How to Use a Lawn Edger

Four Methods:Using a Manual or Motorized Lawn EdgerUsing a Lawn Edger to Mark Out a New BedUsing a Lawn Edger to Redefine an Existing FlowerbedUsing a Lawn Edger to Expand an Existing Flowerbed

Use a lawn edger to create a neat edge to your flower beds, where they meet the lawn. You can also use a lawn edger to expand an existing flower bed. Alternately, use the lawn edger to mark out the edges of a new flowerbed or vegetable bed.

Method 1
Using a Manual or Motorized Lawn Edger

  1. Image titled Use a Lawn Edger Step 1
    1
    Understand how a manual (stick) lawn edger works. A stick lawn edger is usually a wooden or metal pole (like a rake handle) with a semi-circular (or square) blade at the end. It looks a little like a straight hoe or a very small shovel.
    • This is a manual tool and it’s best to apply pressure using your foot, so make sure you are wearing solid-sole shoes or boots when using the tool.
    • It’s best to do this when the ground is fairly moist as it will be easier to cut through than dry earth. Avoid edging your beds in winter when the ground is likely to be frozen hard and difficult to work.
  2. Image titled Use a Lawn Edger Step 2
    2
    Learn how to operate a manual lawn edger. To use a stick lawn edger, mark out where you want to make the new edge of the lawn. Stick the edger in the ground to a depth of about 2 inches (5.1 cm).
    • Put your foot on it, holding the stick firmly. Push down with your foot to cut through the soil. You can rock gently to cut through the turf. Push the handle forward and back slightly to loosen the cut edge away from the rest of the turf.
    • It’s helpful to pry the cut area open slightly so you can see where you've worked. Now move the tool blade a few inches to the side and cut the next piece away. Continue until you have edged the entire bed.
  3. Image titled Use a Lawn Edger Step 3
    3
    Understand how a motorized lawn edger works. It’s best to check manufacturer’s instructions for your particular model. In most cases your power tool will have two settings: one to trim the grass and one to trench edge or cut the turf.
    • In some cases you can set the depth to cut. Make sure you get the settings right before you begin.
    • You’ll need to mark out the area to cut in a way that is visible when using the bulky machine.

Method 2
Using a Lawn Edger to Mark Out a New Bed

  1. Image titled Use a Lawn Edger Step 4
    1
    Choose a suitable location for your new bed. To create a new planting bed, you first need to decide where to put it.
    • Make sure you aren't going to be digging where there are power or water lines or where there needs to be manhole access to sewer pipes.
    • It’s best not to site a plant bed in a marshy area where puddles form and don’t easily drain away after rain. If you have this poor drainage issue, you’ll just need to improve the soil or raise the bed before putting a bed there.
  2. Image titled Use a Lawn Edger Step 5
    2
    Mark out the location of the new bed. Mark out where you want your bed to go using string and pegs (this is best for square or oblong beds), chalk, or a spray can of paint.
    • Use your lawn edger to define the edges of the bed and make it easy to start digging it up. Start on the outside of the area you have marked.
    • Following the instructions provided in the section above for using your edging tool, use your lawn edger to define the edges of the new bed.
  3. Image titled Use a Lawn Edger Step 6
    3
    Make a second cut, approximately one inch inside the first. Once you've cut and made visible one full line of the bed’s edge, return to the start of your turf cut. Now you want to make another cut about one inch inside the area of the new bed.
    • Make the second cut at a slight angle towards the first cut you made. The idea is to make a thin strip of turf for easy removal.
  4. Image titled Use a Lawn Edger Step 7
    4
    Remove the strip of turf and dig up the rest of the bed. Once you have cut the whole length, get down on your knees.
    • If you've made a severing cut through the turf, you should be able to pull up the long one inch wide strip of turf easily.
    • Now take a spade and remove the remaining turf from inside the new bed area. You’ll need to dig over and improve the soil ahead of planting.

Method 3
Using a Lawn Edger to Redefine an Existing Flowerbed

  1. Image titled Use a Lawn Edger Step 8
    1
    Redefine the edges of you flowerbeds only when necessary. Over time your lawn borders may get a little messy. This is likely when you live in an area with chalky or sandy soil or if you've had a lot of traffic on your lawn that has damaged the edges.
    • When this happens, you can redefine the edges of your lawn using an edging tool. However, you shouldn't be tempted to do this too often because your beds will grow a little each time you redefine the edges.
    • If your edges are often messy, consider using an edging material to keep them as they are.
  2. Image titled Use a Lawn Edger Step 9
    2
    Cut a fresh edge approximately one inch from the original one. Use one of the edging tools as described above to cut a fresh edge about one inch back from the old edge. If your lawn edge has been damaged a lot, you may need to make this slightly wider.
    • Once you've cut and made visible one full line of the bed one inch from its old location, go back to the start and cut on the bed side of the strip.
    • Cut at a slight angle towards the first cut you made. The idea is to sever a thin strip of turf for easy removal.
  3. Image titled Use a Lawn Edger Step 10
    3
    Remove the cut strip of turf. Once you have cut the whole length, get down on your knees. If you've made a severing cut through the turf, you should be able to pull up the long strip of turf easily to define the new, neater edges.
    • If you are mulching your beds, rake out the mulch to fill the slightly wider area of bed you have now created.

Method 4
Using a Lawn Edger to Expand an Existing Flowerbed

  1. Image titled Use a Lawn Edger Step 11
    1
    Mark out the new edges of your flowerbed. Mark out where you want your new lawn edges to go using string on pegs (this is best for square or oblong beds), chalk, or a spray can of paint.
    • Following the instructions for using your edging tool, use your lawn edger to define the new edges of the bed.
  2. Image titled Use a Lawn Edger Step 12
    2
    Make a second cut one inch closer the the bed. Once you've cut and made visible one full line of the bed’s new edge, return to the start of your turf cut. Now you want to make another cut about one inch closer to the bed.
    • Make the second cut at a slight angle towards the first cut you made. The idea is to make a thin strip of turf for easy removal.
  3. Image titled Use a Lawn Edger Step 13
    3
    Remove the cut strip of turf. Once you have cut the whole length, get down on your knees. If you’ve made a severing cut through the turf, you should be able to pull up the long one inch wide strip of turf easily.
  4. Image titled Use a Lawn Edger Step 14
    4
    Dig up any remaining turf between the new edge and the existing bed. Now take a spade and dig out whatever remains of the turf on the bed side of your turf line. This will complete the expansion of your bed.
    • If you are mulching your beds, rake out the mulch to fill the new area of bed.

Article Info

Categories: Lawn Care