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Edging Your Lawn: The Finishing Touches

A lawn is the first impression a home makes. It can enhance the overall design aesthetic and add value to a property while further providing a number of functional and environmental benefits. But the very best looking, most architecturally sound homes can be missed entirely if the landscape distracts or covers it all together. To make sure your home landscaping looks its best year round, keep your yard, plants, and foliage in check with these edging techniques.

Edging is simply cutting a deep line around the perimeter of your lawn and/or the features that surround it. Think of it as outlining or tracing. When you edge your lawn, you create a visible and physical barrier, each with their own benefits.

From a visible standpoint, you are making the overall design of your yard clear, accentuating the natural lay of the land. When you edge an area next to a driveway, sidewalk, flower bed, or other feature, you help make that feature stand out better. The grass surrounding it now has a clearly defined stopping point and the feature has adequate space to be seen.

On the functional side, edging cuts into the ground to ensure that any underlying weeds, vines, roots or other non-surface vegetation that you haven’t been able to pinpoint are all being stopped from spreading into new areas. This can stop unwanted vegetation from infesting into a flower bed or cracking weak points in a sidewalk or driveway.

Edging Techniques

There are a variety of styles to choose from when edging your lawn. Before you commit to one, consider the bigger picture of what you’re about to do. As mentioned earlier, edging will outline or otherwise “frame” certain areas. When you consider your lawn as an entire area split into smaller sections, it’s easier to get an idea of what sort of framing you want to do. Perhaps you’ll choose a quicker, easily executable edge line on the outermost perimeter but a more dramatic, visible separator like bricks between lawn and smaller, vibrant flower beds. Whichever direction you go, consider the following guide to ensure you edge effectively.

  • The Crevice Approach

    The crevice is just that, a crevice that runs straight along the edge of your walkways and your lawn. It is typically between ¼” to ½” in width and can easily be achieved with a quality lawn edger or with a string trimmer that is held vertically at a 45-degree angle. The result is an almost square cut trough between your lawn and your walkways. This is also one of the most popular and commonly used techniques to edge your lawn.

  • Bevel the Edge

    Another approach and one that avoids the rigid divide created by the crevice approach is to bevel the edge of the lawn. The result is less of a squared-off method and appears more like you are getting your hair cut.

    The beveled look is achieved by using a string trimmer and tilting it slightly at the edge of the lawn. This creates an uneven cutting path that angles the cut grass away from the walkways but leaves them taller on the lawn edge. The result is a softer, kinder line that shows off walkways without a rigid gap. Beveling is a handy technique you can apply in several passes, making the gradation of cut grass blend just once or you can round out the edge by decreasing the angle two or three times.

  • A Combination Approach

    A crevice edge is a handy technique for keeping grasses from moving past the edge of the lawn. That nice crisp edge adds a definition to where the lawn ends and the landscaping begins. The Beveled edge is one that people typically use along curved boundaries such as flower beds and tress. Using both techniques allows you to have both a clean edge along walks and driveways while holding a gentle edge around trees, flowers beds, sheds, etc.

While edging is seen as a finishing touch to adding a professional look in your yard, it should be done before you mow the lawn. This allows you to clean up the edge using the mower if needed. A well-groomed, finely-edged lawn can easily create more curb appeal for your home and give you the satisfaction of a job well done.