Proper edging tools make yardwork easier |

Proper edging tools make yardwork easier

Home improvement chores can give your body a workout. From raking leaves to mowing the lawn to planting flowers, you’ll spend many hours bending over on your hands and knees. But trimming the edge of a lawn doesn’t have to be back-breaking work.

Homeowners can avoid this work by choosing maintenance-free edging materials where a lawn borders trees, flower beds, fences and foundations.The proper edging materials can also knock hours off the typical homeowner’s yardwork during the spring and summer months.

“Although string trimmers are easier than bending down with grass shears, letting the lawn mower cut that grass is even easier,” says Jeremy Powers, a writer for national home publications.

“Meticulous gardeners may spend nearly as much time with a trimmer as they do with the mower.”

A distinct edge that can be mowed over without ruining the edging or the mower blade is the easiest way to keep the lawn looking good without extra work. Plastic edging meets these criteria, but requires

digging and trenching to install.

“Many plastic lawn edgings eventually work themselves out of the ground. Not only does this look terrible, but mowing over the loose edging becomes virtually impossible,” Powers says. A variety of wood products also offer mower-friendly options for edging if they

are installed properly. However, even redwood and cedar lumber will rot over time where there is ground contact unless treated with a preservative.

“Green-treated lumber can look too industrial for some people,” Powers says.”Brick or stone can ruin a mower blade or even the mower engine. So if it’s used, make sure it is smooth on top and wide enough for the mower wheels to ride on. “If edging material won’t allow you to run the mower over it, choose a product with a shape that minimizes trimming. Any edging with little nooks and crannies, like odd-shaped stones, will make the trimming job much more time-consuming,”Powers says.

The base of trees is one of the most common yard areas trimmed with “weed whips.” Together, string trimmers and mowers are responsible for most of the trees that die after planting because of

damage to the bark. Unfortunately, there aren’t many products for edging around individual trees, particularly younger trees that have the most fragile bark.

A new product, Arbor Edge, is a onepiece edging system for trees, shrubs and flagpoles that combines a circular plastic edge with a weedproof basin that holds mulch or decorative rock. The system is designed to enable a mower wheel to ride over the plastic edge, eliminating the need for additional trimming. It is attractive, inexpensive and easy to install without trenching or staking.

Most edging products are made by numerous manufacturers and are readily available in the lawn and garden departments of Lowe’s, Menards and other major retailers. For information on the new Arbor Edge, visit the company’s Web site at

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