We’re at hedge trimming time of year – the birds have flown their nests and the growth is slowing. Most species are trimmed at this time of year – the weather is still mild enough that the fresh cuts won’t be exposed to autumn/winter frosts and yet the plants have virtually stopped growing so you won’t be trimming it only to need to do it again in a month’s time.
- try to trim the hedge so that it’s slightly A shaped – it improves the stability of the hedge (so that the weight of winter snow is less likely to tip it over) and allows rainfall and sunshine to get to all parts of the plant
- start by pruning the top flat – either using your eye (stand back occasionally to check the levels) or put up canes and a string as a cutting guide
- make sure you brush off the trimmings to prevent fungal diseases as the trimmed stems rot
- get your shears sharpened once a year (our local ironmonger only charges £5)
- if you’re using electric trimmers, make sure they’re plugged into to a socket with a circuit breaker so they’ll cut out if you cut the cable. Keep the cable well away from the blade and wear googles and tough gloves
- after pruning, water and mulch the hedge, on both sides if you can, after you’ve cut it (not Yew, Box or Lavender which don’t like to have wet roots)
- if it sounds like a pallava, think how horrible a job painting a fence is – hedging is just so much better than fencing! We would say that wouldnt we, but it’s true
And finally, we can’t take our own advice on hedge trimming because our mature Escallonia hedge is flowering again even – here’s a photo taken on 21 Sept. It’s supposed to flower in June/July but here’s the evidence that with the right weather, it can repeat flower. Gorgeous!