Eco-Friendly Bendaboard for Landscape Applications
Updated: Nov 1
If you’ve been searching online for landscaping ideas, spoken with someone who just had their landscaping done, or recently met with a landscape professional, chances are you’ve heard words or phrases during the course of these conversations with which you aren’t familiar—like Bendaboard. It’s not a sexy topic, but Bendaboard’s plastic-wood composite is worth mentioning because it’s Eco-Friendly, easy to use, has a nice aesthetic and is comparatively soft if you have children running around or like to play football with your family on Thanksgiving.
A less useful edging made out of steel, called DuraEdge, has been introduced to the market as a useful alternative. It’s not. But it’s helpful to know why Bendaboard is better than DuraEdge (or any metal/steel edging) if you are tackling a landscape project. If nothing else, you’ll know what it is, be able to follow the conversation, and inform your neighbors. Prior to these two products, landscape contractors used thin pieces of wood to outline the lawn and separate different areas. However, wood decomposes and splinters.
BENDABOARD VS. DURAEDGE
Sometimes called Bender Board, this is the preferred edging of Jefferson Landscape and Design and Landscape Contractors alike. It’s what we use to separate lawns from planter areas or different types materials laid out in areas of your landscape, i.e., bark, rock or groundcover plantings. Bendaboard is a composite of wood and recycled plastic and is held into place with stakes made from the same material. Paint your area out with Eco-Friendly, water soluble landscape marking paint, take the claw of a rock hammer and dig along the painted line two inches deep. Recess the Bendaboard down about halfway into the ground and pound the Bendaboard stakes alongside the lengths of Bendaboard and screw them in—it’s easy to install and is what makes it possible for those of us who create landscapes to come up with complimentary shapes for lawns, etc.
There’s a newer edging for landscapes made from steel called DuraEdge. Recently we’ve seen it called for by Landscape Architects (who don’t have to install it or live with it). While DuraEdge is meant to serve the same function as Bendaboard, it’s a horrible substitute in our opinion. We’ve confronted Landscape Architects and asked them why they’ve listed it in their plan, but we’ve never gotten a straight answer.
Just because it’s new doesn’t make it better folks!
Bendaboard’s plastic-wood composite is a great tool to have when designing a creative layout. The elastic material is a great deal softer than steel, excellent to work with and its cut edges blend in beautifully.
DuraEdge is not flexible or easy to install the way Bendaboard is. DuraEdge is difficult to work with, doesn’t contour or hug the materials in the way it’s supposed to and leaves gaps. It’s rigid and tough to bend (even the longer pieces). Because every landscape is shaped differently, the edging often needs to be cut at different lengths, or adjoined with another piece and then cut to accommodate the form. With the recycled plastic-wood composite called Bendaboard, it doesn’t matter where the edging is cut, the stakes can be placed inconspicuously wherever it needs to bend. With the metal edging called DuraEdge, that’s not the case. The metal cuts are left brittle and the stakes require slots. The slots are only found at pre-determined spaced intervals. This is highly inconvenient and impractical for bends that need to be staked. Imagine having to design your landscape based on four-foot intervals with shapes limited by 30-degree bends.
Bendaboard, the recycled plastic-wood composite, is so flexible it’ll often hold its curve even without stakes. The steel is hard and wants to straighten out constantly. Thus, the steel requires more stakes but allows for fewer places to use them. The shorter the piece, the more difficult it is to manipulate. For example, if you need twenty feet to bend into a circle and the DuraEdge only comes in sixteen-foot pieces, you’ll need an additional four feet. Good luck trying to bend that supplemental four feet—it just won’t bend! Not only won’t it bend, when you try to complete the circle and stake it down, it won’t hold right! DuraEdge doesn’t allow for any variation in grade change either, and is next to impossible to install in terrain that varies in grading.
Bendaboard is brown; a good earth-tone color that blends in nicely and is hardly noticeable. The outside of DuraEdge is painted black, presumably with a Rustoleum type of product to prevent it from rusting, which would be fine. But once it’s cut the silvery metal is left exposed and sharp. Not only isn’t it something you want anywhere near your bare feet, the edging is supposed to be clandestine, blended inconspicuously (but now that it’s cut and is two-toned, and since it’s difficult to hide because it doesn’t hug your area properly due to its rigidity or cannot be staked where you want it) it’s unsightly. The exposed cuts will rust unless you buy a black Rustoleum spray paint: steel rusts. But even Rustoleum won’t do anything about the metal shards left behind, so buy the proper sander—and the last thing you want to do is inhale metal particles or get them in your eye. So be sure to buy all the additional safety equipment you will need. Or pay your Landscape Contractor to!
Bendaboard Costs Less than DuraEdge!
· Landscape Contractor’s Will Charge You More to Install it.
· 16’ Pieces of DuraEdge Cost More than 20’ Pieces of Bendaboard.
· Bendaboard Stakes are Less Expensive than DuraEdge Stakes.
· DuraEdge Comes in a 3/16” x 4” Size
· Bendaboard Can be Found in 1” x 4” or 2” x 4” Sizes
Bendaboard is Eco-Friendly!
The plastic part of the composite is made out of recycled shampoo bottles, plastic milk cartons and similar products. Epic Plastics uses over 15 million pounds of post-consumer plastics diverted from landfills each year to create their Bendaboard. It is the preferred edging solution for Jefferson Landscape and Design and it allows us to remain true to our Eco-Friendly mission.
Bendaboard provides a durable edge (nice play on words) while at the same time remaining flexible. Since it’s made from a plastic-wood composite, it won’t rot or splinter like wood and the elastic material makes it a demonstrably obvious choice over hard, unbendable steel with non-negotiable pre-determined slots for stakes.
The choice is made for you.