Edging Your Lawn – The Right Way
Written by Ryan Such, President
Edging your lawn: that process of cleaning up all of that extra lawn growth that makes your driveways and sidewalks look sloppy. You know the stuff–it’s that extra pesky bit that hangs over the side of your lawn and drives you crazy. But have you ever wondered WHY you should edge your lawn? Judging by my Google results, neither has anyone else. However, it gives lawns that extra dimension of crispness and cleanness that makes you look like you’re the type of responsible person who does your taxes on time and folds your towels right out of the dryer.
Edging it is an essential part of looking like you–and your lawn–know what they’re doing. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a right way and a wrong way to edge a lawn, or that doing it the right way isn’t majorly important. It mainly a cosmetic service, but it is also practical when defending your lawn against weeds.
If you’re here, it stands to reason you may be interested in learning more about taking care of your lawn. So you may already know this, but it bears repeating: The edges of your lawn are the front line in your defense against weeds. Just as bare spots in the middle of your lawn are like putting out the welcome mat for weeds to move in (which is why your mower blades should stay raised to at least 3” off the ground), bare spots from edging too close are like throwing open the front door, throwing some cookies in the oven, and putting balloons on the mailbox. To the weeds it looks like you’re throwing a big jamboree just for them. We know it’s not your intent to have a party for weeds, so it is best to learn some basics before you accidentally sabotage your lawn by edging it incorrectly.
When is The Best Time for Edging?
Short answer: it depends on how much time you want to put into your lawn. If you want to do it only one time a year, which is close to the average, edge sometime in late June. By waiting until the end of June, you avoid the peak growing season–April to May–so your edging work lasts longer as your grass grows less from July to December.
If you’re really as “together” as you have us thinking, and you’re not faking the whole on-time tax filing and warm towel-drying thing, you can bump up your edging to twice a year for maximum crispness–it will go nicely with those wrinkle-free towels. If you have the time, edge once in early June and once in late August. By addressing your edges at beginning and end of the peak growing season, you’ll have the crispest edges on the block, all year round.
What Should I Use to Edge?
If you edge one – two times per year, you could use a residential style mechanical edger of some sort. If you want to edge every month, and you don’t have a mechanical edger you can get away with a manual edger. But really, the only way you can go wrong is by using weed eaters/trimmers. When someone simply turns their trimmer on its side and tries to edge, it’s pretty much impossible to keep it perfectly straight up-and-down. This usually means that you’ll accidentally scalp your lawn, which creates spots that are prime for weeds to gain a foothold.
DIY Lawn Edging
Let’s recap what we’ve learned, so you know what to do if you’re doing your own edging…
- Try to edge at least once a year. That way you don’t have to wrestle with crazy overgrowth when you decide to do it. Stand on the sidewalk or driveway when edging. Do not stand in the grass.
- Don’t use your weed trimmer.
- Edge on a schedule. If you’re only going to edge once, do it around the end of June so your edge stays fresh for the longest possible time. If you can manage to edge twice per year, you’ll maintain a respectable enough edge all year long (without making it your new hobby).
If it’s your first time edging, you may want to call a professional. The overgrowth will likely be significant, and they’ll be able to get it done much faster and leave you with a good guide for growth if you decide to keep up the edging yourself afterwards.