Untidy lawn edges will ruin the appearance of even the most well maintained lawns.

But when you edge your lawn properly, the resulting finish will rival a professional garden.

In this guide I’ll show you how to edge your lawn like a pro. You will learn how to cut new edges and maintain them after mowing.

Two Different Types of Lawn Edges

It’s important to first understand that there are two different types of lawn edge;

  1. Open edges – These are edges of your lawn which are exposed. Along a planted border for example.
  2. Closed edges – These are edges where the edge of the lawn meets another surface. A path, a lawn edging feature, a mowing strip or your driveway.

You need to treat each type of edge differently, so we’ll teach you how to maintain both.

How to Edge a Lawn with Open Edges

Creating and maintaining open edges is easy and you can use several tools to do it.

Step 1: Mark Out the Edge You Want to Cut

Straight edges are best created with the help of a long plank. When I need to make straight lines, I use my ‘edging board’ which has nails hammered through it so that there is no chance for slippage when you push it into the ground.

Alternatively, you could stand on your edging board to keep it in place.

If creating curves or wavy shapes in your lawn, try using a warm garden hosepipe and some U-shaped pegs as an outline.

Existing edges can be tidied by using the original edge line.

Step 2: Cut the Edges

There are several tools you can use to cut new edges;

  • A half-moon edging iron
  • A powered edge cutter

I find the best tool for straight line cutting is the half-moon edged irons which have blades that are treaded with spikes on top. When using your foot as leverage it gives accurate depth and cuts through turf evenly.

It also has an indicator at its base indicating how deep into the ground it should be before making a cut to keep all lines consistent.

For curvy shapes like circles or waves I would recommend a powered edge cutter with wheels. Simply walk it along your border and it will create a tidy edge.

Step 3: Remove the Cut Turf

With your new edges cut, you need to remove the excess grass turf.

This will create a clear and defined edge.

Step 4: Protect the Edge

It’s a good idea to protect your lawn edges from damage and harsh weather.  

This can be done by packing some soil up against the edge of your lawn and creating a slope into your border. This will prevent soil moisture from drying out on hot days, so that you don’t have brown patches in your lawn.

Another effective method for protecting borders is installing a lawn edging product such as Fexi-Border or Everedge which prevents erosion along the sides which will reduce maintenance down the line when they need trimming again.

Step 5: Trim the Edges After Mowing

When cutting the grass, always keep in mind that edges should be trimmed every few cuts to maintain a neat and well-kept lawn. If your mower has an adjustable height setting, set it accordingly.

Use a pair of edging shears or a petrol or cordless grass strimmer if you prefer. Some strimmers have a swivel head for better control in this situation.

This will take a little practice so don’t worry if it takes a few attempts to get it right.

Learn more: Guide To When To Cut Grass.

Powered Lawn Edger

How to Maintain Closed Edges

Maintaining closed edges is often easier than open edges because the edge of the lawn is defined by the surface it meets.

Paths and Driveways

If your lawn meets a path or driveway, then chances are high that you’ll be able to roll right over it.

However, let’s say the lawn grows beyond the edges of these pathways – what do we do? It’s a great idea to use a powered lawn edger because they’re neat and fast with little effort required.

You could also use what is known as a half-moon edging iron, but this can take some time depending on how long the grass is.

Walls and Fences

If your lawn meets a wall or a fence, even the best lawn mowers won’t be able to cut up to the edge.

The only option here is to use a strimmer.

The Danger of Closed Lawn Edges

Sometimes, closed lawn edges are either paths, driveway, fences, or walls.

During the summertime, grass edges can get very hot during the day and even when it cools down at night – they still hold onto that heat which causes soil and grass to dry out and turn brown.

Be sure to keep your lawn edges watered if your lawn does meet another surface. The other option is to install a lawn edging product like the ones mentioned earlier.

Learn more: The Best Time Of Day To Mow.

Final Verdict

Learning how to edge a lawn properly will turn a mediocre garden into one you can be proud of.

Defined edges create order in your garden, helping to separate areas and create clearly defined shapes.

Lawn edging is a very easy way of giving your lawn a makeover.