Hedges around a lawn or garden look attractive and also protects from harsh weather and winds. To keep these greens healthy and functional, you need to maintain them regularly.
It’s the reason we are presenting a set of guidelines that will help you to use a hedge trimmer like an expert. No matter whether you have an electric hedge trimmer, gas-powered or a cordless model, you can apply the following tips to get better results.
Hedge Trimmer Basic Tips
The pruning amount depends upon the hedge type. However, most of the time, the sides should not be vertical, instead of sloping towards the top. Such shape makes sure that the bottom leaves receive sufficient sun rays for proper growth and hence there will not be dark areas at the base. If you notice that a hedge is going out of shape, then cut it repeatedly to bring back its glory. Keep in mind that such a process will not work with conifers.
Read the Instructions Manual: Never cut too early in a year to disturb the nesting birds. Follow the instructions manual that came with the hedge trimmer and always wear the safety gear while using such power tools.
Most of the users damage their gardening tools only because they don’t focus on reading the instructions. So, read the manual that came with the hedge trimmer to know the parts and its functioning. You will also see the maintenance process and replacement parts after reading it.
Keep The Hedge Trimmer Maintained: A hedge trimmer cannot be efficient if it’s not clean. When a blade trims the hedges, the sap accumulates upon it like glue. You should use a cleaner to keep the blade in the best possible shape. Keep the blade sharp as well, because a blunt edge will not cut. Instead, it will tear the cutting materials.
The hedge trimmer works like scissors. So, lubricate both the side of its blade before each trimming session. If foliage stops the blade movement or blocks it while you are using the trimmer, shut down the machine and then try to remove it.
Prepare The Ground: Catch all the clippings using a tarpaulin. Take it along when you change the trimming positions. Once the tarpaulin fills, you can drag it towards the compost hole. You can also bundle and place it on a wheelbarrow for easy disposal.
Hold The Blade Away From Your Body: Whether you are powering on the hedge trimmer, using it or switching the machine off, its blade should be away from your body. Stand behind the trimmer and never move its blade towards your face or legs.
Move Slow and Steady: Always start from the bottom and trim your way upwards. Do not try to push or overpower the bushes; it might result in mechanical failure or injuries.
Use a String For Straight Cuts: Trim new overgrowth over the hedges in a straight motion. You could weave a string wire as a guideline when you want perfect straight cuts. On the other hand, cut the old and thick ones in a steady saw movement.
Give it a Break: Pause the trimming session for a while and allow the hedge cutting device to rest for a while. Periodic breaks will not allow its motor to overheat, and the machine will last for long.
Maintain The Right Posture: Keep your feet apart while standing for added stability. Hold the trimmer firmly into both the hands and never use it casually.
Never use a Gardening Tool in Wet Weather: It’s dangerous to use a hedge trimmer in wet conditions, especially if you have an electrical variant. The blades might not perform according to your expectations, and you might trip over the wet grasses to make the situation worse.
Don’t Trim if You are Not Fit: Do not use a hedge trimmer when you are tired or stressed. Also, do not consume alcohol or any other mind-altering substance before or during the hedge trimming session. You need to be in full control of your mind and muscles while using such tools.
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The tips mentioned above and instructions apply to all the hedge trimmers. However, the maintenance and using guidelines differ according to the trimmer type. So, let’s know some other tips depending upon the fuel type of a hedge trimmer so that you can get the best out of it.
Tips For Using Electric Hedge Trimmer
- Make sure that the power cable is far from the blade while you are trimming. Stay behind the hedge trimmer and keep the cable behind your body.
- Electric hedge trimmers are restricted due to their connection with a mains outlet. Measure the area that you can reach comfortably using the existing cable. If you pull too hard or far away than the physical force might damage the plug, outlet, or even the trimmer.
- Unplug the trimmer once you cover all the hedges.
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Tips For Using Petrol Hedge Trimmers
- Make sure you are using the right fuel in an appropriate ratio, which can be 25:1, 40:1 or any other number depending upon the make and model.
- If you are storing your petrol powered hedge trimmer for a season, then use a fuel stabilizer. It’s even better to drain out the remaining fuel; otherwise, it might clog or damage the machine.
Tips For Using Cordless Hedge Trimmer
- Engage a cordless hedge trimmer only when its battery indicates a full charge. Once you finish the trimming session, remove its battery and then keep the machine at a secure place.
- Don’t leave the trimmer in the charging state for a long time. As soon as it indicates a full charge, take out the plug.
Tips for Using Pole Hedge Trimmer
Always wear safety goggles and other protective gear while using a pole hedge trimmer. As the machine is cutting branches and leaves over your head, there are chances that the debris might injure your eyes or face.
Goggles, boots, helmets, and gloves are some of the typical protective wears that you should utilize while working with any of the power tools. Also, do not wear loose clothes and jewellery while using a hedge trimmer.