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Lawn Edging-Sharpening The Look

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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 8:34 pm    Post subject: Lawn Edging-Sharpening The Look Reply with quote

Lawn Edging-Sharpening The Look
By Todd Wessel

Proper edging will give a sharp finished appearance to your landscape, defining bed and turf lines, allowing your plant material to mature to its proper size without continuous pruning.

Making the maintenance of your turf grass easier is another added benefit.

Keep it simple.

Many times I've seen a landscape where the owner tried to add some curves to their bed lines, looking to add some interest, not realizing the amount of extra work and headaches they just created for themselves.

A lawn mower that is unable to turn around the garden edges without stopping because the curves are too close together.

A lawn mower that is falling off the garden edges, scalping the turf because the curves are too sharp.

Unaware that combining evergreen trees into one bed, would eliminate most of the weed eating underneath. Instead we continue to mow the grass under the pines, breaking branches off and poking ourselves in the eyes.

Proper edging techniques will eliminate a lot of these issues and when done properly, gives your landscape the professional edge.

Follow these tips below and save yourself some time

Use a long or short handled square edged shovel; edge is 6"-8" wide. Finishes with a nice sharp square edge.

Edges should be about 3" deep before mulching. Lay a dollar bill on its side, when the top side of bill reaches the top of edge, you are good

Edging motion: shovel in hand, right hand over left or vice-versa shovel straight up straight, arms go straight up and down driving the shovel into the ground. Lean shovel back away from bed and pry soil into bed. Straighten any miss fires with short chopping strokes.

Edge and throw all the debris into the garden before you prep with the tiller, and all the debris will get broken up by the tines. Clean out any grass clumps before you till.

Sometimes, I have some areas in my garden or yard that need a little soil to fill a hole. I keep my wheel barrow close as I edge, fill with material and deposit around the garden where needed.

Lay out your edging lines with string or garden hose until you get good enough to draw them without any help. You will get the eye and the feel after you practice for a while.

Always use spray paint to draw the lines before you edge, its easier to follow.

Edging tree rings

For perfect tree rings, tie a string to the trunk of your trees, extend the proper distance for the size of the tree, walk around with the string and paint the perfect circle.

Make sure your tree rings fit the size of your trees. If you have a tree that's trunk is 24" wide, don't put a mulch ring around that tree that is 2' around. Make sure the mulch ring is in scale with the size of the tree. Big trees, big rings or no ring at all. With big trees, it is ok to spray roundup around the base about 4"-6" and kill the grass there only, then you don't have to worry about strimming and damaging the bark. Little trees, little rings

Always have round corners on your beds, never square. Square corners are hard to maintain.

Putting curves in your garden

Eventually, you will have to put some curves in your edging and when you do, make them loooooonnnng and sloooooooow. You should be able to effortlessly walk your mower around your bed edges and not fall into the garden or leave a lot of weed eating.

To get a feel for these curves, take a piece of string about 15 feet long and stretch it out in a straight line on the grass. Now take another piece of string, about 25 feet long, place one end on the end of one of the pieces on the ground.

Slowly curve the 25 foot string out and up to the right. Continue to slowly stretch your curve out and up, hitting the top of your curve at the 7.5 feet or half way mark of the string on the ground. The top of the curve will be about 5' feet or more on the grass above the original string. Continue to curve the string back down to the other end of the string on the ground and finish at the 15 foot mark. This will give you an idea of how a long slow curve is done.

Never use a bunch of quick curves, it will drive your eye crazy and make your mowing a nightmare. Say it again, looooooong and sloooooooow curves.

More edging tips

When you have long straight lines in your landscape take the time and make the line as straight as possible. Long edges are very difficult to keep straight. The edge will look awesome and you will impress any landscaper that drives by.

Always wrap your bed edges from the front of a building around the corner to the side. Including the front and part of the side, gives a better finished look to the planting and brings the corner of the building down making it look shorter.

Pull the edges from under the evergreens out to one foot past where the branches stop now. This will allow you to mow around without breaking branches, poking yourself in the eye and will allow the plant continue to grow. Re-edge every 2- 3 years when the branches once again grow past the edge.

Always end your edges, whether into a path, building or any object, in a straight line. It will make your maintenance a lot easier.

Edging is a great way to set your landscape apart from 99% of your competition. When you have sharp edges that set your garden and your lawn areas apart, people will see you as a professional.

Todd Wessel

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good advice, especially the thing amount making the curves long and slow. Too many people get them too tight and too compact makign them awkward to maintain.
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