Hedges can add a great deal to the beauty of gardens in and around Chelmsford, as well as attracting wildlife, protecting privacy and boosting security. However, it’s essential hedging is properly looked after as part of your garden maintenance schedule, and this can be quite a time-consuming task.
Unfortunately, if a hedge isn’t properly maintained, it can soon end up looking messy and untidy and spoil the appearance of your garden. An overgrown hedge is also likely to take up too much space, overshadowing other areas and stopping plants from growing properly. Other potential problems include damaging fences and paths, and blocking light to your home.
As well as causing problems for you, a hedge that isn’t kept in trim can also cause inconvenience to neighbours. This could even land you in trouble with the law, since landowners are legally responsible for making sure hedges aren’t a nuisance. Also, leylandii and other evergreen hedges have led to quite a few problems over recent years if they’re allowed to get too tall. If they are more than 2 metres high a neighbour could complain to the local council.
For all these reasons, it’s important to make sure hedges are regularly cut and that growth doesn’t get out of control. If you need a gardening expert in the Chelmsford area to help you maintain your hedge and carry out other garden services, The Constant Gardener can help.
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Care of Young Hedges
Planting a hedge will add colour to your garden through the green leaves, berries and flowers, and attract birds and butterflies. A hedge can be planted from saplings during autumn, winter or spring, but you need to avoid icy conditions or periods when the ground is waterlogged. The soil has to be prepared before the hedge is planted, with removal of weeds and applying of mulch or organic material.
Once the young hedge has been planted, it needs to be watered well to give it a good start. Regular weeding around the base is also important, and, again, mulching can help to control weeds and retain water in the soil. You also need to keep the area immediately around the young hedge free of grass, and guard against any animals which might eat the young plants.
Care of Mature Hedges
During the first two years, new hedges need careful initial pruning, usually in winter or during the spring depending on the type of plant, to create a good shape. Once they are fully-grown, maintenance pruning needs to be carried out, with the frequency varying depending on the type of hedge. More formal hedges may need to be pruned two or three times a year, but for a more informal style of hedging one cut a year, in spring or summer, is likely to be enough.
Pruning schedules and techniques vary for deciduous and evergreen hedges, and also depending on whether you have gone for a type of hedge with a bushy base or one which is more upright. For example, trimming just once a year in August can help to keep a bushy beech hedge in good shape. Many conifer hedges, including pyracantha and laurels, need to be clipped up to three times during the summer, but not after August as this could lead to bare patches. As schedules vary for different types of plants, the best idea is to speak to garden maintenance experts, who can advise you on care and pruning for your particular type of hedge.
Trimming is needed less often for hedges you want to flower or where berries are growing. You also need to make sure that there aren’t any bird’s nests in your hedge when you are trimming, as you could be committing an offence if birds are disturbed during the nesting season.
Tackling Overgrown Hedges
If a hedge hasn’t been regularly maintained, it might have already grown too much and become a problem. This often applies if you are moving into a home which has been empty for a time. If you have a hedge which has grown too high or thick and started to take over the garden, it will need special attention, and your gardening service can advise you on this.
Renovation pruning may need to be carried out in one go or in stages over two or three years, depending on the type of hedge and how drastic the cutting back needs to be. Local gardeners can judge what is best for the particular hedge after taking a look at its current condition and shape.
If you need help to keep a hedge in trim and to carry out a whole range of other garden maintenance services, The Constant Gardener can help. We provide garden care all through the year, drawing up a schedule and carrying out various tasks, including grass cutting services, pruning shrubs, maintaining borders, weeding and looking after hard landscaping features. We have customers in Chelmsford and a wider surrounding area including Braintree, Witham, Coggeshall, Tiptree and Black Notley.
Garden Maintenance Chelmsford – Get in touch now to find out more about how we can help to keep your garden looking good through the year.