There's nothing like a lush lawn to add a luxurious touch to a garden. Homeowners can use plenty of fertilizers and install a great watering system, but nothing finishes a lawn quite like sharp edges. An edger is the ideal tool for making sure grass doesn't grow beyond its boundaries and take over flower beds, paths or the driveway. Even if your roses need pruning or the weeds need to be taken in hand, an edger can help your garden look neat and tidy. There are a variety of different options on the market that cater to different yard sizes and the amount of time homeowners have to spend in their garden. Choosing the right one can help ensure it gets plenty of use keeping your garden looking sharp.
When it's time to choose an edger, the first thing to consider is the size of your yard and the amount of lawn you have. A large yard generally requires a larger, more powerful edger, as does a yard with many paths and garden beds to keep neat. Smaller yards or yards with few borders can generally get by with a less powerful machine. Putting new borders into a yard also tends to be a bigger job requiring a more powerful tool than maintaining an already neat lawn.
The amount of time and inclination you have to spend in your yard can also dictate the type you choose. If you don't enjoy gardening, or have limited time, then it's better to get a more powerful tool so the job is done quickly. Remember to also choose an edger that suits your size. A machine that is the right height and weight for you to manoeuvre easily is much more likely to be used on a regular basis.
The two main types of power edgers are gas and electric. Gas lawn edgers have a fuel tank, which generally makes them the heavier option. They also have more power and speed, so they're much more efficient to use and are a perfect choice for people with large yards. Make sure you understand how to work the edger and look for those with easy-start options, which can take some of the difficulty out of starting the machine.
Electric edgers come in two types: corded and battery powered. Both are more lightweight than a gas edger, although batteries can add weight. Corded tools are generally best for small yards as their reach is limited by the length of the extension cord you're using, however, battery operated edgers don’t have this limitation. Electric options tend to be quieter and more environmentally friendly, though they don’t pack the power punch of the gas option. They're a great choice for people with small lawns or those buying an edger for an already well-maintained lawn.
Another decision to make is whether you prefer a wheeled or hand-held option. The wheeled edgers don't require as much upper-body strength, although hand-held options have more flexibility to move around curved paths or raised beds. When edging blades start to go blunt, a machine with easy-to-replace blades can make life easier. Also look for machines that have adjustable cutting depths on the blades and a blade guard to protect you and your property from flying debris. Safety equipment is important when using a power tool, so think about adding eye protection and steel toe boots to your purchase. Some gas models can be loud, so ear protection may be another consideration.
There are other tools you can add to your arsenal to help keep your lawn looking lush. A good lawnmower works in harmony with an edger to keep grass looking neat. Regularly cutting grass also keeps it healthy. Grass trimmers can also be used to keep lawns short in hard to reach places. Using an aerator regularly puts small holes in the soil that allow nutrients, air and water to penetrate, encouraging deeper roots and a more vigorous lawn.
Fertilizer is important as it keeps your grass well-fed and weed removal options make sure that weeds aren't competing for that food. You may also like to consider a leaf blower, as it's a shame to hide that lush, green grass under piles of leaves in the fall.