A grass edger is a must-have garden tool if you want your grass to look neat and tidy, besides lawnmowers and grass trimmers. Not only does it kill weeds, but it also gives your garden a lovely, well-kept appearance that will make your neighbours envious. There are many types to choose from, such as a manual edger with a half-moon blade, a gas edger or a cordless electric edger with a charger.
In this article, we will be looking at the electric edger and show you how to use it. We will walk you through how to effectively edge a lawn, giving you the confidence to head outdoors and start edging straight away!
Table of Contents
Choosing the right type of blade
The sort of blades used will have a big impact on the cut quality. In most cases, an angled blade will be just fine.
A star-shaped blade, on the other hand, can be better for edging your grass alongside a solid object, such as a wall, fence, or some other surface.
Preparing your grass
In practically every DIY project, preparation is essential, and lawn edging is no exception here. This is important if you want your garden to look its best, so let’s get straight into it:
1. Make sure you have all the necessary protective equipment
Keep yourself safe by using the right gear. Put on a pair of long trousers and heavy boots or shoes before you start working on the lawn. If you accidentally hit your leg or foot with the lawn edger, these will protect you.
You should also use a set of protective earplugs or wear sound-blocking earmuffs to block out the loud noises. Wear goggles or glasses to protect your eyes from any flying debris that these power edgers may kick up in the air.
2. Before you start edging your lawn, mow the entire grass
Using a lawnmower before cleaning up the edges will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. If you mow first and then trim the lawn edges, then you will have a good idea of how to effectively define the edges as you will be able to spot the actual grass length.
Cleaning up the margins after mowing also allows you to trim any uneven areas that you may have overlooked while mowing.
3. Mark out the path that you’ll cut with a hose or a rope
Lay down a 6 to 9 m long piece of rope or part of a hose along the path you’ll be edging. Leave about 1.5 cm of space between your marker and the edge of the, let’s say, flower bed. Your goal here is to aim the edger‘s blade at that spot of exposed grass when you’re cutting the lawn.
Marking out the path will assist you in staying on track as you cut and trim the edges. Once you’ve edged the lawn three or four times and gained some experience, you will not need to mark out any path.
4. Remove large roots and other obstructions from the path you’ll be edging
Take a walk along the path you just drew and pull up any pebbles, stones, or other hard barriers before you start edging around your grass or flower bed.
Make sure the route is clear before you start trimming the grass since a rock might easily dent or ruin the blade of your lawn trimmer. There should not be any stray rocks if you’re edging a well-kept lawn. If you’re edging near a pavement or vegetable patch, though, there may be some that will give you a headache.
Also, make sure you’re not edging in an area where there are electricity or water lines, manhole covers or sewer pipes nearby.
How to use an electric grass edger step-by-step
Follow these steps and you’ll be able to cut right along the edges of your lawn:
Step 1: Place the edger directly against the cement
You want the edger to be within 2.5 centimetres of the lawn, or garden bed you’re edging at all times.
You might end up cutting an ugly line across the grass if you deviate off your path while edging and come more than 2.5 centimetres away. This is where your markings will be useful.
Step 2: Make sure the blade is pressed down
To cut through the soil, press the blade down. It is also a good idea to pry the cut area open by turning the blade slightly to the right and left. This makes it possible to view the line you just cut. Then, move on to make your next incision.
Step 3: Start the engine and take a modest step forward
Turn on the engine to engage the cutting blades. As the edger slices into the loose soil, mulch or turf, walk carefully ahead, making sure to stay on the path you set out previously.
To keep control of the edger, make sure to have a firm grip on the stick while you push. It’s crucial to walk slowly when using electric lawn edgers for the first time. The faster you walk, the more likely you are to wobble or lose your balance.
You never know what lurks beneath the surface. If the blades slow down or stop rotating completely, this could suggest a blockage. Simply pull the lawn edging tool back and wait for the blades to regain full power before moving forward.
Step 4: Cut around 5 cm deep to maintain a uniform cut
When it comes to landscaping, a 5 cm deep channel is a suitable starting point. This line will be deep enough to prevent the expansion of grassroots, but not so deep as to be immediately visible and damage the lawn’s natural appearance.
Most electric lawn edgers come with power tools like a knob or switch that you may turn to modify the blade’s cutting depth. However, there’s no reason to dig deeper than 5 cm. It is because your ultimate goal here is just to clear grass off the edge of your lawn, not to build a trench.
Step 5: Remove any cut grass and double-check you’re edging straight
Take a quick break every 1.5 to 2 m to clean up the trimmings from the line you just cut. Once the line is visible, double-check that it is straight and that you haven’t strayed too far from the path you set out before. You may use a sturdy rake to take a lot of debris off at once if you’re edging through dense brush or foliage.
Step 6: Cut any leftover grass along the lawn’s edges with hand shears
All that’s left is to trim up any long, untidy grass once you’ve trimmed along the whole perimeter of the lawn. Cut the grass back with a pair of sharp hand shears along the route you just edged so it blends into the lawn. This will give the clean edge a natural, manicured appearance. You may also use a brush cutter, trencher or string trimmer if you don’t have any hand shears.
Useful tips on how to maintain your grass
1. Aim for a one-third reduction in grass height
It’s a good idea to aim for a one-third reduction in lawn height each time you edge the grass. If you cut more, then it will diminish the grass’s health and growth rate.
2. Cut fortnightly early in the spring
Because the grass grows more slowly in the early spring, it requires less trimming. It’s good to cut it every two weeks until the weather heats up in late April.
3. Cut on a weekly basis in late spring and summer
You’ll breach the “one-third” rule if you cut less regularly because you’ll have to chop off more than one-third of the grass’s height to keep it looking nice. When growth rates are at their highest in late spring, you may need to cut twice a week.
4. Cut the grass at the right height
Most lawn grasses should be kept at a height of 2.5 cm to 4 cm. Leave it a little longer in areas that are often used, say 4 cm or 5 cm. You could leave it even longer in the shade, at 7 cm or 8 cm.
Always adjust the cutting width depending on the weather and season. Raising the blade a little at the beginning and end of each season is your best bet here.
5. Avoid cutting wet grass
Can you cut wet grass? When the grass is damp, avoid cutting it. The blades tend to cling together, resulting in an uneven cut. The clippings might clog the electric trimmer/edger on the grass. Plus, cutting the grass in the rain might spread any small patches of fungus and lead to disease infestations. Furthermore, the grass is usually slick when it is wet, making cutting more perilous, especially if your garden has any slopes.
6. Compost the cut grass or simply sprinkle it on the lawn
Grass cuttings can be composted. However, to avoid sticky compost, be sure you mix them with lots of carbon-rich material.
An electric grass edger is an excellent way to create a manicured garden that will easily rival that of a professional landscape gardener. Don’t forget that if you go for a corded, telescopic option and have a big space to cover, then an extension cord might be useful! With proper lawn care comes a sense of pride that you will certainly enjoy once you are finished. All you have to do now is sit back and appreciate your immaculate grass!