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    Tractor Supply Company

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    How to Edge a Lawn Manually or With Power Tools

    Authored by Tractor Supply Company

    Messy edges on an unedged lawn can visually take away from the other hard work you do around the yard. Luckily, edging a lawn is quicker and easier than you may think. A little elbow grease goes a long way to making your property look professionally manicured.

    Crisp lawn edges look great around flower beds and along hard surfaces like walkways and driveways. Decide where you'd like to edge, then follow these steps on how to edge your lawn, either manually or with the use of power tools.

    How to use a lawn edger

    Lawn edgers are great for smaller yards that only need occasional care and are easy to use when following these steps.

    1. Choose your edger. There are a variety of edgers and trimmers that come in manual, motorized and electric models. The most popular options are:

    • String trimmers
    • Dual wheel edgers
    • Manual edging tools

    You can stick to one type of edger or use a combination of the three for different areas of the yard. Motorized edgers typically get the job done quicker, but manual tools allow you to be more precise with your cuts. Every type works well along surfaces like driveways and walkways. String trimmers and manual tools can also create edges around flower beds and gardens.

    2. Mow the lawn. You'll get the best results by edging along a freshly mowed lawn.

    3. Lay out edging lines. Placing a rope along where you want to edge acts as a guide when you make your cuts, so everything turns out the way you'd like.

    4. Edge the lawn. Work from one end to the other, cutting about two inches deep. You may go up to about five inches, depending on the look you'd like to achieve. Follow these instructions based on the type of edger you're using:

    • String trimmer: Rotate the trimmer so the string side is facing away from you and the blade is at a 90-degree angle with the ground. Rest the handle on your shoulder if it's comfortable and guide it along the edge. Go slowly to get the most precise line and edge from right to left — the string turns clockwise, so this results in an easier cleanup.
    • Dual wheel edger: Situate the edger so the wheels are on a hard surface and the blade is between the surface and the grass. Push back and forth until you've achieved the desired result.
    • Manual edging tool: Drive the edging tool vertically into the soil, using your foot to guide it, and push down. Tilt the handle to scoop up and remove the extra grass and turf.

    5. Clean up. Sweep excess grass from walkways and use a handheld brush to wipe grass and dirt from your edger.

    6. Add optional edging materials. Adding a barrier along the edge of the grass helps prevent it from spreading in the future. Popular edging materials include bricks and cobblestones.

    7. Maintain the edging. The first edging of the season may take some time. From there, maintaining it is pretty quick and effortless. Give it a quick refresher with your edger or trimmer about every two weeks or when you mow the lawn.

    How to edge a lawn without an edger

    If you don't have specialized edging tools at home, flat-edged shovels and garden spades do the job almost as well as manual edgers. Using your shovel or spade, follow the same steps as above on how to use a manual lawn edger — mark out the area you'd like to edge, drive the tool into the soil to cut the grass and scoop out the extra turf.

    Safety precautions to follow when edging the lawn

    Whether you're using a motorized, electric or manual tool, keep these tips in mind to stay safe and keep your edger in perfect condition while working in the yard.

    • Wear safety gear. Safety glasses protect your eyes from any grass or debris that’s kicked up while you edge. You'll also benefit from ear protection when using a power edger.
    • Know where power lines and pipes are. Before you get started, figure out where there may be any obstructions under the soil — you don't want to risk slicing into power lines or pipes while you work.
    • Avoid rocks. Try not to pass your edger over any rocks as they may ding up or dull the blade.

    Our pros at your local Tractor Supply Co. store will help you pick out the edger or trimmer that best suits your needs. Once you've edged your lawn, check out our lawn care guide for more tips on how to cultivate a healthy and beautiful yard.