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How to Edge a Lawn Without an Edger

Edging your Lawn is a great way to clean up the sides of flowerbeds or walkways, and will make your lawn look neat and well-maintained. While there are both mechanical and manual edging tools, you can also Edge your lawn using a shovel or lawn trimmer. Regardless of what method you choose, edging your lawn without a lawn edger is a breeze as long as you take your time and follow the right steps.


EditCreating an Edge with a Shovel

  1. Make a straight line with 2 wooden sticks and string. Set 2 wooden sticks into the ground from the edge of your flower bed or walkway. Then, tie a piece of string to each stick to form a straight line that will become the edge.[1]
    Edge a Lawn Without an Edger Step 01.jpg
    • Setting the line before you start edging the lawn will keep your work neater.
    • You can also try to edge by eye, but it may look sloppy.
  2. Use spray paint to create the edge line instead of using string. If the edge is curvy, as could be the case with a flower bed, using lawn spray paint is a better idea than using multiple sticks and strings. Shake the can of spray paint and make an edge from the edge of your flower bed or walkway. Try to stay as parallel with the edge of the lawn as you can with the paint.[2]
    Edge a Lawn Without an Edger Step 02.jpg
  3. Place the blade of a flat-edge shovel along the line. Place the shovel on a 90-degree angle along the edge that you marked out. Make sure that the shovel lines up with the line that you created before you push down.[3]
    Edge a Lawn Without an Edger Step 03.jpg
  4. Press down on the top of the shovel with your foot. Push the shovel into the turf. Once the shovel is in the ground, press down on the top handle to push up the dirt and free the grass.[4]
    Edge a Lawn Without an Edger Step 04.jpg
    • is a good depth to set your edge and will prevent you from cutting into wires or pipes.[5]
  5. Cut the grass along the line, then remove it. Move down the line with the shovel, continuing to dig into the turf. When you reach the end of the line, use your shovel to dig up the freed grass and remove it from the area. You should now have a straight edge running parallel to your walkway or flower bed.[6]
    Edge a Lawn Without an Edger Step 05.jpg
  6. Sweep the area clean with a broom. Sweep around the edge you created to remove excess dirt and grass that you pulled up while digging. If you want an even cleaner look, you can use a lawn trimmer to further clean up the edge.[7]
    Edge a Lawn Without an Edger Step 06.jpg
    • You can maintain the look of your edge with a shovel alone.
    • You should clean your lawn’s edges every 2 weeks to keep them looking neat.

EditMaintaining the Edge with a Lawn Trimmer

  1. Wear eye protection and a facemask. Safety glasses will protect your eyes from stray rocks and pebbles and a facemask will prevent you from inhaling debris. This is especially important because you'll be inverting the natural position of the lawn trimmer or weed whacker. You may also want to wear earplugs because some lawn trimmers are loud and could damage your ears.[8]
    Edge a Lawn Without an Edger Step 07.jpg
  2. Flip the lawn trimmer over. You want the lawn trimmer cutting at a 90-degree angle. Turning the trimmer over will allow you to position it so that the blades cut straight down into the ground.[9]
    Edge a Lawn Without an Edger Step 08.jpg
  3. Pull the cord on the trimmer to start the machine. On some models, there may be a button that you press on the lawn trimmer before it starts. Flip the choke to the on position and pull the starting cord until the engine starts.[10]
    Edge a Lawn Without an Edger Step 09.jpg
    • You may have to pull the cord multiple times before the trimmer starts.
  4. Hold the trimmer next to the edge and cut the grass and dirt. Hold the trimmer next to the line, off the ground. As the line rotates, it will cut through the grass and dirt. Move down the line and continue to cut down the edge until you reach the end.[11]
    Edge a Lawn Without an Edger Step 10 Version 2.jpg
  5. Use a broom to sweep up the area once you’re done. Once you’re done edging the entire walkway or flower bed, use a broom to sweep up any pulled up grass and dirt. You should now have a nice, thin edge along your lawn.[12]
    Edge a Lawn Without an Edger Step 11 Version 2.jpg


EditThings You’ll Need

EditUsing a Shovel

  • 2 wooden sticks
  • String
  • Lawn spray paint (optional)
  • Flat-edge shovel
  • Broom

EditUsing a Weed Whacker or Lawn Trimmer

  • Safety glasses
  • Facemask
  • Earplugs (optional)
  • Electric or gas-powered lawn trimmer
  • Broom

EditSources and Citations

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How to Edge a Lawn Without an Edger


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