Make Lawn Edging Easy with these Basic Steps

Make Lawn Edging Easy with these Basic Steps

Let’s be real – perfectly manicured lawns with crisp, clean edges along sidewalks and flower beds just look good. When you put in the time to neatly trim your grass, it makes your whole yard appear more tidy and polished.

But if you’re like most people, lawn edging sounds tedious. Just picturing yourself hunched over, inching along the pavement with clippers for hours is enough to make you plop down in front of the TV instead.

Well, it doesn’t have to be that way!

We’ll show you how edging your lawn is much easier than you think when you follow a few simple steps. And you’ll love that sense of satisfaction when you look back at your handiwork after.

Step 1: Mow First for the Best Results

Before you do any kind of lawn grooming, it’s smart to start with a fresh mow. Mowing first gives you a good sense of how long your grass currently is, so you can match the height when edging. It also clears away any fallen leaves or debris so you have nice clean turf to work with.

As a general guideline when mowing, never cut off more than one-third of the total grass blade height at once. Doing so can put your lawn into shock and make it look raggedy or thin in spots. Gradually lowering to your desired height is best.

Step 2: Plan The Path

For first-time edgers, it helps to clearly lay out the areas you intend to spruce up. Use a hose, rope, or masking tape to delineate the spots where you’ll be slicing away grass. This might include:

  • Along sidewalks or paved pathways
  • Where your lawn meets driveway asphalt
  • Around planting beds or flower gardens

Visualizing the task at hand gives you the confidence boost needed to get started. But if you’re only edging basic perimeter areas, you can likely skip this step.

Step 3: Choose An Edger

Now for the fun part – picking your tool! You generally have two options:

String Trimmers

Originally invented to trim grass and weeds growing against fences, trees, and foundations, string trimmers make edging a breeze. Their spinning monofilament line slices through grass like butter. And most can easily switch between trimmer and edger functions.

Gas-powered string trimmers pack the most power for plowing through thick turf. But they’re crazy loud, and the maintenance hassle gives them a “high maintenance girlfriend” vibe.

Electric and battery-powered models provide a greener, lower maintenance option. Cordless trimmers are lightweight and easy to maneuver into tight spots. They won’t disturb your neighbors either!

Manual Edging

Maybe after a long week you find rhythmically pushing a manual edger soothing to your soul. The scrape-scrape-scrape as each blade of defiance is firmly put in its place along your impeccably tidy lawn.

Here are your manual choices:

  • Landscaping edgers resemble a large, upside down steel hoe. The sharp semi-circular blade scalps away grass, while the shaft keeps your back happy. Use them to carve fresh edges and for removing thick clumps of turf.
  • Dual wheel rotary edgers have a serrated disk on one wheel that gnashes as the other rolls smoothly along. These steady Eddie’s excel at edging gradual curves.
  • For simple touch-ups, handy grass shears get the job done. Their long blades slice cleanly through stray grass at concrete joints. Snip, snip – lawn edging zen achieved.

Step 4: Put On Safety Gear

Before wielding any type of spinning blades or slicing disks near your precious bod, it’s best to suit up for safety. No one wants bits of turf and debris pelting their eyes and skin. So grab:

Gloves to save your hands from blisters and abrasions. Look badass in sleek leather, but cheap cotton or rubber will do.

Safety glasses to defend your peepers from grime bombs. Clear lenses give you the best visibility as you work.

And if you’re allergy-prone, strap on a dust mask so you don’t hack up a lung afterward. Safety first, super edgers!

Step 5: Edge The Perimeter

Okay, now the fun really starts! Time to work your edging magic along sidewalks, driveways, and anywhere turf meets pavement.

Before slicing up that grass, scout around for any wiring or pipes lurking underground.

Power Edgers Let the Machine Do the Work

If wielding a gas-powered string trimmer, get in an athletic stance with knees bent. Keep arms extended and engage those core muscles. Tilt the trimmer so the spun string faces the grass, using the shield to guard your precious self.

Move steadily from left to right, letting the spinning action grind away at the grass edge. The turf tidbits will fly back onto your lawn instead of the sidewalk. Finesse the trimmer to taper gentle curves rather than blunt, unnatural angles. Small tilts make all the difference!

Be mindful of how deeply you trench – about 2 inches into soil is ideal. Enough to pare back encroaching green growth but not so much you scalp down to bare dirt.

Manual Edgers Require Strategic Human Power

No noisy motors or spinning parts here with manual edgers – just good ole fashioned elbow grease. These take more effort but allow meticulous precision.

Use a landscaping edger like a mini-shovel, driving the crescent-shaped blade straight down near the edge. Engage those leg muscles and core! Rock it gently side-to-side to wedge under the turf, then lift back up.

Again, aim for about a 2-inch depth. Too shallow and you won’t peel back enough grass; too deep risks hacking through precious roots or utilities. Carefully carve away, my manual edging padawan. Master the zen of steady, mindful movements.

Or Use Dual-Wheel Rotary Edgers for Gradual Curves

If dealing with lots of sloping or rounded edges, rotary edgers excel. Their spinning serrated wheel gently gnashes while the other rolls smoothly along.

Work steadily in short increments, letting the wheel do its thing as you guide it along the desired path. The grass will surrender to its whirring fury! Periodically stop to toss loosened debris off the working area so you can monitor depth and contour.

Step 6: Check for Jagged Areas

For organically shaped areas like flower gardens, treat the edging like you’re sculpting a living grass sculpture. Mark along the bed perimeter where you want pristine turf carved away.

Use graceful, fluid motions with manual shears or edgers to carve out smooth rounded forms. Take care not to hack valuable roots or blooms! Step back occasionally and tweak spots that look uneven or unsightly. Finesse and precision are vital here.

Step 7: Prune and Trim Shrubs and Bushes

While you have the edging bug, why not crisp up the landscape bushes too? Grab some manual shears and trim any shrubs encroaching onto lawns, walkways, or drives. Cut just above key branches, working methodically around each plant in small, regular sections.

Shape loosely rounded forms thatgrownarrower near the bottoms. Avoid blunt-cut tops or oddly-tapered sides unless that’s the look you’re intentionally going for. Take your time and evaluate as you snip for the most natural shaping.

Step 8: Clean Up Debris

After all that turf-thrashing work side-by-side, your edger deserves some TLC. Use a stiff bristle brush to gently clear away all remaining grass and gunk. Removing clinging debris keeps blades sharp and machinery humming.

If any guck stubbornly clings, scrape carefully with a putty knife or old credit card. Then softly wipe metal surfaces down with a spritz of WD40 and a rag – instant refreshed shine! A well-cared for edger will be eager for your next meticulous lawn mastering mission.

Step 10: Maintain Your Lawn

It’s done!

But please don’t just abandon it after all your hard edging efforts. Consider hiring a professional care service to handle routine upkeep chores.

Let the experts tackle fertilizing, mowing, aerating, weed control, and more while you sip lemonade on your tidy front porch. No need to burn precious weekend hours pushing noisy, smelly mowers when you could be napping.

R & S Landscaping offers lawn maintenance services in Albuquerque and the Greater Albuquerque Metro-area. To get a free quote from R &S Landscaping, call 505-271-8419 or fill out this simple form.