Edgers For The Garden: Learn How To Use A Garden Bed Edger

A garden bed edging tool stuck into the ground on the edge of a lawn
(Image credit: Nickbeer)

Lawn and garden edgers are important tools for anyone who appreciates the beauty of a crisp, neat line. Use an edger, not a trimmer, to create delineations between beds and grass or between grass and other surfaces, like your driveway.

What is an Edger Used for in the Garden?

Edgers for the garden are designed to make neat, tidy edges around plant beds or between the lawn and a driveway, walkway, patio, or street. An edger has a blade that cuts a small gap between grass and the area you are trying to neatly separate from the turf.

The purpose of an edger is purely aesthetic. Imagine scraggly grass overhanging the driveway as compared to a neat line dividing lawn and concrete.

Difference between Edgers and Trimmers

It’s easy to confuse an edger and a trimmer because they have similar purposes: making the garden look a little tidier. A trimmer is used to tidy up edges by cutting and trimming grass that is hard to reach with the lawn mower.

Another way to distinguish between the two garden tools is to remember that a trimmer maintains neat edges by trimming grass, but it is the edger that creates that defined edge in the first place. You will never get the perfect edge with a trimmer, but you can maintain it.

How to Use a Garden Bed Edger

The most important step in using your edger is making sure you know how to use it safely. When you purchase an edger, let the store employee show you how to use it correctly. Try out your edger on an area that is more out of site, in case you make a rookie mistake. Get a feel for how heavy it is, and how you need to position the edger to get the line you want.

Situate the blade of your edger between the driveway and grass and move forward slowly as it creates the edge. Watch out for obstacles and avoid hitting the concrete or asphalt with the blade, which can dull it quickly.

Once you have created a nice edge, you’ll need to go back and pick up the grass and dirt to perfect your look. Remember to take your time edging the first time. Do it right and you won’t have to come back and re-do the edge very often.

Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.