How Do You Manually Cut The Edges of Your Lawn?

If you start the season with crummy beds and wants to end up with clean beds here are some tips. This post differs from my others because there are no special tools, and no power equipment needed. You can clean up your lawn edges by using a simple shovel and your hands.

The best time to edge- is right after it rains or when the ground is damp. Because when the ground is dry, your shovel will not go evenly through the soil and becomes a big mess.

However, when you edge with a shovel after a rainstorm and there’s a bit of moisture in the soil, the shovel slides right in and give you a clean edge.

The Tool

There have been a lot of tools made over the years but my favourite is the standard garden spade shovel. It’s sharp, it’s got a square edge, and it works better than moon shovels.

Further, if you look at the cutting edge of the moon shovel, they only have about 1/5 of the amount of cutting space as a regular spade shovel. Spear & Jackson has an amazing shovel that gets the job done, very inexpensive, built like a tank and it’s held up very well for me over the years.

The Manual Process of Lawn Edging

cleaning edges
Garden lawn and bark in flowerbed.

It’s all about the technique, the typical way most people shovel is they put the shovel straight into the ground and then push with their foot. Sometimes even jump up and down but, I’m going to show you a unique way to use your shovel, this makes the process a lot easier, and gives you a better lawn edge.

To start: tilt the shovel and balance on one edge, push down, then raise the shovel, and continue doing this technique as you walk to complete the entire lawn edge.

This gives you an advantage since the edges are razor sharp and you are putting all of your body weight on the shovel and walking at the same time. The technique allows you to finish faster, less fatigue and produce a better result.

Picking Up The Dirt After

lawn edge

After back cut each of the pieces of dirt, you only have to back cut if you are taking off a pretty good amount of the grass. If you back cut, you can see how simple and easy the grass comes right up.

Also, be careful when flipping the grass up into your beds, don’t leave it. Once you get it up, you can let it dry out to make it lighter but you’ve got to get all those grass bits out.

One huge benefit to this technique is that you’re getting large pieces and you are accessing those tiny roots floating all-around your beds. Since you are rooting through the weeds, it will take a longer time to regrow and making your job a lot easier.

Now when I’m done, I like to go back sometimes and make a final pass by just trimming off a bit of dirt and give it a nice razor-sharp edge.

Using a shovel is one of the cheapest way to trim the edges of your lawn because every homeowner must have a shovel.