Trimming, watering, sowing and fertilizing give you a thick, green lawn. However, to get a good looking lawn, you need to set defined boundaries between your grass and the surrounding pavement and landscape features. These tips will help you maintain these clean lines without harming your landscape.

Use the right angles: hardscaping vs landscaping

Driveways, sidewalks, stepping stones and solid edges have flat sides. You need a sharp 90 degree edge next to you to look great. This prevents grass from hanging over these materials and helps to visually separate landscape and landscape.

For mulch piles, trees, flower beds, and other landscaping features, you need a 45-degree edge to get a good transition. This creates a bowl-shaped depression that holds in the mulch and helps form the boundary between different types of plant growth.

Choosing the best tool for the job

An edge cutter is given a sharper, straight line than a thread cutter in hardscaping. However, a thread cutter is more forgiving of landscaping. Here, a sharp line looks out of place unless you have metal or plastic edges attached.

Do you need to create a new boundary for landscaping features? Use a bed edger for best results. It has the strength and size to cut through pristine soil in just a few passes. Bed edges are also great for restoring edges. However, you can also get good results by equipping your standard edge with a Redefiner blade. This blade has stacks of angled teeth that scrape through the floor and reshape the edge.

If you dig further into the ground, the edge will spread out. If you have defined lines, just cut off new growth. You are less likely to cut soil with a thread cutter. Always keep your head at 90 degrees to the ground when working hard and at 45 degrees to landscaping.

Get a good cut

Uniformity is everything when it comes to hardscaping. Hold yourself against the sidewalk, especially when using a thread cutter. Cutting away cuts into neighboring grass roots and damages your lawn. This can create a jagged room full of bare spots.

If you set a new boundary for landscaping, start with a 90 degree cut. This defines the boundary between the bed and the lawn. Next, go back and make a 45 degree cut around that edge. These feathers in the grass ensure a smooth transition.

If you want to get the best results, cut after mowing. It may be easier to mow after trimming to mulch all of the grass waste at once. However, if the grass is already cut, it is easy to adjust the cropped areas. This creates a clean, flat surface.

Higher grass and harder ground require more effort when cutting. If you are using a bed edge on clay floor, make one pass with the edge trimmer flat setting and then a second pass with its deep setting. If you clean up edges in dense soil, you will get better results with a bar cutter than with a thread cutter. The pole cutter makes it easier to move slowly across the floor while maintaining a straight line. This gives the blade more time to cut.

When working on mulch beds, make sure that the mulch is on a stack that drops to the limit. The edge of the much should be slightly lower than the top floor. This slope prevents the mulch from rolling into the yard and makes it easier to cut the surrounding grass. This heap must be at least 5 cm deep to suppress weed growth. That means the edge should be three to four inches below the top surface.

Get the equipment you need for a great lawn

Shanks lawn equipment has the tools you need to care for the lawn, whether you are a homeowner or a professional landscaper. We carry thread trimmers, edgers and bed formers from several major brands including Brown Products, Cub Cadet, Echo, Little Wonder and Shindaiwa. We wait for everything we sell and we have the parts you need to repair and update these machines yourself. Visit us in person on the 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA, or online at We ship parts and accessories to the United States and Canada.