Hedge Trimming for Beginners

Pruning or trimming your hedges is an important aspect of gardening and general property maintenance. It allows hedges to grow and stay in shape, providing a manicured appearance. Many seasoned gardeners are aware of the need to regularly trim their hedges, what equipment they should, and the best time to start trimming. Beginners, on the other hand, may struggle.

Trimming your hedges without basic knowledge and skills means you could end up doing more harm than good to your hedges. Much like a bad haircut, a bad trimming job can stunt the growth and way your hedge grows. As we are professional hedge trimmers, we know how to successfully trim a hedge. Read on to learn how best to trim your hedge as a beginner and the fundamentals of having healthy and established hedges.

Hedge Trimming


The basics of hedge trimming

Before you grab the cutting shears or electric hedge trimmer, you need to know the basics of hedge trimming such as why we trim hedges, when to do it and which hedges it’s best suited to.

What is hedge trimming?

Hedge trimming is the process of cutting or removing dead and overgrown branches, usually performed with shears or a hedge trimmer. It is done to allow new growth and to make hedges look tidy and neat.

When is the best time to trim?

Effective trimming does not only mean doing a good job, but also about knowing when is the best time to trim. Usually late winter to early spring is the best time to trim, however some hedges may need to be trimmed more often.

Should you trim new hedges?

Yes, new hedges require more attention during their formative years (the first two years). Regular formative trimming will ensure thick and healthy growth, which is important in establishing an attractive hedge.

Should you trim established hedges?

Most established hedges will require trimming about twice a year. It should be done once at the beginning of spring when there is new growth to remove stray branches and dead woods and allow sunlight to penetrate the inner branches. The next one is done at the beginning of summer to maintain its shape.

What tools should I use for hedge trimming?

When it comes to hedge trimming, there are multiple different tools you can use. Hand shears are usually the most popular amongst home gardeners and beginners as they are quiet, affordable and safer to use. Hedge trimmers, which can be petrol, electric and battery powered, are better if you are cutting a larger area and are more experienced with trimming.

You’ll also need safety equipment such as earmuffs, a respirator or mask, and gloves. It can be handy to have a rake and garbage bag on hand to manage any debris.

Best hedge trimming practices

Although trimming your hedge may be relatively straight forward, here are some recommended tips and tricks to follow to ensure that your trimming is successful!

1) Gather your tools

The first step to trimming your hedges is to ensure that your cutting tools are sharp, charged and ready to go. Blunt blades or cutting teeth can lead to tearing and give your hedge an uneven appearance. You also want to ensure that your tools are clean and ready to go, whether that means having a long enough extension cord, charged batteries or a sufficient level or petrol. Get into the habit of cleaning your tools after every hedge.

2) Begin with the dead or diseased branches

Now it’s time to get trimming! You want to start with the dead and diseased branches on your hedge first. This is because removing these branches will encourage new growth and enable light to enter the inner ears. After removing these branches, you will also be able to see the shape of the hedge easily and cut according to the healthy growth.

3) Cut branches clean

Cutting the branches clean refers to cutting close to the nodes of the branches or the trunk. This is because diseases can easily penetrate the stubs and can prevent an uneven appearance.

4) Regularly observe post-trim

After you’ve trimmed your hedges, it doesn’t mean the work is over! It’s best to check the condition of your hedge regularly as well as fertilising and applying mulch to encourage growth. Maintaining hedges may seem like a lot of work, especially during their formative stage. But once they are established, they require less attention. It just takes the right tools, patience, and careful planning to keep them healthy and attractive.

Learn more about hedge trimming

You can understand more hedge trimming by asking the experts! At Jim’s Mowing, we offer a comprehensive hedge trimming service so your hedges are healthy, growing and look fantastic! We can provide you with professional advice which is specific to your hedges and garden. Contact us today to learn more!

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