How To Edge Your Lawn


Being able to cut your lawn is a great feeling, and the look of it afterward can give you such a feeling of accomplishment as well.

And one of those things that helps the grass look so good is the edging.

There are many things you can do to edge your lawn, and that includes getting an edger or using your string trimmer/weed whacker to do the work for you. Then, you follow the path of the edge of your lawn with the trimmer/weed whacker, and then either sweep up the trimmings or use a leaf blower to blow the extra grass away.

Read on to find out why edging your grass makes the lawn look so nice.

Why you should edge your grass

There are two cases in our life where the grass needed to be edged.

At one property, the grass in the backyard was surrounded by cement edging.

It was a great look for the yard, but you had to pay attention to the grass growing over the edging.

We also had grass along the back cement patio.

And the grass would grow over that as well.

In our current home, there is a walkway to the front door.

That walkway was about 6 inches wide when we first moved into the house.

And I didn’t think it was much wider then that until I took the time to edge the grass along walkway.

What went from a 6 inch walkway became a 2 foot wide walkway.

In the blink of an eye, your grass can grow over your walkway or your edging and you will barely notice.

If you let the grass go for too long, parts of your yard might just disappear.

And if you are like me, when you move into a new home, you might not notice how much cement you have until you go around and take care of the edging.

So you should edge your grass so you can get a good idea of what your lawn and cement areas should look like.

Recommended tools

  1. Lawnmower
  2. String trimmer
  3. Lawn Edger
  4. Steel Edger
  5. Heavy-Duty Broom
  6. Leaf blower
  7. Plastic edging
  8. Garden border

Steps to edge your lawn

1. Mow your lawn

The very first thing you are going to want to do before edge your lawn is to mow your lawn.

There are a few reasons to do this.

First, being that you’ll get a bunch of the excess grass out of the way.

When you mow the lawn, you’ll first get the grass down to a reasonable height.

Then you can clearly see where you need to trim the grass around the edges.

Second, it makes for easier clean up later.

If you edge first and then mow, you have a bunch of grass material that you will have to clean up.

Especially if you bag your grass while mowing. Instead of having to clean up the grass clippings and the edgings, you’ll just have to clean up the edgings when all is said and done.

Mowing first gives you less to clean up later.

So mow the lawn like you normally would do to start the day.

Make sure that you are mowing along the edges as well, as this will get the grass you are about to edge at the same level as the rest of the grass.

2. Edge your grass

Once you’ve got the lawn mowed, now it is time to edge your lawn.

There a few ways/tools to do this and I’ll do my best to walk you through each way.

String trimmer

A string trimmer is typically used to get the excess grass around objects in your yard.

This would include around trees, rocks, bushes, or anything else that you can’t necessarily get a lawnmower to.

A string trimmer is convenient because you can get to those areas will very little effort.

It also can be used to edge your lawn.

You see, the string that comes provided with the string trimmer is typically strong enough that it can edge the grass all the way down to the soil.

If the string provided with the trimmer isn’t strong enough, then you can typically go to your local hardware store and purchase a stronger string.

Now depending on the type of string trimmer you have, there are a few things you might have to do to use it as an edger.

For my string trimmer, you can adjust the head of the string trimmer so that it turns sideways, making it easier to use as an edger.

It also comes with wheels on the head of the trimmer, so once you turn it sideways you can use the wheels to keep the string trimmer rolling straight, giving you a nice even edging.

Not all string trimmer’s are going to have this, though.

So in some cases, you are going to need to turn your string trimmer sideways on your own and keep it in that uncomfortable position while walking around the yard.

This might not give you the same nice edging as a string trimmer that you can turn the head on, but it’s better than other options.

Lawn edger

A lawn edger is a more traditional piece of equipment that helps you edge around your yard.

And since it is additional equipment, then you have to purchase it outside of what you already have.

So if you plan on doing a lot of edging, or maybe you are planning on going into the lawn mowing business, plan on investing in a lawn edger.

Since it is a piece of equipment built for doing one thing in particular, it is going to do that thing well.

The thing that set a lawn edger apart from a string trimmer is what it uses to edge the lawn.

As discussed, the string trimmer will use string.

The edger on the other hand is going to use a metal blade instead of the lighter weight string.

This means that with the lawn edger, it’s going to get down to the roots and dirt of the edging.

With the string trimmer, it is still going to do this but maybe not as deep as the edger is going to do.

You also have to consider the fact that since it is using a metal blade, it might be dangerous for anyone around the edger.

Make sure to wear eye protection and maybe even wear gloves on your hands while using the edger.

Be safe.

Go to the edge of the grass that you need to edge and start your edger.

Make sure you start your edging where the grass is on the outside of the edger.

For example, if your edger blade is on the left-hand side of the edger, then the grass you are edging will be on the left-hand side of the edger.

If you put the edger on the opposite side, that will lead to uneven edging and won’t look as good.

Steel Edger

The steel edger is going to be a good option for you if you like manual labor and also like the look of doing things on your own.

Where the string trimmer and lawn edger are going to give you battery or gas power, the steel edger is going to take all the energy you have to work.

The steel edger is basically like a shovel that is specifically designed for edging the lawn.

So once you’ve mowed your lawn, go to one part of the lawn that you need to edge.

Then, stick the edger into the ground where you need to edge.

Next, step on it with your feet just like you would with a shovel.

The edger will go into the ground and cut the grass off where you had stepped.

Continue along the lawn until you’ve covered the whole area that you need to edge.

This might take you awhile using the steel edger, but it will give you a nice straight look and you’ll feel pretty good afterward.

3. Clean up

Edging is a big portion of the work, but now you need to clean up after yourself.

Otherwise, it won’t look as good in the end.

There are two options for cleaning up.

The first of those options is using a leaf blower.

This option is good if you didn’t have as much dirt as you did grass.

Because the dirt is going to be heavier than the grass, the leaf blower will not have as easy of a job moving the dirt/grass, though it is not impossible.

But if you have mostly grass, then you can use the leaf blower to get all your grass in one nice pile.

If this is your first time edging, you might find you have quite a bit of dirt with your grass.

In that case, a heavy-duty broom might be your best option.

Use the broom to push all the dirt and grass into a nice pile.

Then dispose of the dirt and grass in the most meaningful way for you.

You might have some areas around your lawn that need some filler.

Or you might want to put your grass and dirt into your compost pile.

That choice is really up to you.

Either way, use the leaf blower or heavy-duty broom to get all your grass and dirt into a neat pile and then get rid of it.

4. Consider landscape edging

If the grass along the edging is a regular problem for you, you might want to consider some type of landscape edging.

Landscaping stones is a good option because they will be a heavier weight and are less likely to move around a whole lot.

Consider visiting your local hardware store to see what kind of option they have for landscape edging.

Some other good options are plastic edging and garden edging.

These give your lawn a nice look and also keep the grass at bay.

So instead of having to edge each year, your landscape edging should do most of the work for you.

You might just have to use your string trimmer a few times through the year to keep the grass short.

Summary

It is pretty natural that your grass is going to grow over your sidewalks or other edging around your lawn.

If you take a little bit of effort each year, you could keep this problem at bay before it becomes too bad like it has for us.

So invest in a string trimmer, lawn edger, or steel edger, and make sure you are taking care of the grass before it gets too long.

Bill Lantz

Bill Lantz is a database analyst by day and a weekend warrior by... weekend. He's currently building up his own miniature homestead in Central Utah with his wife and six kids. Some of his interests include knowing random trivia about films, reading history books, and playing video games with the boys.

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