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How to Edge Your Lawn

Lawn Care Tips | Posted on March 5, 2019 at 11:59 am by

If your lawn meets your flower beds with an exposed edge, it’s likely that you will need to know how to edge your lawn occasionally to keep everything looking neat, tidy and healthy.

Here we take a look at the tools for edging a lawn, the different methods you can use, and how to help make sure your lawn edge looks healthy in the future.

What you need:

These lawn edging tools are not all essential – it depends on which method you prefer to use – but they will each help to make it easier to edge your lawn regularly with less effort.

Remember, it depends on your lawn – a cutting guide like a plank is much more important on larger lawns where it’s harder to keep in a straight line by sight alone.

When to edge a lawn

Edging a lawn is not something you need to do too often, and in most cases once a year should be enough to keep it looking relatively neat and tidy.

If you’re going to edge your lawn once a year, do it at the end of winter. This is usually when lawns are at their most damaged by heavy weather and the grass is at its least verdant, so it’s easier to see the healthiest – and least healthy – patches around the edges of your lawn.

By edging your lawn in late winter, you also make sure it is well prepared for the warmer, lighter days of spring, when the grass should spring back into its more active stage of growth and your tidy edges will really start to pay off in terms of the overall aesthetic of your garden. For ways to make sure your lawn is cared for throughout the yea, take a look at the Carbutts Lawn Care Calendar.

How to edge a lawn

Once you have the tools you need, it’s time to get to work. If necessary, mow the grass to a short length that reveals exactly where the natural edge of your lawn currently lies. Stray and straggly long grass can be cut back with long-handled shears – if you’re lucky, the lawn edge will look tidy enough to leave it at that.

Some electric garden strimmers have an edging function which allows them to automatically cut along a 90-degree line, so this can make light work of clearing long grass from the edge if you have one.

If the grass has started to encroach into the flowerbed, or has died back from the lawn edge, it’s time to carry out some lawn edge surgery.

Use a sharp-bladed shovel or half-moon edging tool to dig down through the grass and the topsoil, and remove as little as possible to restore the shape of the edge. Use a plank to guide you on straight edges, or lay out string, rope or a length of garden hose to help you visualise curved edges.

Cutting a lawn edge around obstacles

If you have line of sight past an obstacle, for example a fish pond or curved flowerbed that cuts into the straight edge of the lawn, consider using a laser pen or laser measuring tape as a guide to continue the straight edge in perfect line at the other side.

For obstacles like trees or lamp posts that are positioned right on the edge of your lawn and cannot be moved, you might want to cut back the lawn edge in a semicircle around the base of the obstacle, before continuing the straight edge either side.

Repair broken lawn edges

While edging a lawn is often about cutting back excess growth, it can also mean correcting areas where the grass has died back from the edge, dried out due to the extra heat and wind exposure, or where you have accidentally cut too far into it.

To repair broken lawn edges, if the damage is minor, you can cut a section of turf from the edge and simply rotate it so the damage is away from the edge, leaving you with an unbroken and healthy edge, and a small area of damage that is hidden by the grass around it.

For more extensive damage, consider laying fresh turf at the edge of your lawn for a completely undamaged and unbroken edge that you can take better care of in the future.

A physical barrier for lawn edges

To prevent excess grass growth in future, you might want to consider a physical barrier for lawn edges. These can include brick, cast concrete edgings, wooden edgings and even metal or plastic barriers that sink nearly flush with ground level to hold back the grass roots.

You can use lawn edgings as a visually appealing addition to your garden, especially if you use natural materials like wood or stone, and they can also be a useful way to recycle materials like old bricks or roof slates for a rustic and lived-in effect.

We at Carbutts provide a professional lawn laying service that includes edging. We are adept at laying turf on complicated areas to create full, lush looking garden lawns. Get in touch today to discuss your options with us.