks steel edging.

We use edging from a company called Border Concepts and carry black edging in four different sizes. In addition, we carry aluminum edging from Curv-Rite in three finish options.

Contact us today to learn more about our edging varieties. Whether you’re a homeowner or a contractor, we’re confident we have something that will give your next project an edge.

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