Summer Gardening – Trimming and Pruning Hedges

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,823
    National Gardening Association expert Katherine Whiteside discusses the top tips for trimming and pruning hedges. Learn the differences between formal and informal trimming and have a stellar looking yard!

    Katherine Whiteside: Hi, I am Katherine Whiteside, the author of six garden books and a volunteer for the National Gardening Association. We're here at Oatlands in Leesburg Virginia, and today we're going to talk to you about how to hedge your bets in your garden. There is lots of different ways to add hedges to your gardens and lots of different hedges, you can have one that's tall, you can have one that's short you can have a fluffy informal hedge, or you can have a nicely clipped formal hedge.

    Whatever you do, think of a hedge as a wall or even a semi-wall to provide architecture in your garden. You can plant a hedge to provide privacy. You can plant a hedge to make rooms within your garden, and you can even plant to hedge and cut a doorway through it, so you move from one section of your garden to the other. Whether you have a formal or an informal hedge, you're going to need to prune it now and then. I recommend that you have three types to tools.

    For the first cut use a battery powered hedge trimmer to get the rough job done. Then go in with a manual hedge trimmer to neaten it up and finally for those stray snips, use a small, but sturdy pair of hand pruners. To keep your lines crisp on a formal hedge, set up two stakes with the string in-between it, use the line in-between the stakes as a guide to keep your movements straight. Now if you happen to have a hedge is gotten out of control.

    Set up your strings so that how high you want the height to be eventually, but only cut the hedge back by one third each year, that way you avoid dieback. Save your major hedge trimming jobs for either early in the spring or late in the fall, but feel free to manicure your hedges all through the season using your hand tools. Keep these tips in mind and your hedges will look great all year-round!