February 7 - 13, 2016: Issue 250
Summer Garden Jobs: Pruning A Hedge
Summer jobs that need to be done around now, especially after all the recent rains we’ve had, include clearing paths of excess gum leaves, giving the lawn a mow after the lawn area has dried, and trimming hedges that are shooting new leaves in abandon presently making hedges look scruffy.
Established hedges are best trimmed at the beginning of Spring when new growth appears and, if flowering ones, after they have finished towards the end of Summer – you don’t want to lose all that lovely perfumed Summer air.
New hedges require tip-pruning more regularly for the first few years prior to reaching the final height you want them at. Doing this will encourage thick healthy growth and helps establish an attractive formal hedge. If you keep some of these pruned trimmings for cuttings you have established plants ready to fill in any gaps that may appear in a growing hedge.
Our hedge - showing a lot of untidy Summer growth
• Hand shears – These are the best choice for the home gardener as for many they allow better control to achieve a closer and cleaner cut on branches, are safe and quiet and will not shred or tear branches and leaves.
• Ear muffs if using an electric trimmer
• Wheelbarrow or bucket for trimmed parts
• Mulching bin/compost bin to reuse refuse
• Insecticide: hedges may attract ticks in our area – it is a good idea to be safe rather than sorry and apply a good tick deterrent before stepping into the garden, especially during Summer. There are options that will not require you spraying yourself with chemicals. Some recommend placing Rose geranium oil on animals that venture into the garden, and this would not be harmful to humans either as long as you mix it with water – around 10 drops to 150ml is the standard. Others recommend eucalyptus, tea-tree, lavender, cinnamon, cloves, peppermint, and lemon oils. Always ensure you follow the instructions for use and perhaps put more water into the spray bottle essential oil mix than recommended. As ticks are food for birds etc. you won’t be poisoning the rest of the environment either.
• Wearing a light coloured long sleeved shirt can also help as you can more easily see any ticks on you. Once you are done change clothes as they may stay in folds of jeans/shorts, shirts etc and bite you hours afterwards. Wash the gardening clothes before using again.
Pruning Hedge steps:
1. Trim out all dead or diseased branches, cutting off as close to the main stem of the shrub as possible. Pruning these allows new growth from the base and middle of the shrub, and light can get in to the inner branches.
2. Place the stakes at either end of the section of hedge to be trimmed and set the guide line at the desired finished height of the hedge. This also makes it easier to create a neat straight edge when pruning a hedge. If you prefer a rounded softer looking hedge you may still employ this method and ‘shape’ the edges rounder once trimmed to the desired height and width. If you do make a mistake, don’t panic – hedges, like hair, will grow back!
3. Beginning along the top, start shaping your hedge using the guide line. Work your way to the other end creating a neat flat top all the way along your hedge. If your hedge is tall use a ladder for this, an A-frame one is safest rather than one you lean against the hedge. When trimming with electric shears ensure you use a smooth even when cutting – keep the trimmer horizontal so you have an even line.
5. End edges are best left to last.
6. Once completed gather up the hedge trimmings left on top of and around the hedge, making sure to brush all trimmings off the top of the hedge- leaving these to rot may cause problems for the growing surface. A rake is a good way to remove all excess trimmings from the hedge.
7. Trimmed refuse can be added to a compost pile to feed the rest of your garden when it has broken down more.
8. It’s a good idea to Feed and Mulch hedge plants after pruning to encourage plant health and new growth. A slow release fertiliser supported by thick mulch around the base of the plants ensures good year round hedge health.
Products advice is available from the trained friendly staff at Mona Vale and Avalon Johnson Brothers Mitre 10.
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Previous DIY Pages:
Decking Timbers Caring For Your Deck Decking Finishes Privacy Screens I Privacy Screens II Privacy Screening Hardwoods Autumn Paths and Lawns Insulation Batts Plasterboard Ventilation - Edmond's Ecofan Blackboards for Children and Home Spring Lawn Care Shade Sails & Watering Basic DIY Tools DIY Tools - Power Drills Recycle Your Trampoline into An Air Bed How to Build Your Own Backyard Cricket Pitch Christmas Lights Displays around House and Garden Summer Mildew - Refresh, Renew How to Fix Things That Drip and Bump in the Night Time To Plant Winter Vegetables â Raised Garden Beds Layout Organsing Your Tool Shed Make Your Own Weathervane Installing A Garden Watering System Decking Oils How To Make Garden Compost How To Winter proof Your Lawn How to create Shabby Chic effect on Timber Furniture How to Build Your Own Raised Garden Bed Growing Your Own Winter Vegetables Winter Heating Guide Prepare Your Yard For Winter Eradicating Noxious Weeds From Your Yard How to Fix Furniture Finishes Part I How to Repair Scratches, Dings, and Dents of Furniture Surfaces - Part II Winter Draughts Fix Classic Wooden Tool Carrier Spring Garden Checklist Part I Install Your Own Skylight Retaining Walls for Saving Soil and New Spring Garden Beds DIY Summer Salad Garden Native Plant Garden for A Fairy Arbour Renewing Short Flight of Exterior Stairs Deck Maintenance DIY Summer Tasks You Can Do In Time to Get to the Beach Garden Ponds for Attracting Birdlife, Dragonflies and for the Soothing Sounds of Water The Salt Air Factor: Maintenance and Protection Creating an Outdoor Dining Arbour, Gazebo or Patio - Part I Creating an Outdor Dining Arbour, Gazebo or Patio Part II Autumn Garden Tasks Autumn DIY Jobs: Waterproof Your Home Checklist Dealing With Dampness Inside the Home Fixing Your Fence Repairing and Replacing Damaged Decking boards DIY Toy Box and Snow Globes: School Holidays Fun - Winter 2015 DIY Wooden Toy Cars and Perfect Painted Flowerpots: School Holiday Fun - Winter 2015 Shoring Up an Under House Earth Bank – Installing a Basic Retaining Wall DIY One Shelf Sideboard Early Spring 2015 Garden Care Salad Garden For Children Keeping Your Garden and Home Cool in Hot Weather Classic Beach Garden and Camping Chairs 3 Portable Versions Anyone Can Make DIY Outdoor Furniture Mark I: Park Benches for Your Garden Make Your Own Scooter or Skateboard: Summer 2016 Fun How to Install a Solid Core Door and Door Furniture
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