I am thinking about buying a lawn edger. I have a corner lot, so quite
a bit of sidewalk to edge, plus several flower beds.
So far, I have seen an electric edger, a manual rolling one, and the
standard "half-moon" type (sort of like a flat hoe).
Does anyone have any recommendations about which kind works best?
Obviously, the electric one holds out the promise of involving the
least labor, but do they work well? Are they easy to handle? Would I
be further ahead just to hire someone to edge the lawn once a year
(leaving aside the "less labor" issue)?
Thanks in advance,
I also have a corner lot and if you have anything near the linear feet to edge
that I do then you don't want ANY of those. You want a gas powered edger.
The electric is tolerable (barely) after you have done the edging two or three
times into the growing season (essentially you are just cleaning the existing
trench), but establishing that trench the first few times in the spring is a
terrible chore for both you and the edger.
My electric B & D died after 3 or 4 seasons and I replaced it with a 3 1/2 hp
gas powered. What a difference! All you do is walk slowly and guide the thing.
With electric I was going back and forth several times in the same space to get
a good edge.
No, I don't want to trim along the edge, i.e., weed whack. I want to
do as Rick suggested and actually create an edge between the sidewalk
and the yard. The turf has actually started to over-grow the sidewalk
quite a bit and it needs to be cut back and an edge established.
Much depends on the soil. I bought a gas engine type many years ago.
Four cycle engine. A few years ago I switched to 5W30 Mobil 1 synthetic
oil and it ran better than ever (and have switched in all my air cooled
engines). Still runs like new.
I do remember when I bought it I picked up a heavy duty electric to see
what it looked like and a fellow standing behind me said "don't waste
your money on that".
I was walking my dog last week and was able to watch a lawn maintenance guy
use a Ryobi weed wacker with a blade attachment do a beautiful job of edging
his lawn. He had a corner house with a lot of edging to do and it took him
about ten minutes with the attachment he used.
Derek in Florida
Someone had a question about the half-moon type I referred to. It's a
manual model. Envision a hoe blade that is flattened out (on the same
plane as the handle, rather than bent at a right angle to it) and
shaped like a half moon. You insert the curved (cutting) edge between
sidewalk and lawn and step on it.
At any rate, I think maybe a gas model is winning the debate. I took
mm's advice and borrowed a neighbor's electric one and WHAT A CHORE
that was! Part of the problem was that it's apparently been a l-o-n-g
time since this was done (I haven't lived here long), and in places the
lawn had encroached on the sidewalk as much as 4-6 inches. It had to
be cut with a shovel and torn away like sod. It looks a lot better
now, but a little uneven in spots where the shovel was resorted to, so
now I have to wait for it to regrow a little and then even it out. I'm
sure it won't be as bad in the future if I keep up with it (like so
many lawn chores...), but I also think a gas model would have made it a
much shorter, easier job.
Of all the edgers that I've seen over the years, the one that I
probably like the best is one my father had many years ago when I was
a kid... This was back before the days of the string trimmers... He
had built an edger that instead of having a blade like you see these
days, had a few links of double loop chain spinning like a blade...
The blade types these days will nick the concrete if you don't keep it
aligned perfectly with the edge of your driveway... With the chain
type, if you got off alignment a bit, it would just spark a bit to let
you know that you needed to adjust your track a bit... These days, I
just use my string trimmer to do my driveways, but it's more work and
doesn't look as neat as that old trimmer he built...
I used to use a cheap Pullan gas edger. It looked like a gas weedeater but
instead of the fishline running parallel to the ground it used a blade
running perpendicular to the ground. Buy extra blades. It was around $125
bucks at the time. An incredible bargain. I used it many years but finally
decided to use a lawn maintenence service.
I found the best tip from one of those home improvement shows.
Edge the lawn, weahter against a flower bed or walkway, back and
tappered, about 4 inches deep an tapper back toward lawn away from edge
of bed or walkway. I ususally leave an additional space of a few inches.
I then add a little mulch to the trench but all the way, leave a space
that is lower the the level of the walk or bed.
The grass will try and creep over, extending its roots into the trench,
those roots will usually die since not enough soils to cover and support
them from getting exposed to air.
Re-edge only once a year with a spade and re-mulch.
Seems to work for me.
I have a gas-powered Weedeater (paid $55) with a curved shaft. This
weed wacker is on its 14th year of service. Position the string
vertically and steadily walk backwards. When this technique is
mastered you'll get a professional-looking trim around the lawn. BTW,
I learned this technique from an illegal alien.
I use a manual kind that I bought at Sears 20 years ago. I sharpen the
teeth once a year with a file.
It doesn't contribute to global warming ("climate change" for you
Republicans), and it gives me exercise.
My house came with a manual one, and it works but is slow. Some
places the lawn rolls over the sidewalk and the grass is tough, so it
is really slow. Other places the lawn never encroaches on the walk so
I got an electric one at a rummage sale for 3 or 4 dollars, but if I
didn't have that, I'd use a string trimmer, a weedwacker. Unless it's
a really small one, they work fine and there is no chance of
scratching or chipping off pieces of the sidewalk.
If you don't point well, or there is enough grass encroachment that
you're not sure where the edge is (a common situation) you'll hit the
cement with a pretty powerful motor (dulling the blade I suppose, but
I don't know how sharp the blade is to begin with or how much it
depends on sharpness), or you'll cut slices in your lawn. Pointing
well seems like it would be easy, but I guess the fact that I'm trying
to cut real close to the cement and the blade is at the end of a 3 or
4 foot pole makes it harder. Can you borrow a neighbor's to try it
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