Keeping lawn and border edges neat and tidy is an easy task with a lawn edger also known as a half-moon cutter or edging iron due to its shape.
Using an Edging Iron
Edging irons have a flat blade which makes it ideal for giving straight clean cuts to lawns. Treads on top of the blade allow you to apply pressure with your foot.
The blade is pushed into the lawn with the handle slightly towards you. This will make sure your edges do not crumble and fall away.
Although edging irons have treads it does not mean they can be used with the same pressure as spades. The neck will buckle if too much pressure is applied.
If any resistance is felt when applying pressure to the treads, withdraw the edging iron and
inspect the cut. It may be something as simple as a large stone that can be removed or a tree root that will need further evaluation. Either way to prevent damage to your edging iron the object must be removed.
What are they made off?
Stainless steel edging irons are a good option as it limits soil adhesion. Stainless edging irons are especially good for clay or very wet soils. Being stainless it’s rust resistant and so will require less maintenance. As with
most tools Stainless will be a more expensive option.
Carbon steel edging irons are stronger and cheaper than stainless steel but require more maintenance.
The shafts can be either wood, hollow metal or fibreglass. Handles are usually of the ‘T’ variety to enable even force to be applied.
Maintenance for Edging Irons
All edging irons should be washed off and allowed to dry before storing away. Carbon steel edging irons should be wiped over with an oily rag to prevent rust. Any rust that starts to form will make soil adhesion more of a problem when edging your lawn.
Metal handled shafts should be checked for chips and a rust inhibitor applied to prevent rust from forming. Wooden handled edging irons will need a light coating of boiled linseed oil if the shaft appears to be dry.
Because edging irons have a relatively thin sharpened blade, it’s inevitable that this will blunt through general use, hitting stones and other debris. At some point the blade will need to be sharpened.
Tips for your Edging Iron
If your edging iron came with a protective strip for the blade, make sure your put it back on before you store it away. This will prevent injury to you and protect the blade.
To cut straight edges a piece of floor board or similar can be laid on the lawn to give a good guide. Similarly a piece of string between two stakes can be used.
For curves, lay a piece of rope or hose pipe on the lawn first. This will allow you to stand back and make sure you are happy with the shape you are going to cut.