We’ll show you how to get the cleanest, prettiest margins around your paths and flower beds, even if you’ve never edged a lawn before.

A man trimming newly laid natural turf along the brick mowing strip at the edge of the lawn stock photo

Even if your lawn is a lovely swath of green grass, it won’t look that wonderful if you haven’t edged it properly. If you don’t put in a little extra effort, the strip of grass that borders your walks, driveway, and flower beds will seem untidy.

And now for the good news. Following these guidelines will result in a lawn that is both beautiful and low-maintenance.

How To Edge A Lawn

Edging a lawn is the process of creating a clean and distinct separation between the lawn and other areas such as flower beds, sidewalks, or driveways. It helps to give your lawn a neat and polished look. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to edge a lawn:

1. Choose The Right Time

Choosing the right time to edge your lawn is important to ensure optimal conditions for the task. Here are some factors to consider when deciding on the timing:

Dry Weather: 

It is best to edge your lawn on a dry day when the soil is not wet or soggy. Wet soil can be difficult to work with and may not give you clean and precise edges. Additionally, wet conditions can cause the soil to stick to your tools, making the process more challenging.

Moderate Temperatures: 

Avoid edging your lawn during extreme heat or cold. Extreme heat can make the task physically exhausting and uncomfortable while freezing temperatures can make the soil too hard and difficult to work with. Aim for a day with moderate temperatures that are comfortable for you to work outside.

Not Right After Watering: 

If you have recently watered your lawn, it’s best to wait for the excess moisture to dry out before edging. Wet soil can be more compacted and may not give you the desired results. Wait for the lawn to dry out adequately before proceeding with edging.

Consider The Time Of Day: 

Edging your lawn in the early morning or late afternoon is often a good choice. During these times, the weather is usually cooler, and the sun’s intensity is reduced. It can be more comfortable for you to work, and you won’t risk being exposed to excessive heat or sunburn.

Remember that these are general guidelines, and you should also consider your specific climate and weather conditions. Assess the conditions on the day you plan to edge your lawn and use your judgment to ensure the best results.

2. Gather The Necessary Tools

To edge a lawn effectively, you will need several tools to help you achieve clean and defined edges. Here are the essential tools you should gather:

Edging Tool Or Edger: 

This is the primary tool used to cut into the soil and create the edge. There are different types of edging tools available, such as manual edgers with a blade or rotary edgers powered by electricity or gas. Choose the type that suits your preference and needs.

Spade Or Half-Moon Edger: 

A spade or a half-moon edger is useful for digging deeper into the soil and defining the edge more prominently. It helps create a distinct separation between the lawn and other areas.

Garden Hose Or String: 

These items are optional but can help mark the desired edge before you start edging. Lay the garden hose or string along the intended edge to guide you as you work.


A rake is necessary to remove excess soil or debris from the trench created during the edging process. It allows you to clean up the area and create a finished look.

Broom Or Blower: 

After edging, you’ll want to sweep away loose soil, grass clippings, or debris from the newly created edge. You can use a broom or a blower to tidy up the area and give your lawn a polished appearance.

It’s important to note that the specific tools you may need can vary based on the type of edging tool you choose and your personal preference. Make sure you have the necessary tools on hand before you start edging your lawn to ensure a smooth and efficient process.

3. Define The Edge

Defining the edge refers to creating a clear and distinct separation between the lawn and other areas such as flower beds, sidewalks, or driveways. This defined edge helps to give your lawn a polished and well-maintained appearance. Here’s how you can define the edge of your lawn:

  • Mark the desired edge: Use a garden hose or string to mark the outline of the edge you want to create. Lay the hose or string along the intended edge, shaping it to your desired curve or straight line. This visual guide will help you maintain consistency and ensure a smooth edge.
  • Start edging: Begin at one end of the marked edge and work your way along. Using an edging tool or edger, cut into the soil along the marked line. Apply steady and even pressure as you move forward, creating a shallow trench.
  • Dig deeper: Once you have established a shallow trench, use a spade or a half-moon edger to dig deeper into the soil. This step helps to define the edge more prominently and prevent grass from spreading into other areas.
  • Maintain a consistent depth: As you dig deeper, aim to maintain a consistent depth along the entire edge. This ensures that the edge looks even and well-defined.
  • Clean up: After completing the edging process, use a rake or a small shovel to remove excess soil from the trench. Be careful not to disturb or damage the newly created edge. Dispose of the excess soil properly.

By following these steps, you can define a clear and distinct edge for your lawn. Regularly maintaining this edge through periodic edging will help keep your lawn looking neat and well-groomed.

4. Start Edging

To start edging your lawn, follow these steps:

  • Prepare the edging tool: If you’re using a manual edging tool or an edger, ensure that it’s in good working condition. Check the blade or cutting mechanism and make sure it’s sharp and clean. If you’re using a powered edger, ensure it’s fueled or charged and ready to use.
  • Begin at one end: Choose a starting point along the marked edge of your lawn. Typically, it’s best to start at a corner or an easily identifiable spot. Position yourself at the starting point.
  • Align the tool: Hold the edging tool or edger firmly with both hands. Align the blade or cutting edge of the tool with the marked edge. Ensure the tool is perpendicular to the ground or at the desired angle for the slope of your lawn.
  • Apply steady pressure: With a manual edging tool, push the blade or cutting edge into the soil while applying firm and consistent pressure. If using a powered edger, engage the motor and guide the tool along the marked edge, allowing the tool to do the cutting work.
  • Move forward: Continue moving forward along the marked edge, maintaining a consistent pace and pressure. Follow the curve or straight line of the marked edge, keeping the tool on track.
  • Check the depth and adjust: Periodically check the depth of the cut or trench you’re creating. Adjust the pressure or angle of the tool as needed to achieve the desired depth. The trench should be deep enough to provide a visible separation between the lawn and other areas but avoid cutting too deep that it damages the grassroots.
  • Repeat the process: Keep edging along the entire marked edge, working your way around the lawn. Take breaks if needed, but try to maintain a consistent and continuous motion for a more uniform result.
  • Clean up: As you progress, use a rake or small shovel to remove excess soil or debris from the trench. This will help to maintain a clean and tidy edge. Dispose of the soil appropriately.

By following these steps, you can effectively start edging your lawn and create a clean and defined separation between your lawn and other areas.

5. Dig Deeper

Once you have created a shallow trench along the marked edge of your lawn, you can proceed to dig deeper to further define the edge. Follow these steps to dig deeper:

  • Assess the depth: Examine the shallow trench you have already created. Determine how much deeper you want to dig to achieve the desired separation and definition for your lawn edge.
  • Use a spade or half-moon edger: Select a spade or a half-moon edger, which has a curved blade resembling a half-moon shape. These tools are designed to cut through soil effectively.
  • Position the tool: Hold the spade or half-moon edger with both hands, firmly gripping the handle. Position the blade at the edge of the trench you previously made.
  • Push into the soil: Apply downward pressure on the spade or half-moon edger, pushing it into the ground along the trench. Use your body weight and leverage to help penetrate the soil.
  • Cut through the soil: Move the tool back and forth in a sawing motion, cutting through the soil along the edge of the trench. Continue this motion as you move along the entire length of the trench.
  • Maintain a consistent depth: As you dig deeper, aim to maintain a consistent depth for the edge. The depth can vary depending on your preferences and the specific requirements of your lawn. Typically, a depth of 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) is sufficient to create a visible separation.
  • Work carefully: Pay attention to the straightness and smoothness of the edge as you dig deeper. Make adjustments as needed to ensure a clean and well-defined line.
  • Remove excess soil: Once you have finished digging deeper, use a rake or a small shovel to remove excess soil from the trench. This will help accentuate the defined edge and provide a neat appearance.

By following these steps, you can dig deeper to enhance the definition of the edge of your lawn, creating a clear separation between the lawn and other areas.

6. Remove Excess Soil

After you have finished edging and defining the edge of your lawn, it’s important to remove any excess soil or debris from the trench. This step helps to enhance the appearance of the edge and gives your lawn a clean, finished look. Here’s how you can remove excess soil:

  • Gather the necessary tools: Get a rake or a small shovel to assist in removing the excess soil. Choose a tool that is appropriate for the size of the trench and comfortable for you to handle.
  • Start at one end: Begin at one end of the trench and work your way along the entire length of the edge. Take small sections at a time to make the process more manageable.
  • Scrape or scoop the soil: Use the rake or shovel to scrape or scoop the excess soil from the trench. Be careful not to disturb the edge you’ve created. Angle the tool to collect the soil and lift it out of the trench.
  • Deposit the soil in a designated area: As you remove the excess soil, deposit it in a designated area, such as a wheelbarrow or a compost pile. This prevents the soil from accumulating elsewhere and keeps your work area clean.
  • Continue until complete: Repeat the scraping or scooping process along the entire length of the trench until you have removed all the excess soil. Take your time and be thorough to ensure a tidy result.
  • Inspect and adjust: After removing the excess soil, inspect the trench and the edge of your lawn. Check for any uneven areas or pockets of soil that may have been missed. Use the rake or shovel to level and smooth out these areas if necessary.
  • Dispose of the soil appropriately: Dispose of the excess soil in a manner appropriate for your specific needs and local regulations. If the soil is clean and free of contaminants, you may consider using it for other gardening or landscaping purposes.

By following these steps, you can effectively remove excess soil from the trench created while edging your lawn. This final touch will help enhance the appearance of the edge and give your lawn a crisp, well-maintained look.

7. Clean Up

After you have finished edging and removing excess soil from the trench, the final step is to clean up the area to give your lawn a polished and neat appearance. Here’s how you can clean up:

Use A Broom Or Blower: 

Sweep or use a blower to remove any loose soil, grass clippings, or debris from the trench and surrounding area. Start from one end and work your way along the edge, directing the debris away from the lawn.

Collect Debris: 

Gather the swept or blown debris into a pile or use a dustpan to collect it for disposal. You can add it to your compost pile or dispose of it according to your local waste management guidelines.

Inspect For Missed Debris: 

Take a closer look at the trench and the immediate area around it. Check for any remaining debris that may have been missed during the initial cleanup. Use your hands or a small handheld brush to remove any stubborn debris.

Water The Lawn (Optional): 

If desired, you can lightly water the lawn after cleaning up to settle the soil and help the grass recover. Use a gentle spray or a sprinkler to avoid disturbing the newly created edge.

Step Back And Assess: 

Step back and admire your work. Take a moment to ensure that the edge is clean, defined, and visually pleasing. Make any final adjustments or touch-ups as needed.

By following these steps, you can complete the cleaning process and give your lawn a tidy and finished look after edging. Regularly maintain the edge and repeat the cleaning process as part of your lawn care routine to keep it looking sharp and well-maintained.

8. Maintain Regular

  • Regular maintenance is key to keeping your lawn edges looking sharp and well-defined. Here are some tips for maintaining your lawn edges regularly:
  • Trim the edges: Use a string trimmer, lawn edger, or handheld shears to trim any grass or weeds that may encroach on the edges. Regularly trim along the edge to keep it clean and prevent grass from growing over the defined line.
  • Remove debris: Keep an eye out for leaves, twigs, or other debris that may accumulate along the edges of your lawn. Regularly remove this debris to maintain a neat appearance.
  • Monitor for encroachment: Regularly inspect the edges to ensure that plants, flowers, or invasive grasses are not spreading into the lawn. If you notice any encroachment, trim or remove the offending plants to maintain a distinct edge.
  • Edge touch-ups: Over time, the edges may become less defined due to natural soil movement or grass growth. Periodically revisit the edges and use an edging tool or spade to redefine and deepen the edge as needed.
  • Weed control: Apply weed control methods, such as pulling weeds by hand or using herbicides, to prevent weed growth along the edges. Regularly check for weeds and address them promptly to keep the edges weed-free.
  • Regular lawn maintenance: Proper lawn care practices, such as regular mowing, watering, and fertilizing, contribute to overall lawn health and appearance. A well-maintained lawn will complement and enhance the look of the edges.
  • Mulch or barrier installation: Consider installing a mulch or barrier material between the lawn and adjacent flower beds or other areas. This can help prevent grass or weeds from spreading and provide a clear separation along the edges.

By incorporating these maintenance practices into your regular lawn care routine, you can ensure that your lawn edges remain well-defined and aesthetically pleasing. Regular attention and care will keep your lawn looking tidy and polished.


Maintaining clean and defined lawn edges adds a finishing touch to your overall landscaping and enhances the appearance of your outdoor space. Remember to consider your local regulations and personal preferences when it comes to lawn care practices.

By following these steps and incorporating regular maintenance, you can achieve and maintain clean and defined lawn edges, resulting in a beautifully manicured and polished outdoor space.

After you’ve gotten your lawn looking great, expert maintenance is recommended if you want to ensure its continued health and continued to provide services such as lawn edge trim

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