Make Bathroom Renovation EasierLearn More
Make Bathroom Renovation Easier

blog

How to Edge a Flower Bed

Make It Look Sharp

As Seen On
by Jeff Patterson in Exterior DIY Projects
How to Edge a Flower Bed

Are you tired of your flower beds looking like a disaster?

I feel the same way. For some reason it just bothers the heck out of me to not have a well edged flower or mulch bed.

So I did a little research and learned how to get an awesome edge that separates the beds from our grass.

The cool part is this technique requires only a few tools and a little sweat equity on your part.

You’ll need a half-moon edger which you can buy for all of $20 at the local hardware store.

But before you use it I’ve got some key tips to share that’ll make the process go a lot smoother (and safer!!!). Let’s get to it 🙂

Supply List for Edging Flower Beds

The half-moon edger is a fantastic tool.

But if it’s not sharp you’re gonna have a tall order digging into the ground.

Before getting started I’ll show you how to sharpen it using a file. Trust me, this is super important.

Secondly, before you do anything you’ll have to double check that you’re not digging into any utility lines, drainage pipes, or invisible dog fences.

I don’t want any surprises and assume you feel the same way.

Okay, I can’t wait to get started. Here’s your supply list

 

Start with Safety

DIY mortals like you and me need a little inspiration to see we can get a professional looking yard.

And I’ll show you everything that helped me get great results.

However, the first step you need to take is to make sure you’re not digging into any utility lines.

Before you dig

Here in Pittsburgh we can call a special number and get all the utility companies to come to the house to mark their specific lines.

Call utility companies

This is free of charge and I highly recommend you do it to be safe.

Call the following utility companies

  • Cable TV
  • Telephone
  • Gas
  • Water
  • Sewer
  • Electric

Inspect your yard for any drainage pipes or invisible dog fences, too.

Inspect for drainage pipes

I know how expensive dog fences can be and would hate to see you chop into it with your edger.

Bottom line, be cautious and safe.

Now on to the exciting stuff.

 

How to Edge a Flower Bed

I’m not knocking Bob. After all, he has a sweet beard and knows more about home improvement than God.

But you don’t have to do landscaping 24/7 to get great flower bed edges.

Buy the half-moon edger for $20. I got mine at Lowe’s but your local hardware store will have one.

Half-moon edger

Before digging into the ground you’ll want to sharpen the edger with a file.

Tilt the file at 45 degrees and run it along the edger’s blade toward the handle.

This will give you a nice sharp surface to penetrate the soil.

File the edger's blade

My edger was brand new and the blade looked duller than George Constanza’s bald head.

Filing it made a huge difference.

Outline your flower or mulch bed using a garden hose or spray paint.

I prefer the spray pain because I’m frankly afraid of slicing into my hose and having to add that to my to-do list of things to fix.

Outline flower bed

Plus the painted line won’t move while you dig into it.

Before I forget, here’s a HUGE TIP: edging is easier in the morning or after a heavy rain.

Your soil is easier to dig into when it’s damp.

Damp soil makes edging easier

Place the edger at a 90 degree angle and push it down into the flower bed. This will prevent grass from growing into the bed.

Push edger 90 degrees into bed

Rock the edger back and forth to loosen the dirt.

Pull the edger straight up then jab it into the flower bed to create a pie slice or checkmark (whichever is more appetizing to you, I prefer pie slice myself)

Create a pie slice with edger

Dig out this slice of dirt to reveal a nice edge.

If you’ve already got a flower bed remove as little grass or soil as possible, about 1 to 2 inches. This helps prevent your bed from getting bigger each year.

The final step is to tamp down the sloped bed with your edger, shovel, or by hand.

For some reason I preferred using my hands.

Tamp dirt in bed

And if you’ve got a really green thumb you can replant the grass you displace from the bed.

Why not kill two birds with one stone and get rid of bare spots in the yard with the grass you don’t want in the beds!!!

Replant grass in your yard

Believe it or not, it took me about 35 minutes to re-edge the mulch bed in my video.

I had a little help from my 9 year old daughter (she took the buckets of dirt to the woods) but this showed me the power of using the half-moon edger the right way.

Watch the video to see the before & after and get some fantastic additional tips.

When you’re done make sure you clean off the edger with a hose and file the blade again.

Spray down the edger’s blade with WD40 to prevent rust and corrosion. Gotta keep your tools looking good 🙂

Sharpen and lubricate edger

 

What’s Next

Our tutorial on how to clean and prep a stone patio is also super helpful – don’t miss it!

Grab our free guide if you’re doing a DIY bathroom remodel – it shares how to remodel a bathroom in 10 days or less

Send Me The Guide

 

Thanks as always for reading, watching, and being part of our awesome community.

Ask your questions below and we’d be happy to help.

Cheers,

Jeff Patterson

 

 

 

 

P.S. Our online store has great supplies for homeowners doing a bathroom remodel. You’ll find shower systems, tiling tools, and more.

32 Comments
  1. Jennifer and Dillon Boyd says:

    Excellent! I really appreciate the short helpful video! I could do this! 🙂

    1. Thanks, I can’t wait to see your end result. Feel free to send pics my way 🙂

  2. Kiki McAdam/mcgaelicgal says:

    Thanks! 🙂

    1. My pleasure, hope this helps

  3. Alice Lawson says:

    Thanks for showing this. I need to redefine the edges of my flower beds and now I know how to do it!

    1. You can definitely do this Alice. Let me know if you have any questions along the way but I think you’ve got it under control 😉

  4. J Stone says:

    I love my edger.
    It is not nearly as ‘high’ as a shovel, so I don’t have to ‘jump up’ on it to get it to go into the ground. The edger is soooo much easier. I can easily step onto it, no jumping necessary, and the edger will go into the ground, using your body weight.

    ++My Tip. Buy a craftsman edger (if still available)
    My hubby on occasion will use my edger and it will end up broken. The wood where the metal attaches to the wood splinters and snaps. When that happens, I take it to Sears and they replace it free…..Yes, that is what I said. Sears replaces theirs free. You may want to make sure that your edger is marked as such. Mine was, and I have had to get a new edger twice, at no charge.

    1. Whoa!!! That’s the best tip in this tutorial.

      Thanks so much for letting us know. If mine breaks I’m going your route. I would have liked to have gotten an edger with an all metal steel frame but couldn’t find one.

      But if they’re going to replace a broken edger for FREE, then we should explore that option. Thanks so much 🙂

      1. Fred says:

        Another company that has started warrantying their handheld tools is Kobalt. Kobalt is sold at Lowe’s but I would check into it more. I’m a Craftsman man myself so I know Craftsman and Sears’ replacement policy, but I am unsure of Kobalt and Lowe’s replacement policy.

        1. Thanks Fred for the update on Kobalt. They’re tools continue to get better. Warranties are super important, especially now that every company is going cordless…I look at the battery warranty 😉

  5. Karen Hand says:

    Jeff: I just learned about the half moon edger from my neighbor last week, so your posting is totally ironic, but extremely helpful. My neighbor actually demonstrated the use of the edger and edged my entire driveway for me in a matter of about 10 minutes. I found several places in my area who sell this edger, and it’s on my to-do list for tomorrow, but this is so much better than the electric edger that I have been using in the past. That thing is going to be donated to someone who can use it as I plan to use my new half moon edger from now on. Thanks for your posting.

    1. Fantastic Karen. I think your beds will look totally awesome when you’re done. I do recommend sharpening the edger’s blade, mine was super dull.

      Keep me posted on your progress 🙂

  6. Tracy says:

    This is a great tip & I learned a new tool name! I’ve always used a shovel in the same manner and felt it took out too much soil. I will be heading over to my neighborhood Lowe’s for this handy tool! Thanks!

    1. Thanks Tracy, if you find a better half-moon edger entirely made of metal let me know. That’s the kind I wanted to buy but the one I got worked perfectly fine.

      Hope you have a great weekend 😉

  7. Nancy Leszczynski says:

    Jeff, After you’ve got the great edge, keep the bed weed free with a scuffle hoe…it’s so easy, fast and even kinda fun, kinda. Check it out, you’ll like it!!!!

    1. Scuffle hoe, you’ve got to fill me in Nancy. I’ve never used one.

      I like your kinda comment, lol. Sounds like you’ve used it with success 🙂

      1. Nancy Leszczynski says:

        A scuffle hoe looks like the stirrup on a horse saddle, the edges are somewhat sharp and the scuffle pivots slightly on the wooden handle. You just put the stirrup part on the ground and push and pull slicing the roots of the weed from the green part. I’ve had neighbors give mine a try in my yard and they don’t want to quit. It really is fast and once you get the weeds under control (does that actually ever happen) it’s easy to maintain. If your ground is cement hard though it would be pretty hard to use. You should check the scuffle hoe out.

        1. Okay, that sounds way cool. Thanks Nancy. I love learning about new stuff, even though it’s probably just new to me – LOL.

          It sounds super easy to use and I think a lot of people would love it.

  8. Jeremy Fredell says:

    Great post and video. Samantha and I edged the landscape beds and spread 100 bags of mulch yesterday. The edging went far easier and faster thanks to your tips.

    1. Awesome Jeremy!!! 100 bags is a ton of mulch – you both have to be sore after all your work. Glad that the edging went smoothly. Having the half-moon edger makes all the difference.

      We’re gonna have to make a trip our your way 🙂

  9. Ryan says:

    After edging would you recommend installing a steel barrier (or other type of material) between the lawn and the bed?

  10. Susan says:

    Please comment on mowing around a nicely edged bed. I have problems with the mower chewing up the mulch, but if I leave the edge for the weed whacker, my weed whacking skills are poor so I end up with uneven grass edges (eg. areas where the grass is trimmed right to the ground and not level with the lawn). Please advise.
    Thanks.

  11. Ben says:

    I apologize if this has already been asked, but when sharpening with a file, what direction do you run the file? Also, file both sides or only one? Thanks!

  12. Nancy says:

    I would like know what i Need to due so my husband does not have to trim around my flowers beds. I have several beds and I have put 4″ edging in but he still has to use the trimmer to cut the grass. This is getting harder for him each year due to a back injury. I want to make it that he can just drive the tractor around and not have to trim. . Do I need to cut away the grass from around the edging? About how far away so it is easier to cut the grass. Or do you have any other suggestions. Thanks Nancy Tauschman

  13. Corbin says:

    fyi, the video isn’t embedded!

  14. Maria Fiorito says:

    I’m planning to make a garden bed such as this – though I don’t have a bed at all; just grass. What would you recommend I do to get the grass out of the bed? Use the half-moon shovel, or use a shovel like digging or transfer shovel? Thanks!

  15. Michelle says:

    I have an existing flower bed but I am trying to extend it. The ground is extremely hard and full of rock, shale. My half moon edger barely cuts into the ground. Any suggestions?

  16. Stacy says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! I have a general flower bed question. Do you use weed barrier fabric in your beds? We’ve moved to a house that had weed barrier and rubber mulch around the entire yard. Low maintenance for sure but we need more life! As we are removing the mulch, I’m not sure if we should remove the barrier as well. Thoughts?

  17. Reagan says:

    Well now I can actually use the half moon edger I bought last year… I thought it was just a bad tool, but I sharpened it like you said and now it works! Ha!

    Actually you inspired me to clean, sharpen, and oil my loppers, hedge shears, and two other sets of pruners, I was so excited after doing the edger. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Reagan! It does work a lot better after being sharpened. It only takes a few times using the edger for the performance to decline. But sharpening it and oiling the edge will help keep that tool like new. Glad to hear you’re on a roll.

  18. Steve says:

    This makes it much easier:
    Those “Half moon” tools are useless, why do you bother with them; instead get a flat bladed shovel. Half moon tools are, for some reason, made with a very dull edge (I should say “non edge”) that doesn’t cut into soil.

    Flat bladed shovels, not those ridiculous half-moon tools!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.