Gone are the days when homeowners and realtors had to hire landscaping companies to maintain their hedges. Advancement in technology led to development of a broad range of hedge trimmers that make the task of maintaining hedges easy and fun. Just like any other powerful tool, you need to run the ropes before you start using it. Otherwise, you may end up injuring yourself.
Here are tips from expert landscapers who have years of experience on how to use a hedge trimmer properly.
Learn the Basics
Remember the first time you went to a driving school? Of course, the instructor did not immediately allow you to hop into the car and start driving, right? The same case applies to using a hedge trimmer, you need to first learn and master the safety measures such as feet, hand, and eyes protection before you start using it.
Make sure that you wear protective clothing and confirm that the extension and power cord are firmly positioned in the right place. The blades should be well lubricated before you start trimming to ease the process. They should also be lubricated after the task to prevent corrosion.
More importantly, inspect the hedge to be sure that there are no obstructions that could pose a danger to you or damage the blades.
Decide the Hedge Design You Want
There is absolutely no limit on the type of hedge design you can come up with using a hedge trimmer. Check out Pinterest and other landscaping websites for ideas. For example, you can choose a design that channels attention to the focal point in your outdoor space. A low hedge can also act as a border around your property.
Connect it to a Power Socket
There is gas powered models but the most common and popular ones run on electricity. Connect the hedge trimmer to the power socket before turning it on. In fact, you should only turn on the trimmer when you are ready to start. Make sure that the extension cord is complete, safety-rated, and long enough to cover the entire length of the hedge. If not, you will have to rely on an extension cord to cover the entire area.
Start from the Bottom
It is recommendable to start trimming the hedge from the bottom up to get even results. Make sure that you are not applying too much pressure on the trimmer and be keen on the depth of your trim. If you go too deep, the hedge will end up looking uneven. The point we are trying to put across is that you should not force the trimmer, let is do the hard work for you. Your role is to guide it through the process and apply a sweeping action when shaping the thin branches.
Working on the Hedge Sides
To achieve the desired shape, you need to apply a little finesse when trimming the sides of your hedge. Most of the hedges are wide at the bottom and narrow at the top. Based on this fact, you need to make sure that you trim the sides at a specific angle to revamp its look and ensure ample sunlight penetrate deep into the hedge. You are guaranteed a steady growth if the hedge root system gets enough sunlight.
Working on the Top Section
The top section is one of the most conspicuous parts of your hedge. Most people are hesitant to work on the top due to the fear of ruining the whole section. The secret to doing it right is holding the equipment at a level position and moving it from left to right gently. Concentrate, be patient, and only trim several inches at a go to achieve an even cut.
As mentioned earlier, you should start from the bottom, and so the top part will be the last one you trim. You can also tie strings across the tops to guide you through the process. Once you complete the process, step and look at the hedge to see if there are is any excessive growth.
Clean the Hedge Trimmer Often
Sap, dirt, and residue will accumulate on the blade and other parts of the trimmer over time. These forms of debris reduce the effectiveness of the blades and reduce their longevity. You can avoid these challenges by regularly cleaning it use a safe resin cleaning solvent. Once you are satisfied with the results, wipe of the resin solvent and lubricate the blades.
Blades Should Always be Sharp
Like any other cutting tool, the blades will eventually become blunt. Ensure that the hedge trimmer blades are always sharp to ease the trimming process. You can do this yourself using simple tool such as flat file or you can hire a service provider. If you decide to do it yourself, make sure that you move the file in one direction, forward, and lift it when moving it backwards. Remember to use whetstone to smoothen any depressions that may have developed when filing.
Once you are done trimming the hedge, you need to clean up the area to exhume the newly achieved look. Use a rack to collect all the debris in one location then collect and dispose them. If you have a home garden, you can use the debris as a mulch.
Alternatively, you can place an extensive garden sheet around the hedge. The cuttings will land on the sheet thereby saving time that you would have spent using a rack to clean up. The clippings at the top rea will have to picked by hand.
The above nine tips will help you to get the most out of your hedge trimmer. Virtually all manufacturers provide a user’s manual that you can read to get more insights on how to use and maintaining the tool. When shopping, make sure that you get a warranty to save money on repairs and maintenance. Also, reviews from customers who have purchased the product in the past can help you to make the right choice.