How to Edge Flower Beds & Landscape Borders

Create a distinct look for your home and lawn by edging your landscape beds and trimming around trees, walls, and walks. Below are tips for using a string trimmer and edger to create manicured borders.

Creating borders with a string trimmer

Even with the maneuverability of zero-turn riding lawn mowers, you cannot create well-defined edges for landscape beds and around trees. When mowing your lawn, you should maintain a slight distance from ornamental beds and trees to avoid damaging plants and throwing mulch. Use a string trimmer to cut close to bed edges and level grass around those areas. Be careful to cut no more than 1/3 off the current grass height to avoid scalping and damaging grass.

Define landscape beds with an edger

Use an Edger to give landscape beds and paths a clean look and keep unwanted grass from impacting beds and walkways. Be advised that debris could be projected during the process - simply brush the excess debris into the beds or lawn. Be aware of utility or other lines that may be buried in your yard.

Other string trimmer uses

In addition to edging beds, string trimmers can be used to remove out-of-control grass and weeds in hard-to-reach places including ditches, under fences, and around tree bases. Be cautious when using a trimmer to trim around trees as the trunk could get damaged. Consider spreading mulch around the tree base to keep grass away from the trunk. When using a string trimmer to cut tall grass, make several slow passes and monitor the trimmer string length. After using the trimmer, wash it to remove clippings and debris buildup.


The MTD Genuine Parts Knowledge Center provides do-it-yourself instructions for performing many basic maintenance items, including replacing string trimmer line in a bump head trimmer and proper fuel mixing. If you find your machine has a bigger problem, use our service locator to find a qualified MTD service provider in your area.