How to Edge a Lawn

Maintaining a pristine, manicured lawn isn’t an easy task. But it isn’t as hard as you think either! If you’re done weeding and mowing your lawn but it is still missing that final touch, we suggest you edge your lawn. As they say, the devil is in the details and edging is one hell of a detail!

If you don’t know how to edge a lawn, but want that perfect, aesthetic lawn, don’t worry! We’ve got your back.

What Is Edging, Anyway?

If you’re a complete novice when it comes to lawn maintenance, there is no need to panic. Edging is just the process of trimming back the extra growth that hangs over your driveway or sidewalk. It’s that simple!

Edging is the difference between a basic lawn and a manicured, professional-looking lawn. It takes some time and effort, but the results are worth it.

It can be tricky to get it exactly right but trust us, it makes a huge difference. A perfectly edged lawn is one of the most aesthetically pleasing things in the world.

Why Should I Edge My Lawn?

You’re probably wondering if you even need to edge your lawn. Here’s why you need to do it!

  • It is easy, cheap, and makes your lawn look amazing.
  • It will help protect your flowerbeds from invasive lawn grasses by creating a root barrier.
  • Makes your curb look appealing.
  • Gives your property a professional touch, increasing its value.

What Do I Need To Edge My Lawn?

You just need an edger for edging your lawn. There are different kinds of edgers, and you can choose one based on its functionality and your preferences.

Motorized Edgers

If you don’t want to exert yourself too much or find the task too physical for your liking, you can pick a motorized edger.

Electric Edger

Electric edgers are a practical choice if your lawn isn’t too big. They either run on batteries or have an electric cord. They are easy on the pocket too. Battery-operated ones allow you more mobility while corded ones have more firepower.

Gas-Powered Edger

These are ideal for bigger lawns. They run on fuel and oil and are typically heavier than electric lawn edgers. If you are environmentally conscious these aren’t the best choice for you, as you will need to refill gas and oil.

Manual Edgers

Manual edgers, as the name suggests, do not require an energy source. They are powered by you. These are more environment friendly, but require more effort on your part.

Rotary Edgers

Rotary edgers have a serrated blade attached to a rubber wheel. The blade cuts out the grass growing over the edges while the wheel rolls along on the grass. Their precision relies on the force you apply.

Shear Edgers

Shear edgers are handy but less efficient. They are handheld tools meant for reaching tight corners that can’t be edged with regular tools. We wouldn’t suggest edging your entire lawn with these—it will take you way too long and you won’t be too happy with the results either.

Spade Edgers

It is easy to confuse a shear edger with a spade. They are shaped like a spade with a much sharper edge. These are pretty simple to use, you just align it with the edge and bear down with your foot on the spade.

How Do I Edge My Lawn?

Edging a lawn is not that complicated. With careful planning and execution, you could be done in a few hours. Just follow these seven simple steps and you will be the proud owner of a gorgeous, pristine lawn.

Step One: Mow, Mow, Mow Your Lawn

The first thing to do is mow your lawn. Cut the grass about 2 to 2 ½ inches tall. We mow the lawn first so that we have an idea of how tall the grass should be at the edges.

Nobody likes bald patches! Take care to mow evenly across your lawn. Uneven grass length will look shabby and can get confusing when you start edging.

Step Two: Lay a Path

Much like an architect with a blueprint, you need to know where exactly you’re gonna be edging your lawn.

If you’re edging along a sidewalk to a driveway, you can go ahead and skip this step, as the boundaries will be marked already.

If you are making new beds, take a piece of rope or grab your garden hose to create a boundary for edging.

It might be tempting to use spray paint to mark your path, but trust us, it comes with its own set of problems. It might blow away, or you could make a mistake and spray slanting lines. It’s a lot easier, simpler and more efficient to use a rope or garden hose.

Step Three: Edge Away!

Pick your edger and don your safety gear. If you’re having trouble picking an edger, check this out. Some of your edging equipment may require sharpening, so check all your tools before you start.

Study the edging area carefully. For straight corners, start at the edge. For curved corners, start somewhere in the middle and work your way towards the edge. You can even do a practice run by edging the least visible part of your lawn.

If you’re using a manual edger, make sure the shovel hits the ground at a 90-degree angle for a clean cut. When you get to corners or curves, reach for your shear edgers to get a cleaner cut.

2 inches is a good depth for most lawns, but if you’re edging a bed, you can go deeper. If you’re using a motorized edger, take care not to go too deep or you may hit a pipe or cable.

Step Four: Double-Check

As you edge your lawn, clear out the major debris at frequent intervals. This solves two problems—one, it makes clean up easier; two, you can stop and inspect your edging for any jagged lines or messy cuts.

Do a little double-check now and then to correct any wandering lines and to make sure you’re going along the path you laid out. Take extra care while maneuvering around mailboxes or rocks.

Step Five: Finishing Touches

Now that you’re done edging, grab your edging shears and add finishing touches wherever required. Clean up your edges if needed, prune bushes or shrubs, and clean up those corners.

Step Six: Clean Your Tools

Take a brush and clean all your tools. Brush off all the grass, soil and debris stuck to them. You will be better off cleaning them now rather than dealing with a dried-out, hardened mess the next time you reach for your gardening tools.

You could also deep clean them seasonally. It will help your tools to last longer and maintain basic hygiene.

Step Seven: Relax

Grab a chair and a cup of coffee, and admire your beautiful lawn. Or better yet, invite your friends for a barbeque and show off your pristine lawn! Relax and enjoy your lawn, you’ve earned it.

When to Edge My Lawn?

If you’re like most people, you want to edge your lawn only once a year. In that case, the end of June is the best time to edge your lawn. The grass will have grown to its peak from April to May, which means that you get to enjoy a manicured lawn for a much longer period.

If you’re like Monica from Friends and are willing to edge your lawn twice a year, we suggest you do it at the beginning of June and the end of August. You will catch the overgrowth at the beginning and end of its peak, leaving room for a more or less perfect lawn all year round.

Safety First!

A soldier never goes into battle without his armor! Here are a few tips for a safe lawn edging endeavor:

  • Always wear gardening gloves while working on your lawn to prevent injury to your hands.
  • Wear pants and sturdy shoes to protect your feet from sharp objects or any bugs crawling about on your lawn.
  • Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying debris.
  • If you are prone to allergies, wear a face mask covering your nose and mouth to prevent a flare-up.
  • Here are some more safety tips to consider while conducting lawn maintenance.

Parting Thoughts

There you go, that’s everything you need to know to successfully edge a lawn. It might seem like it’s very time consuming and more effort than it’s worth, but you won’t feel that way when you look out at your pristine, beautiful lawn.

However, if you’ve never done lawn maintenance of any kind, or there is considerable overgrowth and it seems too daunting a task for you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for help.

You can hire professionals for lawn maintenance and still be proud of an impeccable lawn, rather than botch the job and end up with an eyesore. You might even learn a thing or two from watching them work and be ready to DIY it next June.