Lawn edging: a guide

There’s one thing that can really spoil a nice lawn - ragged and untidy lawn edges. Follow our quick guide to transform your lawn just by doing lawn edging right.

After mowing the grass and making your lawn look neat, tidy and beautiful, make sure your lawn edges look crisp and neat by tidying them up, so yours is a lawn to be proud of.

Untidy lawn edges, where the grass is growing into the surrounding borders, are easy to correct. Simply use a pair of lawn-edging shears to cut away any long grass that is beginning to encroach into the borders. Ideally, you should do this after every mowing. Long-handled shears are great lawn edging tools and mean you can do the job standing up without having to bend.

If this seems hard work - which it isn’t - or you have a lot of edging to do, many powered line trimmers have a head that can rotate through 90° and so can be used as an edger. Most will have a roller or similar guide to ensure you cut in the right place and so tidy up your lawn edges beautifully and quickly.

Using a lawn edging tool

Uneven lawn edges

If the lawn edges are generally broken, ragged and uneven, you can use a sharp spade or, better still, a half-moon edging iron to re-cut them to shape.

To ensure good, straight lines, use a short plank of wood or similar as a cutting guide. If you prefer perfect wavy edges, then use a garden hose, which can be used to map out your curves and again act as a cutting guide.

You may want to re-cut the edges once a year for the perfect looking lawn. This is especially true if your lawn sits on light, sandy soil as these crumble away easily.

Broken lawn edges

Broken edges not only make the lawn and garden look untidy, but they also make mowing and edging far more difficult. To improve the look of your lawn and to make mowing easier, you should make some quick and easy repairs.

Use a sharp spade or half-moon lawn edging tool to cut out a square section of turf that contains the broken edge. Undercut the turf to remove it, and turn it around through 180°, so that the broken edge is now within the lawn and one of the straight edges aligns with the lawn edge. Fill in the broken area with sieved garden soil or potting compost, level and re-seed with fresh grass seed.

Make sure you keep the grass seed well watered during dry periods and within no time at all you’ll have a perfect looking lawn with the crispest edges around.

Lawn edges and borders

Where grass continually grows into the border or where the lawn edges constantly look untidy and so make mowing difficult, you may want to consider installing a permanent physical lawn edge.

Lawn edging stone design

These are available from good garden centres and DIY stores and can be made from corrugated iron or, better still, steel or plastic. These are driven into the soil along the side of the lawn and make a permanent edge that you can easily mow over.

Or, of course, you could install a brick edging, but this is more expensive and needs more time, effort and some bricklaying skills.

Lawn edging ideas

Plastic and metal lawn edging

There are many ready made products on the market for lawn edges, such as solid plastic or metal edging sold in short lengths - great for straight lines, but not suitable for a wavy edged lawn. Try and sink the lawn edging down as low as you can, this will make mowing and trimming the grass far easier at the lawn edge.

If you have a very wavy edged lawn, then you can use some durable plastic or wavy metal edging which is flexible so you can bend it and define your lovely lawn curves. Some of these plastic and metal lawn edging materials are thinner than a rigid edge and it is even more important to sink the edging down, otherwise the edge may be a hazard to children and pets and will be easily damaged and soon look very untidy. Try to look for a heavier, more robust lawn edging idea.

Lawn edging stones

Lawn edging stones are also a great idea, and far more pleasing to the eye than some of the plastic options, they can also make it far easier to mow right up to the edge without risking the mower wheel dropping into the flower bed and giving you a slightly lower cut than you wanted!

Wooden lawn edging

Wooden lawn edging adds a softer feel to the edges, with natural colours and curves this quick to install option looks best when used to edge a bed or border so the reverse of the roll is not seen.

Unique lawn edging

Why not really go to town?! Add some lighting to your lawn edges or see what stones and blocks you can find and create your own unique lawn edging design.

Whatever you decide to edge your lawn with, the key points to remember are ease of mowing, ease of trimming the grass edge and safety for all users of the garden.

Who knows, you may get the edging ‘bug’ and decide to move on to edging your patio, flower beds and borders, just bear in mind that what you use may raise a few eyebrows!


Check out our video tutorials for how to achieve a great looking lawn on our YouTube channel here.

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