Edge Your Lawn Before or After Mowing? 🤔

Maintaining a pristine lawn is a labor of love, demanding attention to detail and a consistent approach. One question that often arises among lawn enthusiasts is whether edging should be done before or after mowing. This seemingly simple question can spark heated debates, with each side presenting valid arguments. This comprehensive guide will delve into the pros and cons of both approaches, helping you determine the best strategy for your lawn.

In a nutshell, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The ideal timing depends on factors such as the size of your lawn, the type of mower you use, and your personal preferences.

The Case for Edging Before Mowing

Edging your lawn before mowing offers several advantages that can streamline your lawn care routine and enhance the final result.

1. Precise Edge Definition

Edging first allows you to create a crisp, clean line between your lawn and walkways, flower beds, or other landscaping features. This precise definition adds a touch of polish and visual appeal to your outdoor space.

2. Reduced Lawn Debris

When you edge before mowing, you remove excess grass and weeds from the edges, preventing them from being chopped up by the mower blades and scattered across the lawn. This minimizes the amount of debris you need to clean up later.

3. Easier Cleanup

Edging before mowing makes cleaning up stray clippings easier. You can simply sweep away the edges without worrying about grass clippings mixing with the trimmed edges.

4. Enhanced Mowing Efficiency

By removing the edges beforehand, you eliminate the need to maneuver your mower close to borders, making it easier to mow in straight lines and prevent scalping. This can be especially helpful with larger lawns or tight spaces.

The Case for Edging After Mowing

While edging before mowing offers its benefits, edging after mowing also presents a compelling approach for some homeowners.

1. Faster Mowing

When you mow first, you can easily clean up the edges without worrying about uncut grass obscuring your view. This can be particularly beneficial if you’re short on time or have a large lawn to maintain.

2. More Consistent Lawn Height

Edging after mowing ensures a more consistent lawn height throughout the entire yard. You won’t have to worry about the edges being slightly taller than the rest of the lawn.

3. Easier to See the Edges

After mowing, the grass is shorter, making it easier to see the precise edges and trim them accurately. This can be particularly helpful for those new to edging or those with complex landscaping.

Factors to Consider

Ultimately, the best time to edge your lawn depends on your individual needs and preferences. Here are some key factors to consider when making your decision:

1. Lawn Size

If you have a large lawn, edging before mowing might seem like a daunting task. In this case, edging after mowing could save you time and effort. However, if your lawn is relatively small, edging first might be more manageable.

2. Mower Type

If you use a rotary mower, edging before mowing can reduce the risk of scalping the edges. However, if you use a reel mower, which generally produces a cleaner cut, you can potentially edge after mowing.

3. Personal Preference

Ultimately, the decision of when to edge your lawn comes down to your personal preference. Experiment with both approaches and choose the method that suits your workflow and yields the best results for your lawn.

Tips for Effective Edging

Regardless of when you choose to edge your lawn, here are some helpful tips to ensure a clean, professional finish:

1. Use Sharp Tools

Ensure your edging tools are sharp and in good condition. This will help you make clean, precise cuts.

2. Maintain a Consistent Angle

Keep a consistent angle when edging to create a uniform line.

3. Work in Small Sections

Avoid trying to edge the entire lawn in one go. Break the task down into manageable sections to avoid fatigue and ensure accuracy.


Whether you choose to edge before or after mowing, both approaches can produce a well-maintained lawn. Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference, the size of your lawn, and the type of mower you use. By understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each approach and applying the tips outlined above, you can achieve a beautifully manicured lawn that will be the envy of your neighborhood.

Frequently Asked Questions

Lawn edging is the process of creating a defined boundary between your lawn and other areas like flower beds, walkways, or driveways. It can be achieved using various methods, including digging a trench and filling it with landscaping materials, laying down edging stones or pavers, or using a special edging tool to cut a clean line into the soil.

The benefits of edging your lawn include a cleaner, more polished look, preventing grass from spreading into unwanted areas, and making mowing easier and more efficient. A well-defined edge also helps to create visual interest and enhance the overall aesthetic of your yard.

### Is it better to edge before or after mowing?

While there’s no definitive “right” answer, most experts recommend edging your lawn before mowing. This approach allows you to create a clean, sharp edge without having to worry about grass clippings obscuring the line.

You can use a string trimmer or edging tool to cut a neat line along the edge, then use the mower to trim the grass close to the edge, resulting in a more polished and consistent finish. Edging before mowing also helps to avoid accidentally cutting into flower beds or other landscaping elements with your mower.

### What happens if I edge after mowing?

Edging after mowing can be done, but it might not produce the same level of sharpness and definition as edging beforehand. If you choose to edge after mowing, make sure to thoroughly clean up any grass clippings from the edging area first.

Additionally, you’ll need to be more careful when using an edging tool or string trimmer after mowing as you might accidentally damage your lawnmower or other equipment if they come into contact.

### How often should I edge my lawn?

The frequency of lawn edging depends on factors like your lawn’s size, the type of edging materials used, and the growth rate of your grass. However, a general rule of thumb is to edge your lawn every 2 to 4 weeks during the growing season.

Regular edging will help maintain a sharp, well-defined edge and prevent grass from spreading into unwanted areas. It’s important to adjust your edging schedule based on the specific needs of your lawn.

### What are the best tools for edging?

There are several different tools available for edging your lawn, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Manual edgers are simple and cost-effective but require more physical effort. Rotary edgers are powered by gas or electricity and provide faster and more efficient edging, while string trimmers are versatile tools that can be used for both edging and trimming.

Choosing the right tool will depend on your personal preferences, the size of your lawn, and the type of edging you want to achieve.

### How do I edge my lawn?

The process of edging your lawn varies slightly depending on the method you choose.

For manual edgers, you’ll need to dig a shallow trench along the edge of your lawn and fill it with landscaping materials. Rotary edgers are used to cut a clean line into the soil, while string trimmers can be used to trim the grass along the edge for a more defined look.

Regardless of the method, be sure to follow the instructions provided with your chosen tool for safe and effective edging.

### What are some tips for edging my lawn?

Here are some helpful tips for achieving the best results when edging your lawn:

  • Choose the right tool for the job: Consider the size of your lawn, the type of edging you want to achieve, and your personal preferences.
  • Prepare the area: Remove any obstacles or debris from the edging area.
  • Cut a clean, consistent line: Make sure the edge is straight and even.
  • Use a protective shield: If using a string trimmer or rotary edger, wear eye protection and use a protective shield to avoid damaging plants or other landscaping features.
  • Maintain your tools: Regularly clean and sharpen your edger to ensure optimal performance.

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