Lawn Care - Trimming & Edging Guide

There are 2 different types of edges, open edges and closed edges, each with slightly different care requirements. Open edges are those which are exposed on one side, for example along the borders. When working with open edges, be careful not to stand on them when mowing or gardening. Untidy open edges, where the grass is growing into the surrounding borders, looks unsightly but is easy to correct. Maintain clean, crisp edges using a half-moon lawn edging iron, sharp garden spade or long-handed lawn shears at least once or twice a year, and preferably every other time you mow. Open edges should be cut at a 20-40 degrees angle - i.e. the cut should slope outwards (into the border) from top to bottom. This helps prevent the grass roots from drying and causing ugly brown edges in an otherwise green lawn. We recommend using a plank of wood or similar cutting guide to ensure you cut your edges straight. If you prefer perfect wavy edges, then use a garden hose, which can be used to map out your curves and again act as a cutting guide.


Lawn care and advice from Jacksons Nurseries Lawn care and advice from Jacksons Nurseries
Plank for Straight Edges Hose for Curved Edges


If you have a broken open edge in your lawn (if one of the edges does not extend right to the border for a short distance), it's best to cut out a square section of turf that contains the broken edge using your edging iron or garden spade. Under-cut the turf to remove it, then turn it through 180 degrees and re-lay so that the straight edge aligns with the lawn edge and there is a gap in your lawn a short distance from the edge. Prick the surface of the ground in this gap with a garden fork to a depth of 1 inch, rake the soil to form a seed bed, removing obvious weeds and stones, then apply grass seed at 25g per square meter. Finally, cover with a thin layer of moist compost, pad down with the back of your garden spade and water. Within a few weeks, grass will have grown in the gap and your broken lawn edge will be fixed.


Closed edges are those where the lawn stops and another surface such as a driveway or patio starts. With closed edges, it the grass and adjoining surface are level, you will be able to easily mow over the edge without experiencing any problems. However, if the levels are more than 3-5cm different, follow the same guidance to maintain clean, crisp lines as for open edges above. If the lawn is at a lower level than the closed edge, use caution to ensure you don't damage the blade of your lawnmower on the hard surface; it may be necessary to raise the mowing height just at the edges.


Lawn repair and advice from Jacksons Nurseries Lawn care and advice from Jacksons Nurseries
Broken open edge Closed edge



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