To trim grass around a vinyl fence, it’s actually best to mulch the area along your fence so grass doesn’t grow there. This will prevent you from damaging your fence because your trimmer string will not come into contact with the fence. Mark a grass-free zone 3–5 inches (7.5–13 cm) from the fence. Remove the grass in this strip. Next, install a garden border along this grass-free zone. Then, fill the grass-free area with mulch. Now, you can trim along the border without harming your fence.
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Will a String Trimmer Damage a Vinyl Fence?
String trimmers and weed eaters will damage vinyl fences if the trimming string comes in contact with the vinyl. In fact, string trimmers will damage wood and metal fences as well. In order to make sure your vinyl fence panels do not end up grass-stained and damaged by your string trimmer, keep the trimmer a safe distance away from the fence. It’s best to make sure the string never hits your vinyl fence.
- String trimmers can damage, score, and stain vinyl fences.
- The best way to make sure your vinyl fence is not damaged by a trimmer is to remove the grass growing close to your fence.
- Our process will help prevent damage to your fence.
If grass is currently growing long right along your vinyl fence and the fence is too low for you to pass the trimmer underneath the fence, follow our steps below. We’ll walk you through how to protect your fence so it never gets damaged by a string trimmer.
5 Steps to Trim Grass Along a Vinyl Fence
Since there is no good way to protect vinyl fencing from the tools used for trimming grass, it’s essential to make a no-grass zone along your entire fence. This may seem difficult at first, but it’s actually simple. Here’s how to do it:
Mark a No-Grass Zone Along Your Fence
Begin by creating a zone along your fence where grass will be removed and later prohibited from growing. To do this, start at one end of your fence. Measure out from your fence 3–5 inches (7.5–13 cm) and drive a small stake into the ground. Then, move to the other end of the fence and repeat this process. Tie a string between these stakes. All the grass between the string and the fence will be removed in the later steps.
- Begin at one end of the fence.
- Measure 3–5 inches (7.5–13 cm) from the fence.
- Drive a stake into the ground at the point you measured.
- Move to the opposite end of the fence and repeat the steps above.
- Tie a string between the two stakes.
- Repeat for the opposite side of the fence, so you can trim the grass on both sides.
If possible, measure and mark a no-grass zone on both sides of the fence. This is essential if you are responsible for maintaining the grass on either side of the fence. If the other side of the fence is maintained by a neighbor, coordinate with them. They may be willing to help with the job so that they can maintain the fence on their side of the property line as well.
Remove Grass Along the Fence
Now that you have the no-grass zone marked off along your fence, it’s time to remove the grass growing there. To do this, use a shovel to remove the grass and thatch layer. Dig 2–4 inches (5–10 cm) deep along the fence. Remove the grass on either side of the fence and dispose of it as green waste.
- Use a shovel to dig up and remove the grass growing inside the no-grass zone you marked in step one.
- Dig 2–4 inches (5–10 cm) deep to fully remove the grass along with the thatch and roots.
- Make sure to remove grass growing directly under the fence as well.
- Follow the straight line marked by your stakes and string to create a professional look on either side of your fence.
Make sure to remove any grass growing directly under the fence as well. The end result should be a strip of bare soil that extends at least 3 inches (7.5 cm) on either side of the fence. By removing the grass here and keeping grass out of this area, you can keep your lawn neat without damaging your white vinyl fence.
Install a Border
Now that you’ve created a no-grass zone, it’s time to prevent grass from creeping back into this area. For this reason, a landscaping border is essential. We prefer heavy-duty plastic or metal garden borders for this job. Choose whatever look you prefer and install the border along the straight line you dug in step two.
- Install this garden border along the straight line you dug on either side of your fence.
- A border prevents grass from sending runners into the no-grass zone.
- Installing a border makes it easy for you to trim grass along this straight line in the future.
Most garden borders are very simple to install. Some designs are hammered directly into the ground, while others come with pegs to secure the border to the soil. Whichever style you choose, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install the border right where the grass stops and the excavated area begins.
Mulch the Area Along the Fence
Now that you have the garden border installed, fill the no-grass zone with a 2–4-inch (5–10 cm) layer of garden mulch. This mulch layer will prevent grass and weeds from sprouting in the no-grass zone. It will also provide a professional finished look. As an added bonus, the border will help prevent the mulch from spilling out onto your lawn.
- Spread a layer of mulch 2–4 inches deep (5–10 cm) in the no-grass zone.
- Distribute the mulch evenly on either side of the fence, as well as directly underneath the fence.
- The border installed in the previous step will prevent mulch from escaping this area and mixing with your grass.
- Avoid using gravel or rock mulch—it can be flung back up at you by a mower or string trimmer.
- Bark mulch, wood chips, nut hulls, and rubber mulch all make great options for mulching a no-grass zone.
The type of mulch you use is up to you. However, since you will be using a mower and/or trimmer along this area, we advise against using gravel mulch. String trimmers and mowers can send small rocks flying at dangerously high speeds. Bark mulch and rubber mulch are the best choices for keeping grass from growing along your fence.
Mow and Trim Along the Border
Now that your no-grass zone is established, you can easily trim the grass without damaging your vinyl fence. Mow the grass up to 2 inches (5 cm) from the garden border. Then, use a string trimmer to trim the grass right along the border. Because of the no-grass zone between the border and the fence, you’ll be able to cut your grass quickly without damaging your fence at all.
- Mow the grass up to 2 inches (5 cm) away from the garden border.
- Trim the grass along the border with a string trimmer.
- The mulched area between the border and the fence will protect your fence from being damaged by your trimmer.
- Replenish the mulch annually to keep grass from growing up around your fence.
To maintain your no-grass zone, keep an eye out for grass and weeds that attempt to grow through the mulch. Pull these out from the roots when they first appear. Then, replenish the mulch yearly to maintain a thick layer that suppresses weed and grass growth.
How Do You Cut Grass Without Damaging Your Vinyl Fence?
The best way to maintain your yard without causing visible damage to your vinyl fence is by removing the grass a few inches on either side of your fence. Here’s how to do it:
- Mark a straight line on either side of your fence, 3–5 inches (7.5–13 cm) from the fence.
- Use a shovel to dig up the grass inside the lines you marked.
- Install garden borders along the edges of the area where you removed the grass.
- Fill the grass-free area with mulch.
- Mow and edge along the grass-free area, a safe distance from your fence.
This is the most effective way to maintain the look of your vinyl fence posts and slats. This same system can also be used to protect a metal or wood fence from trimmer damage.