An edger is a great garden tool that can serve you well, whether you are an avid flower gardener, love hardscaping or simply want to keep things around the house looking trim and neat. Keeping the edger in good working condition is the first step, and that's easily done by a couple of simple checks and regular maintenance. With an edger that's ready to go, you can tackle all sorts of projects to make your landscaping look neater.
Check for fuel before you begin using. Make sure you have an adequate amount in the tank and notice if the fuel has an off smell. (You can take a quick sniff of the inside of the gas tank cap.) If the fuel doesn't smell like gasoline, then it is probably old and has deteriorated. Using it in your lawn edger can cause problems with the carburetion system. Pour out the old fuel into a bucket or container and dispose of it properly. Then fill the tank with fresh fuel.
Check the edger blades for sharpness. A dull blade will only make your job more difficult. The blade should have a neat, sharp edge without excessive dings or scratches. If the blades look or feel dull (wear gloves when checking because they can be very sharp), remove and get them sharpened.
Walk slowly behind the edger. Getting in a hurry will only throw you off and disrupt your efforts to make a straight line.
Edge around all flower beds to create definition and keep the lawn from encroaching on your flower beds. Add a thin edging material, such as hard plastic, after you have created the cut in the ground with the edger, or you can simply maintain it by re-edging every week or so.
Edge next to sidewalks and driveways to keep them looking neat and prevent grass from growing over the surface material. Walk the edger blade as close as you can to the pavement or other walkway or driveway.
Edge next to any landscaping bed that you want to line with bricks or landscaping stones. Simply edge as normal, then edge again right next to your initial cut in the ground. Repeat three to four times to bring the width to the right size for your bricks or stones.
Take in your edger for maintenance every year or two. Most lawn equipment service shops provide regular maintenance, including a new spark plug and air filter, a fuel system flush and a blade sharpening. It may seem excessive for garden equipment, but remember that the edger is a mechanical tool that will inevitably wear and tear. It's as logical as getting regular oil changes for your car.