Friday, April 14, 2006

People Are Always Asking Me

"How do you keep the grass out of your garden?"

The majority of my large beds have no edging. I like the look of nothing between the flower beds and the grass.

This look demands a good deal of effort to keep the grass out.

My favorite tools are not very expensive and not very glamorous.

Here they are

Just my foot and a straight-edged spade.

Most people think I must be crazy to hand-edge all of these beds three or four times each year. But it really is not that hard to do. Tonight I did over half of this bed in about half an hour (I still need to do the back side).

Last fall my friend (who is positive that I am totally NUTS to do this) brought his fancy gas-powered edger over to show me how fast it was. Sure enough it was fast. I think he did ALL of my beds in half an hour. But I didn't think it was nearly as nice as when I hand edge. I like to get right down in the dirt. As I bend over to pick up each piece, I find all sorts of I found 4 grubs that I removed and some little rocks that worked their way up. A few inches from the edge I removed 5 tiny dandelions -- oh, how I love to get those when they are small and I can easily get the whole root. I get quite a little thrill yanking those babies out!

I can see the allure of fancy edgers, but as long as I am healthy and able, I plan to continue hand-edging all of beds. Old habits die hard, I guess.


  1. Zoey I can't believe you edge 3-4 times a year. I do it once in the spring and then use my handy dandy edger thingys(They look like large sideways scissors) and go along once a week and do a haircut. Take about 10 minutes and look tidy and saves the hard work.

  2. Hi Sandy,
    I have to do more than a haircut or the grass roots will grow in! I can get away with doing it twice, now and the end of July, if my energy begins to wane as summer progresses. But I like to do it late in fall, too, so that it's easier to do when spring comes.

    Let's just say the most visible areas get the treatment 3-4 times -- others 2.

  3. I forgot to say that in many areas I have creeping phlox at the edge. If you have ever tried to get grass out of creeping phlox, you know you don't want to let it in there!

  4. You must not have very rocky soil. When I edge my beds the way you do, I hit a rock with almost every thrust of the spade. And I mean a rock at least as big as the palm of my hand. I spend at least as much time excavating rocks as I do cutting sod edges. And either I don't go over the edges in the exact same spot the following year, or more rocks migrate up. It never seems to improve.

  5. I do edge my smaller beds with my shovel and hoe. That may be why I have a sore heel. I also use my trusty weed whacker when I can't pull or dig out another weed.

  6. I hand edge too Zoey, but I do a haircut like Sandy and sometimes use the weedwacker to tidy the edges too. Works great. I try to edge in the fall as well as spring. I can't say I like the job though. I like the shape of that bed under the trees.

  7. I too am a die hard I use garden shears to do my edging at least once every 2nd week in order to get the short manicured look and then use my weed-eater in between. I like to just be out there without the noise of a piece of equipment. It takes me a few hours by the time I do it all but I don't mind and I do weeding at the same time.


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