Easy Tips: How to Edge a Lawn with a Shovel like a Pro

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How to Edge a Lawn with a Shovel

Have you ever noticed how beautiful lawns and flower beds have nice crisp and clean lines around the edges of driveways, sidewalks, and flowerbeds? We are going to look at how you can easily edge a lawn with a shovel. Using a flathead shovel to edge your flower bed, or lawn is surprisingly easy to do, and it doesn’t require any special tools. 

flat edge shovel by a sidewalk

Taking care of an overgrown lawn is surprisingly easy to do, with the simple lawn edging method. Lawn care can be time-consuming, but this easy method will have you taking care of overgrown edges easily.

Edges of your Lawn

Creating street edges at the edge of your lawn, or flower bed, can easily be created simply by using a flat edge shovel. There are many other types of special tools, both manual and electric that you can use. We will look at this and much more in the details below. 

Why Would you Want to Edge your Lawn or Flower Beds?

There are a few different reasons why you might consider edging your lawn or flowerbeds. First, the grass can become very overgrown in these areas, and edging them helps you to manage the overgrown grass. 

Another reason why you might consider edging your lawn with a shovel is that you want to add landscape edging around a new bed of flowers, or simply help manage what’s already there. 

Adding plastic edging, paver border, or landscape timber can easily be done after you edge around your desired area. Edging around your lawn also helps it to be easily maneuverable for your lawn mower. 

Let’s look at what types of tools you need in order to make the perfect edge of your lawn.

Types of Manual Edgers

Let’s start by looking at manual edgers that you can use. These manual tools will help to give you crisp edges to your lawn or flowerbeds.

Flat Shovel

Edging your lawn with a flat-edge shovel is very easy, and it allows you to get nice clean lines around your lawn. The best edging shovel is a simple flathead shovel that you can easily pick up at your local hardware store or home-improvement store

Half-Moon Edger

Another manual tool that you can use is a half moon edger. A half-moon edger is a tool specifically for edging your lawn. It has the same purpose as a flat edge shovel, only it is shorter, so that your edge doesn’t go as deep, and only has one purpose. This is compared to a flat-edge shovel, which you can use for other purposes in addition to edging your lawn if desired.

Garden Spade

A garden spade is another manual tool that you could use to edge your lawn if desired. Typically, this type of shovel is intended as a digging shovel, for creating holes. It has a sharp blade, which is pointed at the end.

This one can be used to edge your yard, but it’s going to be a little bit more difficult to get a straight edge, compared to using a flat-edge shovel.

Other Tools To Create Straight Edges

The tools listed above, are options you can choose from, to manually create a straight edge to your lawn or flower bed.

In addition to using these tools above, you might want to use some complementary tools, to help create the straight line. Here are a few suggestions that you can also use to help make that sharp edge on your lawn.

Garden Hose

My personal favorite item to use to help outline where I want to create the edge is a garden hose. This works perfectly because I can outline where I want to create the edge, and it’s flexible, so it can easily be adjusted. 

A garden hose helps to serve as the guide, for the edging. This way we get nice crisp lines, that are consistently straight. Plus, if you use a garden hose as your guide, you don’t have to go out and buy any additional items to help make your edging.

Spray Paint

You can also use spray paint as an outline for where you want to make your edging. This is especially useful if you are starting a brand-new flower bed so that you can see the outline of where you want the edging to go. 

You can easily pick up a can of cheap spray paint from your local hardware store, or home-improvement store. Ideally, you want to use a bright color so that you can see the line you paint.

Electric Edgers

In addition to manual edgers, there are several power edger options that you could use to create a clean edge to your lawn. Although the best and simplest option is likely going to be a flat-edge shovel, there are a few power tool options to choose from.

Cordless String Trimmer

Cordless trimmers often come with a spinning head designed to be used as a lawn edger. Sometimes they have a blade, other times they have string heads, to cut through the edge of the lawn. Sometimes these tools work well, and other times they don’t work very well, depending on your specific situation. 

flat edge shovel by grass

Edger Power Tools

There are also electric power tools specifically designed to be used as an edger for your lawn, while other power tools, have optional attachments that you can buy to use to edge your lawn with your power tool.

Again, some of these work really well, and others don’t do a very good job. It all depends on what you are trying to edge, and what specific power tool you’re trying to use. Having the right tool to do the job makes all the difference. 

Electric Trimmers

An electric edge trimmer, can be used to edge the lawn, can be used if desired. Typically, these electric trimmers look like a weed whip, tilted sideways. Electric trimmers have a blade that spins and is used to cut away the edge of the grass. 

Other Edging Tool Options

Hand Shears

Hand shears can also be used to trim the edge of the grass back. Often hand shears don’t make neat edges, instead, these are better used to simply trim the edge of the grass back from taking over. 

Edging Shears

There are a few different types of edging shears. Edge-specific edging shears can be used to trim back the side and to create clean edging cuts. Other types of edging shears are intended to be used to trim bushes. 

Recommended Safety Gear

When edging a lawn with a shovel, using other menial tools, or especially using power tools, you will want to wear a few safety items while you perform this task. 

Closed Toe Shoes. Close-toed shoes protect your toes and feet from getting injured while you are working with tools in the yard. 

Safety Glasses. Safety glasses are important to help protect your eyes from flying debris. It is especially important if you are using a powered edging tool. 

Face Mask. Another safety item you may consider, especially if you have allergies, or are using a powered tool, is wearing a face mask. This will help protect your face from items as they fly through the air. 

What is the Best Way to get a Clean Cut and the Straightest Edge?

The best way to edge a lawn is by using a flat-edge shovel. Edging the lawn with a shovel, will give you the most control, and give you nice clean lines. Edging your lawn with a shovel might take a little more time, and a little more effort, but the outcome will be much nicer than when other tools are used. 

looking down on edged grass

Simple Steps to Edge a Lawn with a Shovel

The first step you will want to take when edging a line is to determine where you want the edge to go. 

No matter if you’re making a new flower bed, edging along a sidewalk, driveway, or around an existing flower bed, it’s important to first determine where the new edge should go. I suggest using a flexible hose as the new guide for your edge. 

To do this, take the hose and roll it out. Then place the hose just outside of where you want the new edge to be. 

When you have the new edge determined, take the flathead shovel, and set the tip at a 90-degree angle, right inside of the hose line. Be careful to not cut the hose with the shovel.

Use your foot to press the shovel down a couple of inches, keeping the head even with each cut. Continue this process, slightly overlapping from the new cut to the old cut. 

When you have the outside line cut, the final step is to go back, and cut an inside line, so that you have a nice even cut a few inches wide. This will help to make the definitive edge of your lawn.

Now you can enjoy the clean-cut edge of the lawn, or you can insert a border such as black edging, pavers, bricks, or other types of edging to help keep that definitive line. 

Likely, you will want to make a new edge in the lawn with a shovel each year, especially if you do not have a permanent edging in place.

edging a shovel

Clean Edges in the Lawn

Using a shovel as your lawn edger is a simple process that you can easily do around the edge of your lawn, or even to create garden veg edges. No matter if this is your first time, or you’ve spent many times doing it, it is a simple process, and above you can find step-by-step instructions to walk you through the process. 

Maintaining the edges of your lawn helps to provide crisp lines on the edge of the lawn to give you an overall nice clean look to enjoy. 

I hope that this tutorial has been helpful to you to learn how to edge a lawn with a shovel. The process is quite easy, but may take a little bit of time to complete depending on the size of your lawn. 

Now that you know how to make nice edges to your lawn, it’s time to get started!

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About the author

Hi! My name is Faith, I am the creator behind My Sweet and Saucy. I have so many different things that I enjoy doing, and this is my space to share them all with you. I really hope you enjoy it! Thank you so much for stopping by!

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