While many people like a natural, untamed garden, others prefer precise and ordered design. Stately homes and modern show gardens usually have highly manicured and maintained flowerbeds, trees and lawns. Something many gardeners – both professional and home enthusiasts – struggle with is how to keep lawn edges neat and tidy. Turf never seems to stay in a straight line, grass always grows over into the flowerbed and plants spread back onto the lawn. But there are a few easy methods for reigning those lawn borders back in.
Manually cutting neat edges
To create a firm, precise boundary for your lawn you can dig out the edges. This is at most an annual job, which will then only require maintaining when you cut the grass. Using a half moon bladed spade, dig out a sharp border round the flower beds. Mark the edge you want to create with a plank of wood for a straight line or string for a curve.
Once the edge is formed, dig out a slight trench on the flowerbed side, pushing the excess soil back onto the bed. This will allow water drainage and keep plant growth back from the border.
Finally, mow the rest of the lawn as normal and trim the grass sticking out over the new edge with shears to get it all straight.
How to maintain a sharp edge
Whether you’ve dug out a new border or are tending to an existing one, it is relatively simple to keep up tidy turf edging. Every time you mow the lawn, make sure to trim the edges too. Use long handled edging shears or an electric trimmer for the easiest ways to cut the border grass without even having to bend down. Otherwise, a simple pair of shears will suffice.
For grass that has grown over paths and paving stones, use a sharp knife to dig out the offending chunks of turf and trim overhanging grass with small shears.
Try permanent lawn edging
If you don’t want the hassle of having to dig out trenches and restructure the boundaries of your lawn each year, then installing garden edging may be the best option. Lawn edging is available in metal, wooden and plastic varieties which all give a different feel to your garden. These rolls of edging are fixed to the turf border and will prevent it shifting over time or grass and weeds growing across the boundary. Some are placed inground and soon become virtually invisible, other sit above ground and have more decorative designs, like woven hurdles or bamboo rolls. They are a great way to complement the style of your garden, while enforcing the neat lawn edges.
Check out our guide to installing lawn edging.
George works in the Primrose marketing team. As a lover of all things filmic, he also gets involved with our TV ads and web videos.
George’s idea of the perfect time in the garden is a long afternoon sitting in the shade with a good book. A cool breeze, peace and quiet… But of course, he’s usually disturbed by his energetic wire fox terrier, Poppy!
He writes about his misadventures in repotting plants and new discoveries about cat repellers.