Lawn Edging Technique


Lawn edging is the process by which a gardener cuts a neat edge around a lawn to make it look good and to prevent grass from spreading. This can be done with hand tools or power edgers. The term "lawn edging" used as a noun refers to the decorative borders some gardeners put around the edge of their lawn.

When to Edge

You should trim the edge if your lawn once a year, preferably in the spring when the growing season begins. This is also the best time to add an edge or border to your lawn.

Using Hand Tools

Long-handled edging shears are are best for eding lawns. These require some physical strength. Another model of hand edger looks somewhat like a shovel and has sharp, rounded blade. It has a level surface that you put your foot on and push down to cut the sod. You can also use a shovel with a square, sharp blade that's at least 6 to 8 inches wide.

Power Tools

Electrical edgers have a rotating blade mounted at the end of a pole. They are quiet and cheap to operate, but they have to be connected to a power source by a cord. Electrical trimmers using a rotating string to knock down weeds and trim grass are not good for edging. Gas edgers usually gave a vertical blade at the side. You push them like a lawn mower. They have two-stroke engines requiring you to mix oil and gas for fuel. If the edge of your lawn is more than 100 to 150 feet from a power source, you'll want to use a gas model.

Depth of the Edge

You should cut your edge about 3 inches deep before you add mulch or other edging material around your lawn. The width of a dollar bill is about right.


When you shape your lawn, remember that rounded corners are better than square corners. Long, slow curves are better than tight, sharp curves. You can anchor a long string to help guide you in making this curve.

Adding a Border

Once you have put a crisp edge around your lawn, you can add a border (or "edge") to separate it from trees, flowers and sidewalks. This prevents your lawn from spreading, and gives it a manicured look. You can use bricks, small stones, gravel, chips, bark or mulch for this edging. You can also build a wooden barrier or put up a small picket fence. Garden supply houses often market blocks of wood for this purpose. If you put in a border, you have to make sure that you are able to trim your lawn when the growing season begins.

Keywords: lawn edging techniques, edging a lawn, trimming a lawn

About this Author

Richard Hoyt, an internationally published author of 26 mysteries, thrillers and other novels, is a former reporter for Honolulu dailies and writer for "Newsweek" magazine. He taught nonfiction writing and journalism at the university level for 10 years. He holds a Ph.D. in American studies.