Mow or edge your lawn first? Where do I start? Do I mow first, then whipper snip the edges? Or do I edges first and then mow? Does it even matter?
Ask this question on any social media lawn group or Google and you will likely get a variety of answers. There is, however, usually some consensus that one particular order is better than the other. But some believe that doing it the wrong way is the equivalent of hanging your toilet paper the wrong way! (There is a right way if you are wondering. The 124-year-old patent clearly shows the paper going up and over the roll rather than under!)
So, in this blog we dive into the why’s and why nots for whether to mow or edge your lawn first.
Let us state straight off the bat that the answer to this question is part preference and part logic (Although one man’s logic is another man’s crazy as they say). You can do whatever you would prefer to do with your lawn. It’s not really going to make a difference to plant health. What it will do, potentially, is affect the appearance of your lawn.
If you maintain a beautifully manicured lawn at a low height, mowing frequently sometimes more than once a week, then you are likely to mow first. You give the lawn a haircut and then you give it that crisp edge to finish it off.
If you are like most homeowners, although still taking pride in your patch, you are likely to mow weekly but only during the height of the growing season – then you will likely want to get the edges trimmed back with the whipper snipper first and then tidy it all up with the mower. Some then also finish it off with an edger.
So, if you are to ask us what should come first, we would say whipper snip. Then mow the lawn and if you have an edger then do the edge. Trim, mow, edge and blow.
What better way to clean things up than to blow away messy bits of clip that have found their way onto driveways and footpaths. Some even trim the edges and give it a blow before they mow as well – whatever makes you happy and provides the best result.
I’m exhausted just reading that last one. One for the triple cut enthusiasts, I guess.
For some of the purists out there asking, ‘but isn’t whipper snipping doing the edges?’ Well, you can edge with a whipper snipper but in most situations, you would be just using to trim the hard-to-reach corners and up against the fence and other surfaces where the mower can’t reach. What an edger can do is give that crisp line of separation by partially digging into the soil completely cutting a crisp edge to the grass. You can do this with a whipper snipper by turning the head vertically, but it is difficult to do this neatly. This is where a dedicated edger comes in handy.
Some people find that by trimming the edges first you are able to mow over the cut grass from the edges, which will leave the lawn clean of debris when finished. But if you don’t mind blowing these trimmings away afterwards, then it doesn’t really matter.
In some cases, we have seen people edge first. If you have a manicured lawn that is mown regularly and low, then there can be some benefit in doing this. The edge created will make a nice line for the mower to finish along ensuring that the grass cut height is kept nice and even right to the very edge. By doing the edges after mowing, sometimes you can find that the trimmed edges are not as uniform to the rest of the lawn.
Whatever gives you the result you are after, go with that.
Don’t forget to enjoy a beer when you are finished while you admire the results of your hard work.
For more information, you can check out our other mowing blogs here.