Edging your lawns


Lawn edging what a dull subject to do a blog on, what on earth will I learn from that? After all it’s just shears and trim!

And I would agree to a point to the above comments but like anything we do in life, there’s different ways to do things and to different standards. Everyone can cook but how many of us could cook a 5 star banquet for 1000 people including the queen?

Lawn edges in a formal garden area or even just dissecting the lawn to the flower bed are so important. They give you a visual line definition from the grass to the border. So keeping them maintained is a tedious but important job. One that makes such a difference, indeed I was taught as a young boy many many years ago, as long as the lawns are cut and the edges are trimmed people won’t notice as much what’s happening behind them!

I don’t care what anyone says, lawn edging isn’t that easy to get to a good standard so I’m giving it an 2/5 on the skill level required

Tools for the job

  • Edging shears
  • Hand trowel
  • Wolfe handle
  • Narrow springbok type rake head
  • Bucket
  • Gloves
Here’s shot of my favourite type of edging shears, made by Bahco, they ain’t the cheapest but by far the best out there! I tend to use these for 2 years before replacing. No point struggling to cut with them, we have all used pairs like that before!! Ok for a couple of sharpens but if they still aren’t cutting well after that, it’s time to replace. For some of you it might be 10yrs unless you are like me doing many many miles of edging a year. Don’t try and keep going! Replace!! The time lost using crap ones will cost you more money than save you
Right now some edging shears are designed to cut the whole length of the blade, I find these are the quickest to wear out, others like the bahco are designed to cut with the first 150mm/6’’ of the blades. This is because they have been designed to have that section under pressure so the blades are being pushed together to help you cut easier! So just use the top 150mm.
Give them a squirt of a lubricant before and after using, before helps to stop the grass sticking to the blades as much
I’m right handed so if you are left handed, just reverse all my instructions! I like to cut using the shears at an angle. So I stand approx 300mm/2ft from the lawn edge and rest the left hand of the shears in my left hand. This left handle operates the bottom blade and I want to keep that still as possible, I aim to cut just using the top blade. Then I start cutting making sideway steps while moving my right arm to cut the edge . I also try and get as tight to the edge as I can! I don’t want to be cutting soil but I do want to be tight to the edge proper
Nice close up view of using the 150mm/6’’ cutting bit
Nicely trimmed but now to clean up!! However this clean up is the most important part of the job not because it makes it look nicer but because it makes life easier for you in the long run!!! Anything that makes life easier has to be good right!! I mean quicker we get the job done, quicker we can move on to more sexier gardening jobs!!
Yes you can get down on your hands and knees and clean up but this tool is amazing for cleaning up the edges! It’s very stiff and the edge can be pulled along the straight lawn edge without causing damage. You can rake it into small piles to collect in a while
Or you can flick it away from the edge into the border, spread it around so the sun can burn off the cut leaves pretty quickly! The wider spread makes it a lot less noticeable!! ideally you can only get away with this when the trimmings are no longer that 35mm/1.5’’ and not too thick either!
You can dig out small weeds from near the edge or even rake back the soil from the edge of the lawn back into the border and make it more defined once more! all this while standing up and if you become good, at a slow walking pace!!
This is how the idea edge should look like! You can see the grass at the top then bare soil down into the gully. Having your edges like this, makes the job easier to do! Firstly the grass is all at the top so you don’t need to try and get it all which makes the job quicker!! cutting tight means it looks sharper for longer and if don’t regularly say once a week, fortnight won’t mean there’s as much grass to pick up
When they look like this, you need a little bit of time to weed away any grass that’s growing down from the main grass level and pull away the downward growing grass stems. It doesn’t take too long to get the lawns up together and keep them going for the season. Once per year I like to sharpen them up with a half moon but that’s for another blog!!
Lastly enjoy your nice clean, sharp edges!!! It took me less than 10minutes to edge and clean up the whole length of the above border, that’s over 100m in length and to cut and clean up!!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Nice post Thomas, thanks. I bought a Stihl gas-powered wand/stick edger a couple of years ago. I’ve had great success with it and beautiful edges ever since. 🙂

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