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Before and After: What 20 Minutes Looks Like (4) – Edging the Lawn

The ragged edge where our front lawn meets the sidewalk. I wonder how much effort it would take to even that up...

The ragged edge where our front lawn meets the sidewalk. I wonder how much effort it would take to even that up…

I don’t love lawns. In fact, I rationalize that grass is a crop I grow only to use as a mulch. Luckily, we live in a town where the socially-imposed lawn maintenance standard is “tidy but not fastidious.” Aesthetically speaking, I certainly enjoy how a well edged lawn looks but honestly, I have better things to do with my precious garden time. When our neighbor to the north had the front lawn nicely edged by the sidewalk, I was curious (and vain enough) to see how much effort would be required to replicate the effect on our lawn. Quick answer? Too much work. The neighbor employed a professional lawn service with a powerful machine driven edger. I had to make do with the tools I had on hand. They included a spade and an arm-powered edger (shown in the second photo.) This is what it looked before:

... It takes too much hard work for the effect, at least during this time of the year IMHO

… It takes too much hard work for the effect, at least during this time of the year IMHO


And this is what it looked like after just 10 minutes of rather intense work. I am tempted to include a difficulty rating for these articles about what 20 minutes of work looks like. This sod-busting was more similar to double-digging a bed than weeding. After clearing three sidewalk blocks, I was too tired to continue. I scooped up the sod scraps and used it to fill in a low spot left in the back yard where we’d removed a stump. I swept and fiddled to round out my 20 minutes. I will likely continue edging sometime later in the year, during those lazy days of full summer, once the seedlings are in and the beds are mulched.

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