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Mowing Strips
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mowing strips
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Uses and Types

There is a grey area as to defining when a mowing strip becomes a pathway - we arbitrarily draw the line at 450mm - anything narrower than 450mm is a mowing strip, anything of greater width is a footpath.

Mowing Strips are relatively narrow bands of paving surrounding a lawn, although they can also be used to separate soil beds, gravelled areas,etc. Typically, they are used against buildings and walls, places where a conventional mower cannot reach, and they eliminate the need to strim the edges after completing the mowing. They are not usually structural, ie, they do not support or restrain, but are simply an aid to garden maintenance. As such, they are not usually laid on a concrete or cementitious bed, unless they are likely to be trafficked by a heavy, tractor-mounted mower or similar, or in situations where any movement of the mowing strip would detract from the layout or patterning. For details on using a concrete bed, refer to concrete bedded edgings page.

They can be constructed from any flat paving unit that will allow a mower to pass over them without impedence. This can be pre-cast concrete (pcc) flags/slabs, pcc edging kerbs laid plat, block or brick paviors or a cast in-stu concrete 'race'. We commonly use 600x300x50mm concrete flags/slabs laid 300mm wide on commercial and larger scale projects, as this allows ample room for a typical large mower to get its blades over the edge of the grass. On domestic projects, 200mm wide may be more than adequate. I use a 100mm wide clay brick mowing strip around my lawns, which you can see in the photograph opposite. As long as it's flat, and laid flush with the lawn, it can be used to form a mowing strip.
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brick mowing strip
A simple brick pavior mowing strip 100mm wide
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Construction

Preparation

Decide where you want the mowing strip to run, and mark out with sand guide-lines, if required. It is assumed that the mowing strip is to be flush i.e. level, with the existing ground. It is a good idea to dig wider than the planned width, allowing an extra 50-75mm at the edges makes handling much easier. For most mowing strips, the dig depth only needs to be 60-70 mm.
The pavers chosen to construct the mowing strip should be bedded directly onto a coarse, grit sand bed, (Zone 2 or Class M) approx 25-50mm thick. They can be directly bedded onto the sub-grade if it is suitable, ie, fine, sandy or gritty.

DO NOT USE BUILDING SAND - it is too soft and can become 'fluid' when waterlogged, consequently moving beneath the mowing strip, causing settlement and unevenness.

free-standing mowing strip
Construction of a brick mowing strip in an open setting
adjacent to wall
Construction of a flag mowing strip adjacent to wall
As the mowing strip is intended to provide a simple edge to trim to, rather than a structural element, a firm, rigid bed and haunch is not essential, but a light sprinkling of cement mixed in with the bedding material can prevent unwanted movement in the mowing strip. Haunching can be added if required, but should be kept to a minimum. Turf will grow provided that it has at least 25mm of soil to root into, so it's important to keep cementitious material to a minimum.
The paving units are positioned and then compacted down to the correct level with a rubber mallet, using a taut, string line, or the existing lawn, as a level guide.

Open joints caused when creating curves from rectangular units can be pointed with a mortar, or the units can be trimmed to a 'wedge' shape to eliminate any such open joints.

radius blocks
Details on Cutting bricks and blocks.

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Price Guide

All prices are 'supply and fix' and include VAT. Prices vary throughout the UK, so check with your local contractor. Price includes 30 linear metres of edging unit as stated, 20mm bedding sand and labour. No allowance has been made for any excavation work or cart away of spoil.

  • Brick/Block Soldier Courses
  • 100mm wide using 200x100x50mm multicoloured concrete blocks - £80
  • 200mm wide using 200x100x50mm multicoloured concrete blocks - £120

  • 100mm wide using 200x100x50mm clay bricks - £90
  • 200mm wide using 200x100x50mm clay bricks - £140

  • 160mm wide using Marshalls 'Drivesett' concrete paviors - £140
  • 240mm wide using Marshalls 'Drivesett' concrete paviors - £190

  • Pre-cast concrete Edging Kerbs/Flags
  • 150mm wide using 915x150x50mm concrete square-top edging kerbs - £105
  • 200mm wide using 915x200x50mm concrete square-top edging kerbs - £120
  • 300mm wide using 600x300x50mm concrete flags - £140

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Other Edgings Pages