How to Edge a Lawn Without an Edger Using Simple Tools

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Having a lawn means keeping the grass where it should be, which requires tools that can be expensive.

Even if you do not own a lawn edger, maintaining your outdoor spaces does not have to be difficult and costly.

You can always learn how to edge a lawn without an edger using simple tools that may be already available in your toolshed.

With the right tools and know-how, you’ll be combining a fun chore with a bit of helpful physical exercise.

What Does Edging a Lawn Mean?

Edging a lawn means giving your front yard, backyard, sidewalks, driveways, and flowerbeds a clean, manicured look.

It enables you to increase the appeal and value of your exterior spaces by setting the boundaries for grass growth and weed.

When edging a lawn, you are removing grass and weed overgrowth on paved surfaces.

Furthermore, you also create barriers that prevent invasive plants and lawn grasses from transferring into flowerbeds.

Lawn edging comes in very handy where most typical cylinder lawnmowers cannot create the perfect edge.

How to Edge a Lawn Without an Edger

Your nearest hardware store and garden center will present you with both mechanical and manual edging equipment.

While manual tools will only set you back a few bucks, an electrical or mechanical edger will use electricity, increasing running costs.

Fortunately, it is possible to create clean edges using a pair of shears, a spade, or a shovel.

Edging your lawn without an edger can be a breeze regardless of your tool choice.

All you have to do is give it time and do it right.

1. Using a Pair of Plain Lawn Shears

If you have shears that look like they have a couple of long blades perpendicular to the handle, you have a pair of edging shears.

The design of this tool makes it possible for you to trim grass while standing up.

Unlike regular shears that are better for cutting along the top, edging shears are great for cutting along the edge of a lawn.

Nevertheless, if you don’t mind straining your back and knees, you can always use a pair of lawn shears instead.

Thing’s You’ll Need

For marking your edges, you can use some wooden or plastic pegs and a ball of yarn or string.

In addition to your garden shears, you should also prepare a pair of gardening gloves, a broom, and some ground padding.

The gloves will protect your hands from the sharp blades of both the grass and the shears.

Similarly, some ground padding, such as flattened cardboard boxes, can make lawn edging with regular shears an easy chore.

Finally, use a broom to help you collect all the trimmings and debris after the task is complete.

Edging a Lawn with Plain Garden Shears

Follow these simple steps when edging your lawn with a pair of regular shears.

Step 1: Plan your edges.

Before you begin, take a close look at your lawn and determine where the edges should be.

Then, mark the edge with string and straighten it out by tying each end onto pegs affixed on the ground.

Step 2: Choose a starting location and set your ground padding.

With simple garden shears, the blades are aligned or only slightly tapering to the handles.

Therefore, you will have to kneel on the ground to position the shears at an angle to your liking.

With the ground padding, you can significantly reduce the strain on your knees.

Step 3: Trim the edges.

Work your way through the edge by starting from one peg to the next.

Make sure you maintain a line of sight towards the part you already trimmed down so that you can keep the cutting angle uniform all the way.

Step 4: Clean up.

As soon as you’re done and satisfied with the outcome, collect all the trimmings with a broom.

You can add it to a mulching pit if you have one or throw it in with biodegradable trash.

tips on how to edge a lawn without an edger

2. Using a Spade or a Shovel

The simplest way to edge a lawn without an edger is by chipping the irregular edges off with a spade or a shovel.

Let’s go over the differences between a spade and a shovel before going over the procedures.

Spade vs. Shovel

Although people use the terms interchangeably and say that one is a type of the other, a spade is different from a shovel.

Shovels have a broader concave blade that is rounded or pointed at the tip.

In comparison, you will find that spades are flat or nearly flat with a straight edge.

The blades are generally angled towards the handle for shovels, while they are more parallel or aligned to the handle for spades.

Even though that’s the case, you can also come across broad spades having a slightly cupped blade.

The top half of the blade is parallel to the handle, while the bottom half tapers or bends to a slight angle.

Things You’ll Need

Unlike regular shears, a spade or a shovel won’t have you crawling on all fours while edging your lawn.

Aside from the spade or shovel, all you need to get things done is some ground markers, a pair of gloves, and a broom.

Creating an Edge With a Spade or Shovel

Most shovels and spades will work for lawn edging, so it does not matter which type you have on hand.

However, a straight-edged spade will do the work quicker and more efficiently than a pointed-tip shovel for long, straight edges.

Because of its broader straight-edged tip, you can make edges in no time, even without ground markers.

Step 1: Plan your edges.

Like in the first method, you can use the same string and pegs combo to mark your edges.

However, others use spray paint to create the guide instead of using string, especially with many curvy edges.

Work your way through the edge by starting from one peg to the next.

Step 2: Begin spading.

After marking the edges, you can then begin spading.

To do this, position the tip of your shovel or spade at a 90-degree angle along your marked edge.

Then, push the spade down into the soil at least two inches deep.

If the ground is too hard or dry, press down on the shovel’s top edge with your foot to drive it deeper.

Once the tip is in, pull the handle towards you so that the blade will cut the edge. Doing so will lift the dirt and free the grass.

Step 3: Switch between spade and shovel.

If you have both, you should also consider shifting between a shovel and a spade.

Use the spade for long, straight edges, and switch to the rounded or pointed-tip shovel for curved edges and narrow spaces.

Step 4: Repeat the process.

Cut the grass and trim the edge with the spade or shovel until you finish all the borders for the entire lawn.

Step 5: Clean up.

While it may be practical, cleaning up does not have to be the final step.

You can also sweep smaller areas in between spading and shoveling to reduce the monotony of the task.

Edging a Lawn Without an Edger

Now that you know how to edge a lawn without an edger, you won’t have to spend your money getting tools that could otherwise be redundant.

Take advantage of your spade, shovel, or garden shears, and find that you can get better with edging your lawn using just those simple tools.

And if you want your lawn to always look neat, remember to repeat this task every two weeks.

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