Cutting Lawn Edges

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by shiney, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. shiney

    shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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    Everyone has their own ideas on doing this so I thought I would post about how I do it.

    Having quite a lot of edges I found that using a half moon cutter was no good for me. Also, the half moon and using a spade could leave the edges of each cut visible (I'm fussy).

    So I use long handled shears, a square edged spade and a wallpaper scraper.

    You need the right conditions in order to do a good job. If the soil is too dry it will crumble and you can't get a good edge. If it's too wet it will stick to the tools too much and leave very mucky edges. If it's only just a little too wet you can get away with it by tidying it up after it has dried a bit. You can only test it and see.

    The problem that you get with just using a spade or half moon is usually caused by lifting it up and away from the lawn. Then when you put it back for the next cut it's a separate cut and can leave an edge showing. So it's important to avoid doing that.

    By using long handled shears you can easily avoid it and it's much easier anyway. Insert the lower blade into the lawn where you want to cut it. Then, when you cut you bring the upper blade down onto it.

    P1320910.JPG

    Now the important thing to remember is not to close the blades right to the end but slide the lower blade further along the line of cut and cut again. doing this each time without closing the blades to the end. This is similar to trying to cut a straight line across a piece of paper with scissors. I find it easier to only cut from the pivot of the blades to about half way along the blades as there is better leverage at the thicker end.

    P1320911.JPG

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    Gently ease the cut grass away from the cut itself. You can see the depth that the shears have cut the edge.
    P1320914.JPG

    If you want the edge deeper you can then insert the spade at the lower edge of the soil so that you don't damage where the shears have cut. Then you can cut it lower and keep it nice and vertical. I move the spade up and down, in a sawing motion whilst sliding it along the cut edge (never lifting it too high).
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    Some soil sticks to the back of the spade and you need to remove it as it will give the edge a rough finish. That's the first use of the wallpaper scraper.
    P1320919.JPG

    The second use of scraper is, possibly, when you make a curve as sometimes you can't get a smooth curve.
    P1320920.JPG

    So just use the scraper like a knife and cut the edge smooth by moving it up and down.
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    All done!
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    The 20ft of that edge should only take about 15 minutes. :dbgrtmb:
     
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    • "M"

      "M" Total Gardener

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      :goodpost:

      What an informative, descriptive and well written piece! :star:

      Bravo Mr Shiney :yay: and thank you for the presentation, the photos and the time you put in to making such a cracking post :thumbsup:
       
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      • Sandy Ground

        Sandy Ground Total Gardener

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        I fully agree with the comment about the half moon cutter. Over here, we rarely use one. In its place, we have ones like the one in this photo...

        kantskära-5.jpg
         
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        • HarryS

          HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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          I use the half moon , don't seem to have problem with it . Although @Sandy Ground the Swedish battle axe above does look right for the job :blue thumb: Never seen that shape of tool over here though ?
           
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          • Mowerman

            Mowerman Gardener

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            @shiney - that is a magnificent piece of edging with some seriously great instructions. Credit it where it is due mate :dbgrtmb:
             
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            • Trunky

              Trunky ...who nose about gardening

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              Some good and very descriptive advice there Shiney. :dbgrtmb:

              Best I don't show you any photos of the edging Mrs Trunky did around our garden last week. When she offered to do some, I told her to make sure she used a string line on the straight edges - what I didn't reckon on was our two cats attacking the string while the job was in progress and Mrs Trunky's unerring lack of ability to get anything straight. :rolleyespink:

              I decided not to question the quality of the workmanship though, after nearly 30 years of marriage I'm not that daft. :heehee:
               
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              • shiney

                shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                I have some lawn edges that are never straight or smooth because of roots of trees. They offend my eye but I know I can't do anything about them. :dunno:
                 
              • Sandy Ground

                Sandy Ground Total Gardener

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                @HarryS and others. The battle axe in the photo is made by Fiskars. Are their tools available over there? If not, perhaps the good folks at Clarington Forge could make and market them?
                 
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                • Snorky85

                  Snorky85 Total Gardener

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                  Thanks sooo much @shiney And thanks for adding the the photos etc. Really appreciate it-I want to do a good job on them as it really makes a difference to the look of the garden.
                   
                • shiney

                  shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                  @Sandy Ground Yes, Fiskar products are available here. They make things under their own name and on licence for other companies. Wilkinson used to get them to make the Wilkinson brand long handled shears.
                   
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                  • roders

                    roders Total Gardener

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                    :smile: A brilliant tutorial Shiney.................
                    There are some on u-tube ,but not as good as yours.
                    :dig:......................:dbgrtmb:
                     
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                    • HarryS

                      HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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                      Fiskars are available here , I have a pair of secateurs - good tool :blue thumb:
                      Does look just the thing for Clarington Forge Bulldog tools to make !
                       
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                      • Sandy Ground

                        Sandy Ground Total Gardener

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                        Of course, if Bulldog did make them, the quality would be better, and they might even give away a bag of Uncle Joes as a promotional offer! :snork:
                         
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