So you only have a short time before guests or family members are coming over and you want your gardens to look their best. It’s obviously too late for a total make over. What’s the number one thing you should prioritize to have the highest impact?
Head to the shed, get out your flat-point shovel, and prepare to get the edge. Edging your garden beds is an amazing way to make your garden beds instantly look refined by being “defined”. A crisp new edge tells any visitor that your garden is loved and cared for, and there must be something good going on. It is quite remarkable how much of a difference edging makes in the immediate appearance. Fresh edging makes it look new. It’s very noticeable to everyone (even a non-discerning gardener) that the garden seems well kempt even if other elements are not up to par.
Here are some tips on the easiest ways to get the edge:
Don’t go to extremes. Create a new garden bed edge line that is only 1 to 3 inches farther out into the turf. If you start digging up huge clumps of sod, you’ll never finish in time. Plus you’ll be buzz kill for your guests since you’ll likely be exhausted and fall asleep before the appetizers are even over.
Clear the debris. Use a flat-point shovel to cut the edge. Go straight down 3 to 4 inches. Lightly jack up the soil but don’t flip it into the garden bed. Leave it in the trench. Once your total edge line has been cut, you’re ready to come back using a Mattock (a long-handled pick-ax). Use a hoeing motion to pull the cut sod and soil out of the trench and into the grass. Use a leaf or garden rake to create quick and easy piles. Pick up the sod and debris by hand and toss into your wheelbarrow. Place the good soil into your compost pile. Go back and gently rake out the remaining soil so it disappears into your turf.
Finish with mulch. If you’ve recently mulched and have a generous top coating, you may only need to rake some off the top into the newly created trough. If not, it’s great to grab a few bags of mulch (or whatever you have left over if you had it delivered) and freshen up the edging.
Your guests will assume you’ve been spending hours out in the garden making it special just for the honor of their visit. You don’t have to admit to them that all you did was get the edge.