DIY Network

How to Edge and String-Trim a Lawn

Follow these tips to giving your lawn a professional, manicured look.

More in Outdoors

  • Time

    1 hour

  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty

    Easy

Highlights:

Step 1: Inspect Equipment Prior to Use

If using a gas-powered edger or string trimmer, check the oil and gas levels and inspect the string and the blade. Sharpen the edger blade if it's dull. Replace string as needed and keep some handy just in case you run out.

Step 2: Clear the Area of Debris

Pick up sticks, rocks, toys and other debris that could be potential hazards if the equipment comes into contact with them.

Step 3: Edge the Lawn

Place the edger's wheel on the pavement with the blade over the edge into the grass. Keep the edger blade about 1" to 1-1/2" deep into the soil. When edging, be aware of things behind and around you, such as people, cars and windows. Never use a power edger on plastic edging since it can cause much damage to the edging.

Note: Power edgers that you can push are great for long, straight runs. There are also electric and handheld power models for smaller jobs.

Tip: To create the edge for a garden bed, use the power edger to draw the line for the bed edge. Then use a handheld edger with a half-moon-shaped blade to dig out the edge. Remove the soil or push it into the garden bed. Go back over the bed edge with the power edger to give it a finished look.

edging the lawn

Step 4: String-Trim the Lawn

String trimmers, or weed eaters, can be used around trees, lights, rocks and fences. When string-trimming, be aware of things behind and around you, such as people, cars and windows. Always try to walk forward while using the string trimmer, and keep both ends of the string to the edge of the guard. Watch out for trees and shrubs. Since one of the major problems with tree growth is string-trimmer damage to the tree's cambium layer, a good solution is either to remove 6" to 12" of turf or add a ring of mulch around the tree. You can also use handheld grass shears to manually remove grass from around trees and shrubs.

dig out edge with half moon shaped edger

Step 5: Clean the Area and Equipment

Use a blower or broom to clean grass clippings and soil from the pavement. Before stowing power equipment, hose off the edger blade and string trimmer guard so they're ready for the next use.

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