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edging the right way

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by turfcaster, Nov 9, 2004.

  1. turfcaster

    turfcaster LawnSite Member
    Posts: 49

    I am talking about beds mainly. I dont care what tool is being used to edge the beds but how the beds are actually edged. For instance, a continous bed that goes around the perimeter of a square building. All straight lines. Almost everyone I have edge tends to try to follow the grass edge in order to always be trimming the grass. They think it looks better because it makes it "crispy" all the way around. This ends up with an edge that keeps stretching out a little further each week. When they come to a corner the bed really gets stretched out. I cant get people to grasp the idea that the bed should stay the same size and shape .Sometimes I will edge and purposely leave a really deep line for them to use as a guideline in the weeks to come. They really "stretch" the beds out if they use a string trimmer instead of an edger. I am spending way too much time stressing over such a simple task as edging. Does anyone know of a link or a video or something that could help me school people on proper edging technique,and the true purpose of edging.(Keeping the grass from growing into the beds)
  2. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    I know what you mean. But I don't know that there is a good solution. I think it's in the nature of edging that the lawn will recede a little each year. If you always want that crisp perfect edge, then you have to end up trimming the lawn back slowly a little bit each week. You could just keep edging on the same line every week, like you suggest, but I think you'd find that customers would begin to complain that the "crisp" edge that used to be there every week isn't there any more. They'd begin to think your starting to skimp on the quality of your edging.

    The problem is after a year or two, it's obvious where the edge should be and now it's a few inches away. At that point, we usually just re-seed or re-sod those areas. And I usually charge the customer for it. I just explain that that's part of the edging process. I explain that this is going to happen with any LCO.That there is no way for us to simultaneously keep a perfectly new crisp edge every week and also keep the lawn at the same boundary each week.

    Honestly, you should quit worrying about this. You can't sweat the small stuff. If you expect your employees to be this perfect, you're always going to be let down. Nobody is ever going to care as much as you do about your customers and nobody is ever going to do as good a job as you would have. They are just employees, making $8 or $10 an hour. To them, this is just a job. I am not saying that we shouldn't strive for excellence with our service, I am just saying don't set the bar TOO high. Because it's just not going to happen. Part of the trade off in building a big LCO business and stepping away from you actually doing all the work is that quality is going to go down a little. There's no way around that. Don't sweat the small stuff with employees. If they do 95% as good as you do, you're doing very well. Be happy with it.
  3. wojo23323

    wojo23323 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 608

    We have the same problem. I have found that using a bed edger when mulch is applied helps out alot. Had 1 house where the female dog pee'd on the border and killed about a foot of the grass. So knucklehead is edging the bed, and instead of going straight across where the bed was, he edged out the pee area also. I was there watching him and said what the heck are you doing. He said "I thought it looked a little strange" but kept right on going. Sometimes people just don't think for themselves and what would be the best thing to do. Thanks for another good post Jim.
  4. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    I agree. If you fill the bed area with something other than dirt, the need for crispness is reduced and you can pick a line and stay with it. Besides our St Augustine can usually grow in enough to make the line crisp.

    The problem I have is with the concrete bed borders. Those things are a nightmare with the overslag underneath and when they are too close to a tree trunk and start to heave. Nothing you can do to make it look nice.
  5. environment

    environment LawnSite Member
    Posts: 146

    e-mail me, I have a solution, but its long
  6. Gautreaux's LNG

    Gautreaux's LNG LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 379

    We normally edge beds every other week. We used to edge every week but some of our client had 4-6" gaps between the mulch and the grass. I didn't like the look so we started edging every other week. Seems to have fixed the problem!
  7. Ability

    Ability LawnSite Member
    Posts: 90

    One thing that I have stumbled into was the plastic bed edging. The kind that is black and sits about an inch above the ground.

    A customer had it at their previous house and liked the crisp look it provided after edging. He wanted it in their new home so he had me install it

    I think the cut looks better and I also got an install job.
  8. turfcaster

    turfcaster LawnSite Member
    Posts: 49

    Thanks you all for your replies. We got a new guy today that knows how to edge....and weed-eat!!!!

    We've skipped edging and even mowing on a few properties for a week,and most of the growth from the St.Augustine was runner growth and this helped alot.

    We mow St. Augustine 95% of the time. We mow really high too,so its easy to keep a nice crispy edge. I am not worried about the edges crispiness anyways. When these beds get stretched it just invites weeds and/or a huge dirt gap between the grass and the mulch.

    I guess I have been lucky because I have only encountered this problem in the last year or two. Hopefully the new guy sticks around and our less experienced guys will pick it up.

    Great Forum! btw

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