Learn various methods for maintaing a neat lawn edge with this landscaping guide.
Neat lawn edges give the garden structure and provide clear definition between the grass and any ornamental planting. Without these a design can be quickly lost to ragged edges, invasion of weeds, or a blurring of spaces.
Ornamental border plants, such as this geranium, can rapidly spill onto the lawn if they are not kept in check. Plants like this need regular pruning. Otherwise the grass underneath them will die, revealing bare soil in the wintertime.
Half moon cutters are used to create a distinctive edge between the lawn and flowerbeds. Pull a line of string taut from one end of the flowerbed to the other, and then use the half moon cutter to slice down through the turf, following the line of the string. The half moon cutter has a flat blade surface that makes straight lines easily and a sharp edge, which allows the blade to cut cleanly through the turf; ensure that the blade is inserted straight or slightly angled outward, otherwise the lawn edge may be prone to collapse. Avoid using a spade for cutting since the blade is slightly curved and will leave a scalloped finish. Add the turf cuttings to the compost.
Edging shears are used to cut the blades of grass that overhang the edges of the lawn. They have long handles, and some of them are adjustable so you don't strain your back. Lawns should be edged immediately after mowing; if lawns are edged before mowing, the cutting can push blades of grass out to the side again. When cutting, only move the top blade while the lower blade remains static — the action is like a pair of scissors. Move in the direction of the open end of the blades. Never leave the grass clippings in the gully between the border and the turf because they may seed or root into the soil. Instead, use a rake to pick them up, and add them to the compost heap.
Often the edges of the lawn can crumble away or die back, particularly if herbaceous plants have spread out over the lawn during the summer. The simplest solution is to cut out the affected area with a half moon cutter, slicing back to healthy turf. Remove the affected section, and then rotate it 180 degrees, placing the healthy section of lawn on the edge. Then rake and reseed the damaged area, which is now away from the lawn edge. Keep the replaced turf well watered during dry weather. Repeat this process wherever there are bare patches on the edge of the lawn.