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How to edge a lawn

Newly laid lawns have the advantage of beautifully sharp edges but, if left unattended, it doesn’t take long for them to become a bit straggly and unkempt. It’s relatively quick and simple to rectify this with a half-moon iron. As well as improving the appearance of your lawn, the exercise will also help to make it easier to maintain on an ongoing basis.

Do I need any specific tools?

We recommend using a half-moon shaped lawn-edging tool, but a spade can be used if you cannot get hold of a suitable edging tool.

A neat lawn edge in just 3 steps

  1. Stand at the edge of the lawn with your back to it, feet either side of the edging tool and about 10 to 15cm away from the edge. 
  2. Place the edging tool roughly 5cm in from the edge and dig into the lawn about 5cm (2in) deep. As you lift the edging tool, the excess lawn and soil should lift with it. This can be dropped into a bucket for removal to your compost bin, or local council garden waste facility. 
  3. Repeat steps one and two until you have a shallow trench with a sharp, vertical edge around your entire lawn. 

Additional pointers

To create a really straight edge, try cutting against a board, or mark out your line with string before you start. 

Manual edging is fine for most lawns but if you have a large lawn you may want to save time and energy by hiring a motorised edger.

Once you have re-established a clean edge, try to trim it each week after cutting using a set of long-handled shears. 

What if there is a section of broken lawn edge?

If a section of lawn edge has become too damaged to successfully create a firm edge in line with the rest of the lawn, you can repair it. 

Using the a sharp spade, knife, or your edging tool if nice and sharp, cut out the square around the damaged edge. 

Lift that section of turf and turn it around so that the clean edge becomes the new lawn edge, then where the damaged section now meets the rest of the lawn you can reseed it. 

Fill the hole that it creates with topsoil, firming it down to prevent it from sinking, cover with fresh lawn seed and water in.

You can find more information about lawn maintenance in our other online guides.