How to care for your hedges

A hedge can be thought of as the frame to the artwork that is your garden. However, it takes a bit of work and the right equipment to make sure the hedge lives up to the quality of the masterpiece it is framing.

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Regular trimming is important to keep established hedges dense, and the RHS gives useful tips on how to trim hedges, whether they are deciduous or evergreen.

If your hedge is newly planted, pruning in the first couple of years will be about establishing the right shape and getting a good, dense structure. Formative pruning like this is carried out in winter or spring.

Then, once your hedge is established, it is more likely that you will trim once a year for an informal look and two or three times a year for formal hedges. This sort of maintenance trimming is best done between spring and summer.

Hedge cutting equipment can help you get the job done more easily, and you can get replacement parts such as Mountfield Spares from suppliers such as DIY Spare Parts at

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Watering and feeding

After taking the time and effort to prune your hedge, watering is an important next step and a regular maintenance step that will ensure the work you’ve put in to trimming will be rewarded by good new growth.

If you prune your hedges often, you’ll need to follow up with more regular feeding and watering. Remember to water at the roots of the plants instead of spraying the leaves. It’s best to water in the morning instead of hot times of the day. One of the best ways to get water to the roots where it is needed is to install a drip irrigation system, which is a line of plastic pipe with small holes that sits just under the soil or mulch and drips a steady, small amount of water onto the hedges.

Using a mulch is an easy way to keep water in the soil around your hedges. It is best laid in spring at the same time that you feed your hedge with a fertilizer such as bonemeal, which releases nutrients slowly throughout the growing season.

Taking care of your hedges can be a very satisfying way to add the finishing touch to the artwork that is your garden.