Weed Whacking around Edges

To create a clean and defined edge along sidewalks, driveways, and flowerbeds with a weed whacker (also known as a string trimmer), you can utilize the following techniques:

Wear PPE

Start a job with proper safety equipment (i.e., ear plugs, glasses, gloves).

Safety check

Please be extra mindful of nearby cars, windows, and people since edging with a string trimmer does not provide the same level of debris control as it does when using it for trimming.

Adjust the trimmer height

Most weed whackers have an adjustable cutting height. Set the trimmer at an appropriate height (3-3.5″) to ensure it cuts the grass cleanly without damaging the surface or plants along the edge.

Proper Position

When you edge with a string trimmer by turning it on its side, you reduce its built-in ability to protect you from flying debris. The weed guard is designed to be used in a horizontal, not vertical orientation. Make sure that debris is directed away from you. String Trimmers generally rotate clockwise, but check first to be sure. Once you know the rotation, you can determine the best direction to hold your trimmer while edging. Holding the string trimmer in its usual position, rotate the shaft until the guard is up and you have a clear line of sight to the string. Notice that as you rotate it, the angle of the trimmer head changes. The goal is to get the trimmer head close to 90 degrees with the surface. To hold it, do not rest the trimmer shaft on your shoulder but in your hand with your arm upward near your shoulder, raising the back end of the string trimmer. Be mindful with gas-engine trimmers that you do not put the engine too close to your head to avoid burns. You will notice that this position will put the string at just about the 90-degree angle we are looking for. This position is surprisingly comfortable. The back end of the trimmer is simply resting on your hand. By holding the trimmer next to your shoulder, you can rest the shaft on your arm and significantly reduce back strain.

Maintain a consistent distance

Keep a consistent distance between the trimmer head and the edge you’re working on. This will help you achieve an even and uniform cut along the entire edge.

Take it slow and steady

Move the weed whacker along the edge at a controlled pace. Rushing can result in an uneven cut or cause you to miss spots. Take your time to ensure a clean and defined edge.

Overlap slightly

Similar to mowing, overlap each pass slightly with the previous one. This ensures that you don’t leave any untrimmed patches along the edge.

Trim at a regular interval

To maintain a well-defined edge, trim regularly. This prevents grass and weeds from creeping onto the sidewalk, driveway, or flowerbed. Aim for trimming at least once a month or more frequently if needed.

Be cautious near delicate plants

When trimming around flowerbeds or other delicate plants to, avoid damaging them. Slow down and use a lighter touch to prevent accidentally cutting or damaging the plants.

Clean up afterward

Once you’ve finished trimming, use a broom or blower to remove clippings or debris from the sidewalk, driveway, or flowerbed. This will give your landscape a polished and tidy appearance.

By following these techniques, you can achieve a clean and defined edge along sidewalks, driveways, and flowerbeds with a weed whacker, enhancing the overall appearance of your landscape.