Concrete Mow Strip (Curb or Edging)

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Posted in HomeGardening

Introduction: Concrete Mow Strip (Curb or Edging)

Needed a border between garden space and walkway. Casted a concrete edge using a modified rain gutter as a form.  Steps will include equipment used, materials, modifying rain gutter, preparing for pour, preparing site and installation, and some trial and errors.

Step 1: Equipment Used

Standard concrete mixing tools were used to mix concrete:
Hoe (to mix the concrete),
Flat shovel (to place concrete into form),
Wheelbarrow (to mix the concrete in, I have seen cheap kiddy pools used also),
Block Trowel (used only to cut into concrete bag) and
Water source.
Safety Equipment (Dust mask, safety goggles, gloves)


For modifying Rain Gutter:
Rotary tool (Not pictured here)
Safety equipment (Safety Glasses)

For preparing the work site:
Shovel
Tamper (not pictured).

Step 2: Materials Used

Step 3: Modifying the Rain Gutter

Step 4: Prepare Form Site

Step 5: Mixing and Pouring

Step 6: Prepare Site of Placement

Step 7: Placing Curb

Step 8: Trial and Errors

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    27 Comments

    Insidable,
    I don't believe I have a level section longer than 10' in my entire yard. This is a great idea and I'm curious as to heating and bending the gutter in the vertical to fit variable heights. I've bent PVC for years as an electrician and am wondering if the plastic gutter will do the same. In my situation I may attempt very fancy raised flower beds at the least. Great article and made reasonably simple for the rest of us through your experimentation. The concrete articles are getting better and better. Illustrated gutter is plastic right?Also, everyone remember, Do not allow your subscription to lapse as making yourself the fool invites an influx of willing members pointing it out.
    Personal experience,
    Zapp

    2 replies

    Just guessing, I do not think bending the PVC gutter would give satisfactory uniform results. I have bent PVC Pipe, but the internal parts are never uniformly round again. Curious to see a try at it. Not knowing your entire situation, I might suggest short sections by putting a piece of paper at your specified distance (see trial and errors step). May some shape to make the ends meet up nice will be needed.

    Thanks for the reply. I must say though that the results you've described for pvc bending seems to point out somethings awry. 2" pipe and & up can be difficult but plugging the ends helps. Smaller sizes I've never had a problem with. I think you may be softening it too much. Too much heat and it loses all memory of it's original shape. Great article and if I have any success I'll let you know. Gutter not being a closed interior as pipe is, you're probably right about chances for success. I've bent 2" pipe for candy canes at Christmas by stuffing the pipe with rags and heating just shy of browning the conduit. We'll see.

    zapp

    Read this today. I will be doing this around the edge of the driveway where I have a garden. Without an edging the mulch is always washing onto the driveway after a heavy rain. I can now cancel the appointment with the mason I was meeting to get an estimate for a brick edging. THANK YOU!!!!

    1 reply

    I am happy you find this Instructable functional. Tell me how it works.

    Diesel fuel = form oil but is not form release agent. Form release agents have less than 25% diesel due to VOC issues related to the Clean Air Act.

    Vegetable oil was handing since I do not have any other need for diesel around the home. I have used veg oil on plywood with satisfactory results also.

    but removing these edges makes the gutter floppy, no?

    1 reply

    I did not have floppy gutter issues. Yes, they did spread out a little, but the spread was uniform.

    Hi,
    I personally would leave it in the form for 5 days,particularly if the weather is cool.This will allow it to gain greater strength and less chance of it breaking when moving it.

    4 replies

    Letting it cure in the sunlight will help too.

    Sunlight not a great idea as you need to keep the exposed concrete surface damp for the first few days

    You can keep it damp by misting it and covering it with wet newspaper or something. Seems like you'd want to cast it right next to where you'll want it.

    Five days would have been better, I know from sad experience that 1 day was too short. Sometimes I am impatient.

    You are really on to something. Slabs really should be bigger than the house, and should taper away from the wall for drainage and to keep plants back. BTW, an easy concrete-mixing box can be thrown together from junk 2x10s and 3/4" plywood, maybe 2' x 4'. Can place this on a sturdy wagon before use, then pulled around.

    Excellent! The kind of idea I always love: Use what you have at hand in different innovative ways! Keep it up!

    This is a great idea. Really like it!
    Did the finished curbs come out with a consistent width along the entire length? You mentioned not to restrict the ends to allow expansion so it made me wonder about random bulging. I suppose one could build a wooden trough in which the plastic gutter is better supported on sides. It may make moving finished curb into place a bit easier since it will be stronger than just the bottom board..

    1 reply

    Yes on consistent width on a single curb. However the third use of the gutter there was some spread.

    Mmmmm.. would love to try this with timber/paper crete!