How Do I Edge My Lawn?

Get golf-course worthy straight lines

Lawrence Bonk
Written by Lawrence Bonk
Updated July 8, 2022
Patio steps leading to an edged lawn
Photo: CBCK-Christine / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images
Difficulty

Simple

Flex your DIY muscles.

Time to complete

1 hour

May take less time depending on the size of your lawn.

Cost

$0

No supplies required.

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What you'll need:

TOOLS

  • Protective eyewear, boots, and clothing
  • Lawn mower
  • Lawn string trimmer
  • Cleaning brush

If you’ve ever admired neat edges of grass surrounding a walkway, a driveway, or a garden, you have likely seen evidence of expertly done lawn edging. Regularly edging a lawn can really make your yard pop, and it helps keep turfgrass and weeds from spilling out over plant beds and gardens. 

Hiring a landscaper can be a good choice for some homeowners, as this will expedite the process and ensure professional results. If you want to save some money, however, do it yourself. 

We have broken the lawn edging process down into five simple steps and we’ve also tallied up any tools and protective gear you will need.

Prepping to Edge Your Lawn

Gather your gear ahead of time to avoid hassles and make sure you don’t have to stop halfway through the edging process. Wear comfortable and protective clothing, such as boots and long pants, and protective goggles. Sticks and stones will likely kick up into the air as you edge, so protect as much of your body as possible. You should also set out a lawn mower, a string trimmer, and a stiff cleaning brush. 

  1. Mow the Lawn

    It’s best to mow the rest of the lawn as you ordinarily would immediately before straightening the edges. This will give you a vital visual cue as to how short you should trim the grass along the edges later. If you do not mow first, you could over-trim the edges and give rise to bare and weed-filled patches. 

    If you typically hire a pro to mow your lawn, just be sure to begin this process shortly after they have finished.

  2. Flip the Trimmer Around

    When it comes to edging a lawn, use a standard string trimmer. It doesn’t matter whether you choose a gas or an electric trimmer, but it does matter that you handle it correctly. Flip the trimmer around a full 180 degrees so that it is vertical. Take great care to ensure the deflector shield is facing your body, as it will catch a fair number of rocks, sticks, and errant pieces of grass. 

  3. Control the Trimmer Like the Pros

    To achieve ultra-straight edges like the pros, you will have to handle the trimmer correctly. Practice maneuvering the trimmer for a few minutes before you begin (your neighbors aren’t watching, we promise). 

    Once you have begun, keep the string trimmer level and in the same position. Keep your arms steady as you walk and trim left to right. Move slowly and with purpose as you work around the edges of your lawn. 

    Most string trimmers spin clockwise, so working left to right will ensure that it ejects trimmings away from walkways and garden beds. This will save you time during cleanup. 

  4. Follow the Paths

    Now you’re on a roll. Go slowly and follow the various paths in your yard. Walk on any hard surface as you edge, instead of the grass. Keep the trim line in that small space between the grass and the hardscape. If you find that grass has overgrown the drive or the edges of a flower bed, refrain from whacking it all at the same time. Patiently cut it back a little bit at a time by working the trimmer’s string against the walkway, driveway, or garden bed. 

  5. Clean Up

    Cleanup will be a breeze, providing you moved left to right as you edged the lawn. The string trimmer should have ejected trimmings onto the yard itself, so you won’t have to worry about cleaning your walkways or gardens. You should, however, clean the trimmer with a stiff brush so it will be ready to go next time. 

DIY vs. Hiring a Pro

Edging is a relatively inexpensive DIY project that won’t take up too much of your time. If you already have a string trimmer and a lawn mower, your out-of-pocket costs should be zero. A decent string trimmer will cost $150 to $250, and lawn mowers will cost as little as $100 for reel mowers all the way up to $2,400 for robot lawn mowers. 

Hiring a professional landscaper will cost you $100 to $200 per month, and services will include lawn edging, lawn mowing, hedging, and general upkeep.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.