Need help trimming bed edges

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by gmgg, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. gmgg

    gmgg LawnSite Member
    from Eden VT
    Messages: 7

    It's my 2nd year in the biz, and I'm becoming quite annoyed with grass growing sideways out of the edge of garden beds. I've been reading some threads about dealing with this, and there seem to be 3 options: stick edger, trimmer with edgit, and running trimmer vertically.
    I've tried running the trimmer vertically, but have trouble with coming out of the edge (ugly results), and many beds have overhanging plants/flowers that customers don't want cut off.
    It seems that the edgit would fix coming out of the bed, but not solve the problem of the overhanging plants. Also, many of my customers have stone walls that need trimming and I'm concerned that the edgit would make this difficult because of the nooks and crannies I need to get into.
    I'm hesitant to get a stick edger because this is a rural area and I have zero accounts that have sidewalks. Also, I'd like to be able to clean the bed edges and trim without having to make a trip back to the truck.
    Speaking of which, are you guys that trim vertically or with an edgit trimming beds twice--once horizontally and once vertically?
    One last question--most of my accounts have a separate company maintain their gardens. Whose responsibility is it to maintain that edge, mine or the gardeners? Any thoughts and/or helpful hints would be appreciated.
  2. kbrashears

    kbrashears LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 777

    I use my stick edger, and I hold it at a slight angle like this: /

    It works wonders and looks really good after the second or third time. Then you only have to do it about every third week to keep it crisp.
  3. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    I have found that the edgit really performs well in the bed area. I mow right to the rdge with the mower and then use the edgit to maintain the edge. Also the edgit is good about maintaining the edge on a sidewalk.I dont like it for establishing and edge.

  4. Gardeners/Nurserymen will service an account about once a year. We're stuck with the edging.
    The option you missed is the BED EDGER. It'll cut way down or eleminate line trimming the edge. In the long run it's the easiest way to maintain an edge and it probably pays better too. You rent them.

  5. LALawnboy

    LALawnboy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 457

    ive always trimmed back bed edges with the trimmer, holding it the same way that i would when edging sidewalks. just take your time if you don't like the results you're getting; sometimes i'll get going real fast and have to come back and touch up because i was careless. however, if you're having to define a bed edge, a bed edger would be the better choice.
  6. Dashunde

    Dashunde LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 638

    Somebody should tinker with some stick edger blades to see if there is a shape that works real well within a bed.
    In other words, it would be real nice if the blade would sorta guide itself around the inside of the edge without cutting into the edge.
  7. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,940

    I use a Stihl FS85 for trimming, and a Stihl FC85 for edging (stick edger) along beds. I make the first pass with the trimmer, then follow with the edger, making a vertical cut. I never use the edger against sidewalks or driveways -- homeowners don't seem to like that look. The string trimmer is used for the walks/drive edges, held about 60-70 degrees from horizontal.

    Unless the edge is very good, deep, well defined, I find that I cannot do a good job with the string trimmer on bed edges. But, the edger will clean up the edge very nicely.

    Yes, it takes time to do the two passes ....
  8. LALawnboy

    LALawnboy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 457

    why would you not use the edger for sidewalks? am i missing something here because i always edge a 90 degree angle, i dont lean the edger like this "/", when i edge it's more like this "l". i don't think my customers would really like an edge at say 60 degrees.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I do that with my trimmer and that is right, it is the best angle to have!

    For this following bit, hearing protection is not optional, you need to plug your ears or the noise will hurt you, anyway...
    To 'get' the angle, here is a learner's method that works awesome:
    - Rest the powerhead (the engine part) on your right shoulder, then let it 'drop' as straight down as you can and you should have that '/' angle. Just hold the rest of it with your two hands the way you usually do. You want it as steep as possible but it doesn't have to be completely vertical, anyway the shoulder trick gives you like a tripod effect with your shoulder + your 2 hands = a LOT of control.

    As for customers liking it, the edge comes out so defined and even, nobody has ever complained, I mean look at this:
    It's all around the house, all at that same angle, 100% even and 'perfect.'
    See the edge all the way to where the sidewalk curves and even after the edge disappears around the mulch beds you could swear you can still see it as the top angle forms a line...
  10. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,940

    LALawnBoy - One reason for not running an edger along sidewalks/driveways is the placement of sprinkler heads. Usually, they are placed at the edge and a stick edger would pass through where a sprinkler is located. The trimmer at the edge is not encumbered by the heads. Yes, one could stop/start around the heads with an edger, but the discontinuity would not be smooth.

    One other point is that rarely is the soil height for the turf, coincide with the concrete walk/drive. Even in the best of properties, the interface may be smooth, some places, the soil may be low, and other places, the soil level may be higher than the concrete. Each of those situation presents itself as its own challenge. The edge with an edger is really nice and sharp when the heights of the two sides are right, but not very good when the levels keep transitioning from one extreme to another.

    One other point is that in my neighborhoods, many driveways are asphalt. The edges of the drive/turf are not smooth, and an edger will not work. Many small stones from the asphalt makes trimming a hazardous task. The stones constantly come up and loose, and they get thrown against my legs.

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