Green Fingers I Wish

Friday, September 19, 2008

Maintain Your Hedges

A well-maintained hedge provides a good, smart boundary to a garden, but if left unchecked, a hedge can soon lose its shape and end up casting unwanted shade. With a good pruning schedule you can keep hedges under control without too much effort

Most evergreen formal hedges like to be trimmed two or three times a year, while they are actively growing. Pruning informal hedges depends on when they flower. Lavender, fuchsia, roses and other plants that flower on the current year's wood are best pruned in early to mid-spring, while those that flower on old wood, such as forsythia, deutzia and berberis, should be pruned when the blooms fade.

Hand shears are fine for short runs of hedge, but if it is long, invest in an electric, battery or petrol-powered hedge trimmer. It will make light work of the job and won't leave you with tired arms. If you use an electric trimmer, make sure it is plugged into a safety socket fitted with a residual current device or circuit breaker, so that the engine will cut out if there's an accident. When trimming keep the cable away from the blade, ideally draped over one shoulder rather than trailing on the ground.


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