When mowing the lawn, a lot of people don’t bother with the edges. It’s understandable as in many cases it’s quite a nuisance, with manoeuvring the lawn mower or grass trimmer being quite difficult around the edge of the lawn. For this reason, it’s often left undone but this is like stopping at the final hurdle!
Properly edging a lawn leaves it looking better than ever and won’t take much effort once you know the right approach. Check the guide below for all the information you need to know for how to perfectly edge a lawn!
Open Edges v Close Edges
Most people don’t realise there are two types of lawn edges – open edge and close edge.
The first is an open edge, which refers to any lawn edge that are open on one side, such as being next to borders or flower beds. Close edges are when the lawn edge stops and a new material starts – usually a patio, paving, or things like that.
A different approach needs to be taken for each type of edge, so make sure you identify what you are dealing with on your lawn. Many will have both an open and close edge, so make sure to treat each one accordingly.
Related: 5 best lawn edgers
How to Deal with Open Edges
Whenever your lawn meets a border on one side, you are dealing with an open edge. These tend to be easier to deal with than closed edges, although it is important that you take the necessary steps to properly treat the area.
To start with, try to avoid standing around an open edge whenever you are mowing. This flattens it down and makes cutting it a bit trickier, so try to avoid walking over it when you are pushing the mower across the lawn.
You can trim the edges with a few different tools. A lawn edger is a device specifically designed for this job so it’s a great option if you are working on long edges.
A grass trimmer does most of the work for you but may not be worth the expense if you are only using it for edging. You can use a set of shears for the job too, although this requires the most time and effort, but may not be an issue for smaller lawns with little edging.
Regardless, you won’t need to cut the open edges every time you mow the lawn. Instead, cut them back every second or third mow. If you notice the open edge is uneven after cutting it, you can straighten it out with a half-moon edger.
If you are reworking the edges, remember that it should be at a 20-40° angle. This basically means creating a slight outwards slope from top to bottom, which avoids the grass roots near the edge from drying and browning.
How to Deal with Closed Edges
Closed edges can be easier to deal with when the lawn and other surface are level, as you can simply cut over the edges using the battery powered lawn mower. The challenge is when the surfaces aren’t level, making it difficult to manoeuvre the mower to properly cut the edges.
When this is the case, it’s best to cut with shears like with opened edges. You may be able to get away with mowing when there is a minor difference in surface levels, but anything bigger than 3 to 5cm should be cut using shears.
Another trick when the difference is minor is to slightly angle the mower, lifting one side of the mower up onto the raised section to get the edges. It can be a risky move, especially if the surface is hard, as it can damage the mower blade if you’re not careful. Make sure to raise the blade height when doing this to minimize the chance of damaging the blade!
Avoiding Drying Edges During Summer
Closed edges that connect to hard surfaces like a patio or pathway are often susceptible to excessive drying and browning during summer. This is because the hard materials, usually made from stone or brick, attract and store heat during the day before releasing it at night.
This storage heater effect isn’t great for edges, drying them out and making them appear unsightly, so consider creating a small barrier between the edge and adjoining to prevent the problem. For instance, you can use a thin plank of wood to make a barrier between the two. check out these lawn edging ideas.
I am the editor of Lawn Mower Hut and produce most of the content on the site. I have over 25 years experience in the gardening industry and have worked in multiple roles throughout that time. My passions are gardening and golfing. If you have any questions please get in touch I will be happy to help.