Get Pruning! Spring is around the corner, which means that now is the time to trim your hedges.
There are a few basic steps to stick to when trimming a hedge:
- Ideally, trim hedges regularly, a little bit at a time – the less you remove at once the healthier it is for the plants.
- Shape hedges so that the bottom is slightly wider than the top, so that sun is able to reach the bottom of the plants. This prevents bare patches and dead branches at the base.
- Start pruning on the sides of the hedges, which are easier to keep straight than the top.
- When trimming the top of the hedge, use builder’s line and pegs across the length of the hedge to keep your cuts straight – there’s nothing worse than a wavy hedge!
- Prune regularly every four to six weeks during the growing season, removing as little new growth as possible, while still maintaining the required shape and dimensions.
Before you get started, check that your pruning tools are disinfected, clean, sharp, and designed for the specific task at hand. This minimises damage and bruising to pruned stems. While standard hand shears will do the job, an electric or battery operated hedge trimmer takes the sweat out of it and produces a very neat hedge in no time at all.
Fertilising and care
To promote healthy green foliage, feed the hedge every six weeks during the growing season with a fertiliser blend that is high in nitrogen. Water during prolonged periods of little or no rainfall.