Project Guide

How to Edge a Lawn

Mow Your Lawn
Someone wearing garden gloves mowing the lawn.
  • Before you edge your lawn, mow it with a lawn mower set to cut the grass approximately 2-1/2-inches tall. 
  • It's not a good idea to remove more than the top third of the grass blades each time you mow. If you cut too low, the blades won’t be able to grow and support as many roots as they need to produce a lush, green lawn.
Get Rid of the Weeds
Someone wearing garden gloves and using a portable sprayer to spray a lawn.
  • Once the lawn has been mowed, we recommend treating any weeds with a lawn weed killer that also preserves your grass. Be safe and read and follow the directions on your product for how much to use and how often to apply it. 
  • If you plan to lay new sod or grass seed over any sparse areas, read the label on your product to see how long you should wait after applying the weed killer. Wear gloves to protect your hands. 

Tip: See our grass seed buying guide for information on different types of grass and how to choose the best grass seed for your needs.

Choose a Trimmer
Someone using an electric edger to trim the grass beside a walkway.

Determine which trimmer or edger will work best for your landscape:

  • String trimmers are available in gas, electric and corded or cordless models. Some come in kits with attachments to tackle different tasks.
  • Gas trimmers are great for larger lawns and can be used when the ground is damp, while electric trimmers are lightweight and more environmentally friendly.
  • Cordless trimmers usually run on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which makes them both lightweight and portable. Maintenance is minimal. 
  • A wheeled lawn edger cuts edges quickly and efficiently, up to 90 feet per minute. It’s user-friendly, with fingertip controls and a ratchet-arm with a height adjustment feature.  
  • A bed edger lets you define and create flower beds in your landscape. Its zero-turn steering makes shaping borders easy.  

Consider your options and choose the tool that will best suit your needs. Watch our video on how to choose a string trimmer for more insights.

Trim the Perimeter of the Lawn
Someone using a cordless edger to trim the grass along a brick walkway.

Start using your string trimmer to slowly edge the border of your yard, following the existing lawn outline. If there’s no clear outline established, follow the path of your driveway, sidewalk or walkway.

  • Focus on grass that has overgrown onto the sidewalk and/or driveway.
  • Tread more carefully or use a lower speed around curved areas and near flower beds or stone pavers.
  • Make sure to wear gloves to protect your hands and safety glasses to guard your eyes. If you are sensitive to grass, pollen and other landscape debris, wear a face mask to shield your nose and mouth as well.
General Tips for Edging a Lawn
A line of shrubs planted along the edge of a lawn.
  • Hedges are an important part of many lawns. Keep them maintained so you won't have to remove large amounts of foliage at any one time. 
  • After you groom the perimeter, focus on any existing shrubs and bushes. Prune any excess foliage with hand shears or hedge trimmers, but make sure to work in small sections so you can keep the shapes even.
  • For smaller yards, consider placing new shrubs along the front of your house, near the mailbox or down the walkway.
  • A simple assortment of evergreen shrubbery is a great way to create edging for a lawn.
  • Pavers give your edged lawn a finished look. Place them along the border of your sidewalk and along mulched areas for an added touch. For help choosing the best pavers for your needs, read this guide
Maintain the Lawn Edges
Someone using a cordless edger to trim hedges and edge a lawn.
  • The edges of your lawn will require regular maintenance. How often you’ll need to mow and tidy the edges depends on the time of year, the size of your lawn and how often you fertilize. 
  • Fortunately, edging a lawn is less time-consuming after the initial trim. Start with weekly touch-ups to see how quickly the grass grows and then adjust your schedule accordingly.

Need help identifying a tool or material? Find products fast with image search in The Home Depot app. Snap a picture of an item you like and we'll show you similar products. Shop our selection for all the items you need to edge your lawn, and get your online orders delivered. Just way when, where and how.