Trimming vs Edging

Trimming and edging are two different techniques that are often improperly defined as one in the same. Today, we want to help you understand the differences between the two and share a few tips on getting the most out of each of these handy landscape maintenance tasks.


Trimming performed with a string or line trimmer (a “weed whacker” to some) is recognized as horizontal cuts made to eliminate any unnecessary grass or weeds. Most commonly, you would perform trimming on any areas of your lawn that the mower can’t easily reach, such as around mailboxes, along the home’s exterior or fences, or near delicate trees and shrubs.

The number one problem that we see is trimming too low and scalping or burning the lawn. This can cause significant damage to your grass, so be sure to match the height of the rest of your lawn. Mowing first, then following it with a trim usually works best.

Another common problem that can cause trouble is nipping your sensitive plant material, opening wounds on the trunks, stems, or branches. This makes them susceptible to disease or insects, so take care not to get too close to your trees or shrubs.  Trimming can often result is minor damage to painted surfaces and wooden structures, though it’s usually just cosmetic.

Finally, remember to protect yourself from any flying debris by wearing eye protection, closed-toe shoes, and long pants.


Edging, is making vertical cuts along the perimeter of your lawn and along walkways for a clean grass line.  This can be done with a string trimmer or a blade edger that utilizes a metal cutting blade  Edging also is great for cutting outlines of areas where you’d like to install a new flower bed.

As with a trimmer, you’ll want to be careful not to get too close to plant material. Edgers are powerful and can cut through plastic edging, so imagine what they’ll do to your meticulously kept foliage or the roots of your trees.

Again, you’ll want to remember your protective gear, so grab your eye protection, closed-toe shoes, and long pants and get to it!

Trimming and edging are both necessary maintenance techniques to keep your landscape looking its best. If you’re unsure of what to do or prefer to leave the landscape maintenance to the pros, be sure to give the team at Hively a call and we’ll be happy to help! You can reach us at 717-292-5696.