We’ve all seen that one neighbor out there edging his or her yard. They have fresh, flawless sharp lines at the edges of their grass. In this article, I’ll teach you how to cut lawn edges quickly and accurately to take your yard from good to great. And I will also share some of the tools you can choose from to do the job well. Let’s get started.
Having those movie theater green lawns, where it doesn’t appear a single edge has been left untrimmed, can now be a reality in your yard. And it doesn’t take a lot of back-breaking work, or a big investment in lawn equipment.
In fact, you don’t even need to edge your yard every time you mow.
Why Should You Edge Your Lawn?
The truth is that it isn’t necessary to edge your lawn. If you’re mowing regularly, and following basic lawn care best practices you’ll have a beautiful lawn to enjoy.
But you should still edge your lawn.
We trim our edges for the same reason women trim their split ends. It changes how the finished product looks: fresh, crisp, and a better presentation.
This is the part of the yard work regimen that homeowners who have the best lawns follow. Edging your lawn periodically can make all the difference in how your yard looks.
Trimming the edges is the final touch to beautifying your yard and it can help to set your lawn apart and help it to stand out. I don’t personally feel I have to “dominate” my neighbors by having a better lawn than they do (though there are lots of people who take that approach to lawn care … more power to them!).
For me it’s about the pride I feel when I come home from getting the groceries or a soccer game, or when I look outside and see my kids playing in a great lawn.
How to Cut Lawn Edges, Explained
So let’s get to it.
Here are some of my best tips that will help you learn how to cut lawn edges quickly and accurately with great results:
How to Cut Lawn Edges
- Mow Your Lawn First
To enjoy the perfectly edged yard it’s vital to make sure you mow your lawn and then edge your lawn. Mowing first allows for a better follow when trimming because it will expose the original curve of the lawn.
- Edge the Lawn, Not the Hardscape
When using a power edger, make sure to keep slightly off sidewalks, concrete, and walking areas. Follow a specific path and make sure to keep the trimming between the lawn and whatever hard surface the grass is growing against. This will make your edging trimmer last longer and it will ensure the edges of your hardscape aren’t getting repeatedly beat up.
- Stand on the Walkways When Possible
It’s best to use the walking pathways or driveway when you trim edges. This allows you to walk on an even surface and naturally follow just along the outside of that surface with your edger.
- Slow and Steady
It’s not a race. Therefore, you should always take your time and trim carefully. As you gain experience you’ll develop a system for edging your property and it’ll go faster. The first few times you edge your property focus on doing the job well, not doing it quickly.
- Pay Attention to Your Trimmer
Use a string trimmer or weed wacker to trim the lawn in tight areas? Pay attention to which way your blade or trimmer string spins. If your trimmer runs clockwise, keep your movement right to left. The ejected trimmings should end up in the lawn and not on the walkway, street, or in your garden beds. Work smarter, not harder!
- Don’t Kill the Perennials!
Use a manual edger to cut around flower beds and precious plants. Once you’re an expert with your edger or string trimmer you can walk on the wild side. I watched my dad accidentally cut down my mom’s favorite flowers too many times. I advise that you try to avoid that. 🙂
- Consider Inorganic Edging
If you want to cut down on the time spent edging around borders and garden beds, you could consider investing in plastic, wood, or metal edging. This works great along walkways and garden beds. It can also keep the rhizomes of your grass from creeping into beds.
Tools You’ll Need to Edge Your Lawn
To start, I should say that you don’t need all of these tools. In fact, any one of them will do the trick. You can decide for yourself which will work best for you (FYI: product links below take you to Amazon):
- Electric Lawn Edger – Quickest way to trim those unwanted edges.
- Cordless Electric String Lawn Edger – An electric lawn edger with no strings attached.
- Half-Moon Edger – Manual edger used to dig deep into the ground and cut clean edges around garden beds. A good, inexpensive option if you don’t have much edging to do.
- Edging Sheet Barriers – Great for separating trimmed grass and other areas of the lawn.
- Rotary Edger – Manual labor tool designed to be less strenuous than a half-moon edger. This tool requires more effort than an electric or gas-powered stick edger.
- Wooden Log Edging – The aesthetic alternative to plastic or metal edging sheet barriers. These can be really attractive to edge your garden beds.
- Gas Stick Edger – Gas-powered lawn edger, the alternative to an electric edger, with more power. This is what I use.
- Walk-Behind Gas Edger – A powerful, commercial-grade edging option. If you’re into powerful lawn equipment and you have the budget/room to store it, this is a fun option.
As you can see, trimming lawn edges well doesn’t take years of experience, nor does it take a lot of time or money.
With the right tools and some practice, you too can have a beautiful lawn to brag about.