Hedges are very multi-functional. They provide us with privacy, can create a border and become a wonderful garden feature, impacting the look of your garden. Nature has a habit of doing it’s own thing once the main growing season starts. For carefully pruned and manicured hedges, follow our guide to find out more:
If your hedges are quite newly planted, it’s best to wait a few years until they are well established. Cutting them back too soon could cause damage and prevent them from growing well, in the future. It’s OK to lightly prune them to size and shape in the first few years using pruning shears, but anything more harsh could be detrimental.
For larger well established hedges, it’s typical to trim them once, twice or even three times a year. The best time to perform a maintenance cut is between spring and summer. Trimming large hedges will be much quicker and easier with an electric hedge trimmer.
Commonly known as formal hedges, straight edges are the most popular choice for british gardens. They help to define boundaries and usually require a straightforward, top, back and sides type cut. For smaller hedges, it’s fine to do it by eye. Use an electric hedge trimmer and keep pausing to check the hedge is straight. For larger hedges, it becomes a little more complicated. It’s probably a good idea to use two wooden stakes in the ground at both ends of the hedge. Tie a piece of string at the height you are going to be cutting, pull it tight and use it as a guide for a straight even cut.
Similarly to the straight hedge, use string and garden canes or stakes to create a flat top. The taut string creates a guideline and it’s best to use your hedge trimmer in straight, sweeping movements. The flat sides are fairly simple to achieve with the use of garden canes. Make sure they are stood up straight, keep your trimmer aligned with them and cut from bottom to top.
You need to be quite creative to be able to achieve a circular hedge. It’s best to start approximately 3 inches from the top, keep your trimmer at an angle and move it away from you toward the top of the hedge. Repeat this motion all the way around. Keep checking as you go and you should be able to achieve an even finish. There’s no full proof way to perfect this shape, but a careful eye and a steady hand will help. You could always practise on a less important hedge first.
Some hedges are trimmed to represent animals and unusual shapes. This can be very difficult to achieve, but the best way is to use a mesh shaped how you want the hedge to look. Place the mesh around the hedge and use it as a guideline to shape it. You could use an electric trimmer, shears or even both for some parts. Regular trimming here is key as it helps the hedge to grow to the shape that you require.
Different types of hedges are better suited to different shapes, so it may be worth doing some research before you start. We have a wide range of quality gardening tools from well known brands that will help to create the perfect hedge shape for you and your garden. To browse the full range available here at SJ Tools click here.