The Complete Guide to Hedge Trimming at Home

Hello and welcome green thumbs, Christian here from 321 garden .com And we are going
to teach you, how to do hedge trimming. To allow yourself the best results possible
you will require the following tools, Bin, Orchard Ladder, Rake, Jerry can with mixed
gas, lubrication, Hedge trimmer, Blower, Gloves, eye protection and ear protection. Using the right tools will save you time and
ultimately help you do a better job. Before you begin trimming your hedges, It
is very important to know what your desired end look is. Are you going for a formal or informal look
and feel? A formal hedge has straight lines either perfectly
square or perfectly curved lines just like a traditional French garden. With the hedge we are trimming we have decided
to trim back the hedge to the edge of the sidewalk and trim 8” to 10” inches off
of the inside of the hedge opening up more of the garden beds below. This Laurel hedge has grown much more in the
open sunlight versus the section of hedge growing under the tree. If your hedge is at the desired height use
your lowest spot as your height marker for the entire hedge to allow the final height
to be level. It is ideal to get a closer look at the inside
of the hedge. Gently pull the hedge apart to look inside
and see how far the growth goes inside the hedge. With this Laurel we can cut it back as far
as we like and it will grow back but in the case of a Cedar hedge you can not cut past
the growth as it is likely to never grow back. If the hedge has been trimmed in the past
you will be able to see the cut marks and the new growth. This laurel hedge is trimmed once a year and
will grow as much as 2 feet per year. Most owners of Laurel hedges recommend trimming
the hedge 2 times per year to allow for a more shaply hedge. The 2 best times to trim the Laurel hedge
is in June and then again at the end of October. By trimming the hedge in the late fall your
hedge will stop growing and keep looking great all through the winter months. Preparing Equipment:
From years of experience we have learned that it is way more cost effective and much more
straight forward to use a gas powered hedge trimmer versus an electric one which is low
in power and often difficult being attached to a cable running down the driveway. A gas powered hedge trimmer can be rented
at any equipment rental place or you can always opt to purchase your own. If so make sure you pay a little bit more
now and purchase a good quality unit. The fuel required for the hedge trimmer needs
to be mixed with 2 stroke oil. Most of the equipment rental places will supply
you with a mixed can or help you mix your own can. Open your mixed gas can and fill the fuel
tank, then shut the gas cap tightly. Now you can lubricate the cutting blades of
the hedge trimmer. Give a good spray to both sides of the cutting
blades. Now we can start the hedge trimmer. First is to prime the engine. Push in the little clear plastic bubble 5
to 10 times, to make sure the engine is well primed. Now flick the choke switch to the choke setting. Turn the machine switch to on. With your weight on the machine you can now
pull the pull cord a few times till the engine turns over. Now turn the choke setting to run and then
pull the pull cord again and the hedge trimmer should be ready to go. Give a few pulls on the throttle and let the
machine warm up. Putting on your protection
Totally essential is the use of eye protection and ear protection. You never know if twigs or debris will be
thrown your way. So always play it safe. Trimming
It is important that you get comfortable holding and working with the hedge trimmer. Hold the trimmer with both hands, making sure
you get a good grip on the handle and pole of the trimmer. Try pulling the finger throttle a few times
and also practice setting and unsetting the running lock which allows the machine to run
without having to keep your finger on the throttle the whole time.  This can be very helpful as it allows you
more flexibility and use of the hedge trimmer. Please take note that when you use the running
lock that you are aware of your surroundings and especially the cutting end of the hedge
trimmer as we want to stay calm at all times and eliminate accidents. Now that you are running and holding the trimmer. There are a few essential techniques. Always try to keep your elbows into your sides
to keep a solid stance. Try pivoting the trimmer cutting blades forward
up and down in a controlled motion. Once you get the motion you are ready to start
trimming the hedge. However before we start lets review
When trimming a hedge we like to start by trimming the sides and then the top
In order to get a straight sided hedge there are a few ways to do it. You can use marker poles as a guide or if
the hedge is not to long as our Laurel hedge we should be able to cut by eye, stepping
back occasionally to review our work. We have found it helpful to have a visual
marker may it be a window of a house or a tree branch we can use the visual marker to
keep our cuts on track. Ok lets get started
It is much easier to trim a hedge starting from right going to the left. So start by trimming the bottom right corner
of the hedge trimming within 2 inches of the goal depth trim. Slowly and with your elbows into your body
move the hedge trimmers blade end, up and down along the hedge keeping the cutting blades
flat to the hedge and away from yourself. At regular intervals it is essntial to stand
back and make sure the cut is lining up properly. Keep working your way along the side of the
hedge. With Laurel hedges large leafs you may find
it helpful to use a gentle turning of your wrists to allow the cutting blades of the
hedge trimmer to cut the stem of leaves that you find difficult to cut. Trim a straight line all the way to the top
of the hedge. Once you have finished one side of the hedge
you can start on the other side if required. Again making sure that you start on the other
corner of the hedge always going right to left. On this side we have the sidewalk as the guide
which makes it much easier. After you have done the sides I like to be
extra pickey and slowly trim over the sides checking the smoothness taking any leafs that
are outside of the imaginary but ideal hedge boundary. Now that we have both sides done we can tackle
the top of the hedge. It is always best if you can avoid leaning
into the hedge. You could fall through but also it can mess
up the newly trimmed shape. Depending on the height of your hedge you
can often use your orchard ladder as a guide to help you keep the correct level. If the hedge is within standing height bring
the trimmer up to shoulder height using the weight of the hedge trimmer to counter balance
the side to side motion of your trimming. Once you have started cutting into the top
of the hedge. Step back after you move every 2 or 3 feet
further to recheck the level of the finished trimming height. You can also use the hedge trimmer itself
as a level guide placing the back end of the hedge trimmer on the top of the hedge and
sweeping back and forth to bring the hedge to the required level. Ladder use When you come to a point where the ladder
is required, please make sure that you are using the correct Orchard ladder for the job
and stay safely below the last 2 top rungs of the ladder. Again the ladder can be rented from the same
equipment rental company as the hedge trimmer. When setting up your ladder placement is essential. Again it is easier to cut from right to left
so place your orchard ladder step side to the right and its pole to the left. This will allow an open space to work from. It is also important to know a simple rule
for setting the correct safe angle of the ladder. By standing with your feet at the base of
the ladder facing forward outreach your arm and it should just be touching the ladder. Adjust accordingly. Also make sure that the pole of the ladder
is firmly in the ground and all debris are removed from under it. Practice walking up and down the ladder with
the hedge trimmer not running first to get the feel for it. Keep your body centered on the ladder and
avoid any leaning off the side of the ladder. Hold the trimmer in a comfortable position
ideally around hip height, smoothly rotating side to side. As you go you can idal the hedge trimmer and
pick off the cut branches and drop them to the ground. It is also possible to use the hedge trimmer
as a tool for pushing off bigger cut branches, you will need to go up the ladder at each
section with a rake to get the majority of the cuttings off the top of the hedge. As the raking of the top of the hedge can
often cause other stems or branches to stick up now ruining out straight lines you can
return with the trimmer for minor touch ups. As you will need to move the ladder every
2 or 3 feet remember to step back and get a clear look on how the level is coming along. Once you have made it to the end of the trimming,
there is still 2 more details to trim. Now is when we gentle round the top corner
edge of the hedge as well as round out the bottom edge of the hedge giving a clean line
against the garden bed or sidewalk. With the hedge trimmer hold it on an angle
and slowly walk from right to left gently curving the top edge and then finally the
bottom edge. Clean up. Now that we have completed all final detailing
of the trimming of the hedge we can now do the clean up. Raking into piles and raking out all old and
dead leafs that have built up inside the hedge. We can now either put the clippings into brown
paper garden bags for the green waste to pick up or by taking the debris to the local green
waste station. Hopefully you own a truck. Conclusion
So there you have it, with this advise you should be able to get out there and take on
the hedges in your yard. You can do a google search for a bark mulch
delivery service in your area or ask a local garden store for their advice on who to buy
mulch from and which mulch they would suggest for your garden. A pre delivery side note . we find it much
more difficult to shovel the mulch which has been a dumped on to a tarp vs shoveling right
off the street. The shovel can often get caught up or snagged
on the tarp increasing your risk of injury, a damaged tarp and a slower work flow. Also If your mulch is being dumped against
the street curb on a rainy day we would suggest that the first thing you do is to shovel your
mulch away from the curb. Create a channel along the street curb so
that the water can pass without taking all of your precious mulch away with it. If you do not have a piece of wood to use
as a ramp to get your wheel barrow up an down the curb, you can use the mulch to make your
own ramp. Shovel 3 or 4 scoops of the mulch against
the curb and stamp it down with your feet to make a solid ramp. You can test it with the wheel barrow first
to make sure it works. Section 4 Shoveling
When shoveling your mulch into the wheelbarrow it is important to make sure you do the shoveling
correctly to reduce a chance of injury. It is easier to shovel off the pavement that
to push the shovel into the top of the pile. Let the pile fall naturally to the pavement
and you will find it’s not as compacted and easier to shovel that way. Make sure to bend your knees, holding the
shovel with both hands, spacing your hands to within 6” of the end of the shovel to
allow for a solid stance. Once you have filled your wheelbarrow with
mulch take your shovel and place its handle on the inside of the wheelbarrows handles,
this will make manoevering around the garden a sinch. Section 3 : Preparing the garden beds
Before you’re ready to place the mulch in your garden beds, it is essential that you
do a through weeding and detailed raking to remove debris such as leaves and branches
from your garden beds. To keep the mulch from running off onto your
pathways and patio we like to make a trench along the edge of the garden bed and the pathways. Using a hand trowel push back the soil from
the edge of the pathway into the garden bed. Create a 2 inch lip to hold the new mulch
in place and stop the annoying spill outs. Once the garden weeding and preperation is
complete this is the time to either blow or sweep the pathways free of the dirt and debris. If you do this after the mulch is applied
it makes a mess of the beautiful clean garden. One last thing to do before we are ready for
top dressing with mulch is to do a good drenching of the garden beds first. This will help your garden beds stay moist
once the mulch in applied. It is best to use the shower setting on your
spray nozzle. Section 5 Installing the mulch
Manouver your wheelbarrow to the side of the garden bed you are starting with. It is important to shovel out of the wheelbarrow
by shoveling into the curved front end of the wheelbarrow to make shoveling most efficient. It is best to install the mulch from your
wheelbarrow using your shovel, especially around plants and shrubs. If you unintentionally dump a shovel of mulch
on one of your plants it is best to stop use your hand and clear the mulch off the plant. You can also gently pull up any branches or
leafs that have been covered with the mulch. If you have more open areas you can easily
dump the mulch with the wheel barrow and then spread the mulch around using a rake. Once you have applied the mulch you can now
go around and detail by either using your hands or a rake to gently move the mulch around
the plants and back from the trunks of trees. This is when you get to make the garden beds
look fantastic make sure you do not leave mounds of mulch as a smooth look is what we
are going for. You can do a final blowing or sweeping of
the pathways and street and you are done. You have now completed top dressing your garden
with mulch. And at the end of the day we consider the
installation of mulch to be the best money you can spend in your garden. Not only will the mulch help reduce your watering
needs by keeping the moisture in the soil, but the mulch will also reduce any new weed
growth and naturally break down to fertilize your garden.

19 thoughts on “The Complete Guide to Hedge Trimming at Home

  1. Nice comprehensive video. Very well done, thank you! And wish me luck this weekend when I tackle my overgrown hedge!

  2. A total thumbs up!. Thanks for sharing your years of rimming expertise.
    You covered all the fine points so well and quickly.
    Who wouldn't like this??

  3. Would have been a much better and less annoying Vid had you stuck to how to trim a hedge rather than all the condescending safety Drivel. Yes I know there are idiots out there but if they don't know safety from all the other places it is constantly rammed down people's throats, carrying on about it in this vid is not going to make any difference.

  4. Petrol (or gas as you call it there) is 'so yesterday!'
    Battery power for hedge trimmers is so much better now than you seem to indicate. I agree electric (with a lead) is not ideal, but again, just because it isn't "gas" it doesn't mean it lacks power.
    Battery gear & especially those produced that run at voltages around 54-58 volts is very capable & certainly beats mixing fuel (gas or petrol or whatever name of choice), but even 18v battery gear performs quite well too. Also, with a pole hedge trimmer that has an adjustable elbow, then why do 'weight lifting' with the hedge trimmer & instead hold the unit beside the body where it may be comfortable & adjust the trimmer head at the appropriate angle to trim the top, walking along each side to do it. Anyhow, that's my take on it.

  5. I love that you included safety reminders like wear glasses and ear protection. Thanks for an informative video.

  6. Very good! Like!

    Signed on your channel! Sign in to my channel to help too! Appreciate! Everyone helps each other and everyone wins. TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER! Big hug from Brazil


  7. I searched for "Hedge trimming for idiots" and this came up… I was not disappointed, in fact this idiot was particularly entertaining… If Hunter S Thomson was a gardener…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *