lawn edging

The Best Techniques for Lawn Edging

Every homeowner wants to be the one with the beautiful yard. We want to have the flower garden that turns heads. For some homeowners that idea may seem unattainable on their own. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you need to hire a lawn care company to have the best yard on the block. One easy way to help create a beautifully manicured yard is to create clean, crisp edges in your lawn. No matter how much time you spend working in your yard, it can all be for nothing if you don’t have nice lawn edges. Perfect lawn edging is what will bring your yard to the next level. It isn’t even difficult to maintain once you have established a routine. This article will go over the best techniques to implement when edging your lawn or garden.

Types of Edgers

There are two different types of edgers you can decide to use when lawn edging: power edgers or manual edgers. There are pros and cons to using either a power edger or a manual edger. The choice is up to you.

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Manual Edgers

Manual Edgers are simple tools. They are essentially short shovels used to cut a line into the lawn. You can find manual edgers with round blades or flat blades at the end. Some manual edgers are called a rotary, and have a small wheel with a toothed edge that you push as you walk. If a lawn edging tools is unavailable you can use a regular shovel or spade, although they might not be as efficient.

Pros of Using a Manual Edger

Manual edgers are simple hand held tools that are intuitive and easy to use. You can find them relatively cheap at any hardware store. Their price can range from $20 - $50 depending on the brand. Once you purchase them they do not require any other attachments. Maintenance and upkeep on a manual edger is easy. They are also easy to store in your outdoor shed and move around the yard as you work.

Cons of Using a Manual Edger

They are manually powered which can be labor intensive. Because most manual edgers have a blade about 5” tall and 10” wide it can be difficult to create custom curved lines, like those used along flower beds. This means that you will usually need to run over a line two or three times to get it smooth and even.

Power Edgers

Technology today allows almost any job to be done quickly and easily with the help of machinery. Lawn edging is no exception. Power edgers are either powered by rechargeable batteries, gasoline or electricity. Power edgers will either have spinning nylon lines, toothed blades, or cutting wheels that spin to cut the lines in the lawn. Unlike manual edgers, power edgers can spit up debris, like small rocks or chunks of plants. So plan accordingly by wearing protective eye wear and long pants to avoid any injuries.

Pros of Using a Power Edger

A power edger is easy to use. They can create precise, and uniform lines (including curved lines) throughout your whole lawn edging project. They still require a little effort on your behalf, but overall they save you a lot of energy. A power edger can cut much quicker and easier than a manual edger which will cut back on the amount of time you spend lawn edging.

Cons of Using a Power Edger

Power edgers are much more expensive than a manual edger. Although you can find power edgers under $100, most will cost between $200-$400. On top of the price of the edger, you will have to pay for extra equipment like gasoline and oil, or an extension cord to power the edger. You will need to provide regular maintenance to keep your edger running smoothly. Consult your owner’s instruction manual to see how to best service your power edger. Power edgers are much larger than manual edgers, meaning they are a bit harder to store in a shed.

Marking Your Lawn Edging Lines

Your first step when lawn edging is probably the most important one. You will need to decide and design where to put your lines. Some lines are easy to define and are already decided for you, like when your lawn borders a sidewalk or other pavement. These lines are straightforward and will most likely require no extra effort to design. However some lines, like those around flower beds, can be wavy or curved. In order to keep your lines even, a small amount of preparation is needed. It is easiest if you first mark the lines you wish to cut. You can mark straight lines by tying a string between stakes and using it as a guide. For curved lines, you may consider laying out a garden hose or other thick weighted rope to trace with your edger. As you mark your lines remove any rocks or sticks you may see in the way.

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Creating Lawn Edging Lines

Once your lines are marked, you need to create, or cut, your lines. You can do this by using either a manual or power edger to follow the lines you have marked. Make sure your cuts are at least a 2-4” deep and cut at a 90 degree angle to ensure that all roots from the lawn have been cut. This makes removal of the unwanted parts of the lawn easier. This may require a few passes along your line to smooth it out and insure uniformity. For a truly beautiful line, you can use garden shears to go over your lines and cut unwanted tufts of grass. It is important to keep the garden shears vertical, so that the lawn edging line is still 90 degrees.

Adding Mulch

Once you are satisfied with your line, you may want to consider adding mulch. If the line borders cement, like a driveway or a sidewalk, there is no need to add mulch. If the line is for a flower bed adding mulch adds a stark contrast of green grass to dark earth. It can also deter the grass from growing back and even keep weeds at bay. To add mulch simply dig a gentle slope from your flower bed down to the lawn edging line. Add your mulch until it is a few inches below the line of the grass.

In Conclusion

Lawn edging is an easy way to add beauty to any yard or flower garden. Once your lines are established maintenance is easy and only needs to be touched up every few weeks. So don’t worry about hiring a landscaper for your next yard project, you can turn your neighbors heads simply by adding a few dramatic lawn edging lines into your garden.  

Amy O'Brien

I am a mother, homeowner, and a DIY kind of gal. Whether it’s backpacking in the mountains or throwing a BBQ in my backyard, I love bringing my family to the great outdoors!

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