How to Use a Garden Edger

What You'll Need
Tarp to collect cut lawn
Safety glasses
Garden hose
Dry cloth

A garden edger is a great tool to make the edges of your garden neat and give it a professional look. It cuts grass that grows over the edge of sidewalks or driveways, and helps the landscape look well groomed. There are several types available, such as manual, electric or gas powered. They all work to define the edges of your garden, although electric garden edgers or gas powered ones are preferred for larger areas.  

Follow these steps to give your garden edge next to the mow strip a polished look.  

Step 1 – Prepare the Area 

Prepare the area that needs to be edged by removing any rocks, twigs or other obstacles. Your edger may get damaged if it hits a sprinkler head or a rock, or it may send it flying up at you. Also make sure the lawn is not too dry. You may need to moisten the grass along the edge a bit with a garden hose.

Before you begin, scrape the rooted lawn that has overgrown onto the driveway or sidewalk with a spade to loosen it. Put your safety goggles on and hold your edger.  

Step 2 – Electric Edger 

If you are using an electric edger, plug it into an electric outlet and let the cord hang down. Squeeze the handle to start it up and hold it firmly to guide the rotating blade between the edge of the loosened lawn.

You can either walk either backwards or forwards, but stick to one to keep you edging in a straight line. Take slow, measured steps to make sure you cover the entire length of the edge, along with any long blades of grass that may be lying over the border.

Turn the power off once you cover the entire length.  

Step 3 – Gas Powered Edger

Fill your gas powered edger with gas or oil according to the manufacturer's instructions and pull the string to start it.

Place the blade of the edger at the edge of the lawn you loosened with a spade earlier, and hold it straight, walking in a straight line either forwards or backwards. 

Step 4- Manual Edger

Before you begin, make sure the blade of the edger is sharp, so it can move in and out of the grass easily. Insert the manual edger into the ground at the edge. This will require some force, so use both hands. Place one hand halfway down the edger and the other on top, like you would hold a shovel. Push the edger back and forth to keep it from getting stuck in the ground. Walk slowly to make sure you cover the entire length of the edge.  

Step 5 – Finish Up

After you finish, collect all loose grass in a tarp and discard, and wash or sweep the area to reveal a neat cut at the edge. Wipe the blade of your edger with a dry cloth and store properly.