Sorry if we’re ruffling any feathers, but February is the last time you can safely give your hedge a haircut. From March onwards, as soon as the season starts to change, birds will begin nesting in your hedge and once they’ve built their nest they shouldn’t be moved or disturbed. It’s actually an offence to do so.
So grab your loppers or hedge trimmer and get to work this weekend with our handy hedge cutting tips.
How Best to Cut Your Hedge
Keep your hedge healthier with our advice below.
- Now’s the best time of year for hedge trimming, before birds have started to nest. Cutting earlier in the winter season could remove the seeds and berries that birds feed on.
- Trim 2 cm above the previous year’s growth. If you cut the hedge the same length year after year it can end up being very sparse and woody.
- Cut the hedge so the sides slant in a little at the top. More sun and water can get to the foliage all over your hedge this way.
- Add mulch to the base of the hedge to keep it nourished and clear of weeds.
How Best to Look After your Hedge Trimmer
Your hedge trimmer may need a little TLC after a winter in storage. Here’s what you should do.
- Make sure the blades are sharp. A blunt blade (just like a blunt knife) can be dangerous as it’s more likely to slip. A really blunt or damaged blade may need to be replaced.
- Oil the blades to prevent rust and help them last longer.
- Batteries in electric hedge trimmers should ideally be stored inside over the winter so they’re not exposed to cold, moist weather. If you’ve removed yours, remember to replace it before you attempt to fire up your trimmer, or you won’t get very far!
Why Do You Even Want More Birds in Your Garden?
It’s worth keeping your garden bird friendly as birds are great news for your flower beds.
- Birds keep pest populations down. There’s nothing that loves to eat the fresh stems and buds of your blooming flower beds more than creepy crawlies. But creepy crawlies like slugs, aphids and insect larvae are what birds consider a feast!
- Feathered visitors also provide great entertainment. It’s amazing to watch tiny chicks learn to fly the nest or blackbirds fighting over a juicy berry.
- A bird friendly garden also helps endangered and rarer species of bird to flourish.
Take the time to trim your hedge now. Otherwise you might find a little cluster of twigs between the branches when you go to do so. That’s the sign that you’ve missed your chance.