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    Hedge Trimming

    Hedges are common place in many English gardens nowadays, if looked after well they can form an absolutely wonderful border to your home, but the problem is, very few people actually know how to tend to the hedges properly. As a result they end up looking odd and they lose their shape. The good thing however is that keeping your hedges looking great doesn't take too much effort.

    So when should you trim your hedge? Well, if it is an evergreen hedge then it will only need to be pruned two to three times a year. However, if the hedge is growing fast then it is important to cut back slightly more often. If you have an informal hedge then you will need to decide when the best time to prune it would be. For example, those that flower Lavender or Roses would be pruned in mid-spring whilst Deutzia and Forsythia will be cut back as soon as the previous bloom has gone.

    Trimming hedge isn't too difficult and won't actually need many tools to keep it looking great. If you have just a short hedge then a pair of hand shears should be more than suffice. However, if you are looking to cover a slightly wider area then your only option will be a hedge trimmer which makes the job much easier and go by so much quicker.

    If you are using hand shears then ensure that you regularly sharpen the tool. You can do this yourself quite easily or take it to your local DIY store. Most of them will provide a sharpening service for you.

    If you are using a hedge trimmer then you will need to plug it into an RCD adapter so that the circuit will trip should anything go wrong with it. In addition to that you will also need to wear suitable protective equipment as handling one of these can be very dangerous if you are not careful. Let's take a little look at how you can use these tools to craft your perfect hedge. For now I will assume you know what style of hedge you own.

    Let's start with formal hedges. Firstly you will need to take your hand shears or hedge trimmer and prune along the flat at the top of the hedge. You should then easily be able to cut it down by eye. Once this has been completed you can cut down the sides. You will want to ensure that the top of the hedge is narrower than the bottom of it.

    If you have an informal hedge then most of the time you are going to want them to grow naturally as the shape is stunning. However, you will need to use a pair of secateurs to trim it down every so often i.e. any branches which are growing slightly too fast. It is also important to remove some stems in order to allow others to thrive.

    Finally, if you have a dwarf hedge (i.e. a low lying one) you will need to put a stake on either side and run string along the top. This will enable you to cut it down 'straight' and thus help retain the look. This is a technique which also works well when you are cutting formal hedges.

    Once you have the right shape there isn't much you need to do in order to keep your hedge looking great. Just ensure you provide it with adequate feed and water and it should thrive.



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