Trimming Around Flower Beds

Garden Maintenance

How to trim around flower beds

I am going to share my secret for trimming around a massive amount of flower beds...A lot of you know I have about 140 square feet of Garden around my house and Garage. 

And with each year those beds move and grow bigger. So I had to come up with a better plan.

Now using a nice lightweight trimmer stinks for us, because after a year or so the battery stops holding a charge long enough to trim everything, so we switched to a Gas powered model which works much better.

However, this does have its drawbacks too...

I use rock borders to outline my beds and no matter how long the string is, it does not get into the cracks, and the only way to really get rid of trailing weeds is to spray with weed killer or vinegar. (Vinegar changes the PH level of soil so nothing grows, but doing it next to flowers....not a good idea)


Move the rock and pull the weed. 

Or to put in sod which isn't happening until we get a backyard fence.

So lets try a different route. 

3 years ago, hubby bought a small blow torch that connects to a propane tank, and we use the torch to hover a flame for about 2 seconds around the edges of the border.(it was under $20)

How to trim around flower beds

Doing this is definitely not for the faint of heart! or if you use any other type of border that would be dangerous to put a 400 degree flame next too...

So be smart, please!

How to trim around flower beds

Usually when he is doing this, I have a rake or a shovel pushing back leaves and flowers that over hang to protect them. 

The heat will turn leaves yellow if you are hovering the torch in one spot for too long next to your bushes/flowers.

How to trim around flower beds

You also want to have to torch pointed STRAIGHT at the ground not on an angle towards your beds.

All you need to do is go at a snails pace, letting the torch hit the outline of your border for 2 seconds and keep walking.

You do NOT have to keep it in one spot until everything turns black. In a few hours you will see the weeds turn yellow/brown and die.

How to trim around flower beds

The mulch we use is simple dark brown mulch bought at a typical Home Improvement store and it never catches fire, but aiming this way puts it too far into the flower bed next to things I don't want to kill.

I also always have a water hose nearby just in case. Now why go to all the extreme?

Because doing this accomplishes a few things.

This method lasts for 6 to 8 weeks. Yes minimum 6 weeks no trimming!

Later in the season when we do have to trim, it will go much faster this time.

How to trim around flower beds

Here are some tips if you want to do this method and get back to what's important instead of spending hours trimming:

Pay attention to where your torch is when it is LIT, this is a big A HA moment but it needs to be said!

Keep the kids and pets away.

I always water my beds first as a precaution.

We usually do this bright and early in the morning before the ground gets dry and hot. 

Use a rake, shovel or similar tool to pull leaves and branches away from the torch. Not your hands.

I have a water hose nearby, just in case.

Aim the nozzle straight down against the rocks not at a 45 degree angle

This is a 2 person job for safety. If you are having hubby to do this, your the hose whisperer and Kid/Pet watcher. Keep them at least 5 feet away.

You can use a small furniture or cart dolly to lug your propane tank around instead of carrying it. (Fully loaded those darn things get heavy after 25 minutes).

Never do this INSIDE your flower beds or near the house or anything else flammable! I know this goes without saying but I am saying it anyway. plus if you met my neighbor...

This tool is wonderful for those of you like me that have driveway cracks and get weeds there too

And my last tip....taking your propane tank to a U-Haul dealer to have it refilled, instead of the local gas station to switch them's half the cost, if not more! The last time we switched out tanks was $24 refill it is $10 approximately. Depending on your area. That's much cheaper!