Lawn Edging the Right Way

There is a lot more to lawn care than seeding, fertilizing, and mowing. Well-maintained lawns sport a razor sharp edge around their borders. With the proper lawn edging tools, even the least experienced of us can make a healthy lawn look like a professional manicured it. Purchasing the proper equipment is half the battle and the rest involves the proper edging technique. Read on to learn the secrets so you can create the best lawn in the neighborhood at a fraction of the price.

Different lawn edging products are designed for different sizes of lawns. Hand-operated tools look like shears and should be used for trimming, not edging. Gas and electric powered equipment that trims lawns using blades or string can sometimes be used as edgers. An extension cord that is plugged into an electrical outlet must be used with the electric model. This makes electric trimmers less convenient when dealing with larger square footage’s. Safety is also a concern because care must be taken not to cut the electric cord with the trimmer blade.

Both electric and gas models can damage patios, decks, and concrete so though they are acceptable for edging, they are not ideal. The best way to accomplish the task is to use a piece of equipment designed for the purpose. The most popular are the turf and the rotary edger, both of which use a vertical method of cutting. The lawn should be edged before it is mowed so the mower can pick up the clippings left by the process. Clippings on sidewalks or patios can be swept up using a broom and dust pan.

One way to keep costs low is to rent or borrow an edger, use it once, and then install permanent aluminum lawn edging or steel lawn edging. These products help the lawn retain the desired shape longer and reduce the tendency for ground-cover or mulch to spread into the lawn. The edging is easy to install because it has stakes that lock it into the ground. An adapter can be used whenever an end stake is needed, eliminating the need for planning section lengths.

To perform proper lawn edging, you will need:

  • Electric or gas trimmer or lawn edger
  • Grass shears
  • Product designed for permanent edging or half-moon edging tool
  • String
  • Wood stakes
  • Garden hose
  • Shovel
  • Lawn Edging

Step 1: Lay out the line designating the location to be edged. To create a straight line, use the string and wooden stakes. To edge on a curved line, use a garden hose.

Step 2: Use the trimmer or edger to cut the grass along this line.

Step 3: Around the edges of flowerbeds and trees, use grass shears to prevent damage to plants and trees.

Step 4: If a half-moon edging tool is being used rather than permanent edging, place the tool between the lawn and flowerbed. Push in the blade with your foot so a thin piece of turf is sliced. Chop up this dislodged turn and use it in the flowerbed.

Step 5: If the permanent edging includes stakes, simply install it according to the package instructions, driving the stakes down in a straight line. Sandy soil conditions may require extra long stakes so take note of this when shopping in order to purchase the appropriate product.

Step 6: Install end stake adapters at all beginning and ending points.

Step 7: Take advantage of the flexibility of the edging material by bending the product to achieve tree curves and sharp rings.

Step 8: If stakes are not included with the permanent edging, a trench must be dug for flush edging. With the shovel, dig up a two inch wide and five inch deep section of turf along the lines created in Step 1. These measurements will change based on the edging product.

Step 9: Add sand to the bottom of this trench and evenly set the edging into the trench.

Step 10: Fill the bottom of the trench with sand to create the desired edging height. Use the topsoil to fill in each side.

Step 11: To firm the soil surrounding the edging, walk along the edging, being careful not to damage it. This will help keep it in place.

Lawn edging should not be installed immediately following a rainfall. During this time, the ground is usually expanded due to moisture retention. Edging installed during this time is likely to move once the ground dries, providing the lawn with an uneven appearance. Allow the lawn to dry before installing the edging product.

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