Skip to content

How to cut a lawn edge and improve your garden area in the spring – instructions and tips.

In order for you to cut and maintain an unsightly overgrown lawn edge, there are some important steps to follow. In fact, to improve your garden area, this task would have to be done every spring. For the very practical, it is simply a place to get from point A to point B. However, the manicured lawn is a masterpiece for lawn lovers, with the edge setting it apart from an ordinary lawn grass. Moreover, the clean and open garden space can bring several benefits for the whole family and your guests. So, here are some practical tips and methods that can help you get this gardening job done.

Here’s how to cut a low-maintenance lawn edge

neatly trimmed lawn edge in the garden while mowing

Even if you don’t live in a castle like Versailles, having a lawn with clean edges can give your garden a regal look. For most garden owners, the problem with this is that their grass doesn’t want to cooperate with them and rebels against being defined. If you want a clean edge to your lawn where it borders a flower bed, your grass will fight you every step of the way by growing root stems that invade the bed. However, this rebellious behavior should not deter you if you want to have the most beautiful lawn in the area. Invest the necessary work by using some practical methods and trimming your lawn edge.

Before you start gardening

electric trimmer lawn edge cutting in garden area

While creating an edge won’t improve the health of your lawn, it has practical benefits. Not only does it prevent root wads from invading garden beds, but it also works the other way: it prevents a bed from encroaching on your lawn. To create an edge between a lawn and a flower bed, late spring is a perfect time for gardening. The soil will have dried out by then, making it easier to work with. Once you’ve dug out your vegetable or flower bed, you can apply thatch and achieve a clean look. If you reverse the process, you will inevitably spill some soil on it. Rhizomes bridge the garden bed and invade at some point during the summer. At that point, you will need to remove the root and repair your lawn edge.

mowing the lawn in the garden area to improve the garden surface

First, check any utility lines that may be present where you will be digging. Also put on gardening clothes and choose between power and hand tools for equipment first. Also, always wear safety glasses and sturdy, closed-toe shoes or boots, and protect your hearing by using earplugs when working with power tools. While there are power tools lawn trimmers that some may prefer to use for big jobs, you can use a manual tool for a project like this. For manual tools, choose between a spade and a half-moon edger. Edging doesn’t have to be done every time you mow the lawn in your yard. However, it will be necessary more often in the spring and summer when your lawn is growing vigorously.

Step-by-step instructions

use half moon edger to border flower beds in the garden


  • Step 1: Trim the edges of your lawn in the spring with a half-moon edger. For a straight edge, you can cut against a wooden board, while for a curve you can trim along a rope laid along the edge of the lawn. Alternatively, simply follow the existing curve of the lawn.
  • Step 2: After mowing, trim edges with long-handled edging shears to cut grass that the mower couldn’t reach. For a truly professional finish, you can remove the cuttings and toss them in the compost pile.

gardening with lawn shears cut the lawn edge and level grass

  • Step 3: For grass that has grown into paths, use a sharp knife to cut the sod and pull pieces away.
  • Step 4: Where the grass is flush with the path, long-handled grass shears may be more appropriate. These are shaped like scissors and allow you to get on the same level as the lawn and path if you want to cut a clean lawn edge.
  • Step 5: However, if you’d rather not maintain lawn edges on a regular basis, spiked sheet metal may be a good alternative. You can secure this into the ground to maintain the outline of the lawn. This way, you’ll prevent your grass from growing into the borders.

Follow other tips when trimming and maintaining a lawn edge

hobby gardener works with lawn trimmer in the garden


  • If you use a lawn trimmer, do so before mowing. Set up a garden area around trees so you don’t have to cut as close and risk damaging the lawn.
  • Also, stay away from walkways and concrete when using a power edger. This will make your trimmer last longer and prevent damage to your hard surfaces.
  • If you are trimming a lawn edge, it can be time consuming. It’s worth it if you focus on the result rather than rushing the process.
  • Check the direction of rotation. Avoid covering your trimming path by making sure clippings don’t end up where you’re cutting. If your trimmer is moving counterclockwise, keep the right side close to the edge.

use grass shears and cut lawn edge in garden during spring season

  • While you don’t have to mow your lawn every time, the more often you do it, the less time it will take.
  • Depending on where you are working, it may make more sense for you to taper the lawn instead of creating a straight edge. For paths, driveways and other parallel surfaces, hold your trimmer so the string runs vertically along the edge so you get a sharp, straight edge. Near fences and walls, hold the trimmer at a slight angle for a more even, tapered effect.

handle large lawns with power tools like grass trimmers

  • Mow at the proper height for your lawn type and follow the one-third rule. Remove only one-third of the grass height when mowing to avoid damage and stress to your lawn.
  • Keep blades sharp to avoid ragged cuts that turn brown and promote disease.
  • Wet grass cuts unevenly and clippings can mat. Cutting wet grass also promotes the development and spread of disease. Change the direction you mow to keep the grass growing upright and prevent soil compaction.
  • Leave small, finely chopped clippings on the lawn where they will decompose and improve the soil.
  • Always read the safety information and instructions on the product label before use.