Maintaining and trimming hedges
Whether cherry laurel, thuja, privet or hornbeam - a hedge in the garden is just an eye-catcher if it is properly cared for. Hedges only remain decorative or opaque if the garden owner keeps the shape. Proper fertilization is crucial for the green and colorful appearances. Therefore, garden owners should know when to cut a hedge and how to maintain it. Attention: In this case also legal regulations have to be observed.
The right cutting time
In contrast to the shape cutting, the radical pruning of hedge plants is time-defined by law. Before spring begins, it must be completed. Cutbacks are legally allowed until the end of February, then until 30th September a grandfathering is valid. This serves to protect breeding grounds of animals. On the other hand, the shape cut is also allowed between March and September as needed. It serves above all for the slight correction of outgrowing shoots.
An exception are beech bushes, Thujen and cypresses. They should only be cut in shape once a year, usually in summer. Temperatures are also crucial - hedges may only be cut in cold weather down to minus five degrees Celsius. In colder temperatures, the cut harms rather than that it promotes a new bustle. After the end of September, the cut is no longer recommended, as often night frost damages the new shoots. Likewise, the day of the cut should not be too sunny. Excessive sun exposure dries out the cut surfaces. Therefore, cloudy days with overcast skies are ideal.
The right cut
A hedge must have neither gaps nor protrude into the neighboring property. Therefore, the cut of the hedge is one of the most important components of hedge care. He not only ensures that the hedge stays in shape, but also that it remains opaque - usually the reason for the planting of a hedge. Through the cut, the hedge grows faster, thereby stimulating the plant to branch out further. Especially the first years are crucial for the development of the hedge in order to achieve a dense and even growth.
Already from the second year the hedge should be cut regularly at least once a year. Fast-growing varieties such as field maple, barberry and hornbeam should even cut the gardener twice a year. This is also important for older plants. Here, the pruning before the spring is more radical than form cuts over the summer months. Also, the length of the cut is subject to legal requirements: So it is loud & sect; 39 of the Federal Nature Conservation Act banned to clear plants and cut back to the floor. The gardener can cut away about a third of it.
In young hedges, half can be taken away. However, the gardener should also note that the hedge is not cut wider towards the top. This would remove the light from the lower part of the hedge and inhibit growth. It is recommended rather a trapezoidal shape. Who wants to get a particularly straight cut of the hedge, should use a string. This can be an optimal orientation aid across the hedge.
The right tools
Not only the cutting time and cutting length are decisive for the optimal cut of a hedge - even the right working tool should be used. Hedge trimmers are ideal for trimming and cutting half-height hedges. There are both electrical devices, as well as gasoline-powered variants. The latter offer plenty of freedom of movement but are very loud. Electric shears are much quieter but require power. A safety cable should always be used to prevent serious accidents.
For high hedges we recommend the use of hedge trimmers. With them, the ladder becomes superfluous, as they often have bendable joints and can be used individually. Even pruning shears can perform well when cutting hedges - for example, with thick branches of laurel. It is important that the device is well maintained and stored before and after use. This is the only way to keep blades sharp and scissors in good condition. Blunt devices can damage the plants - they squeeze more than they cut.
The right care
Hedges usually need little further care around the cut. Before and in the growth phase, they should be fertilized once or twice a year. The gardener can provide this with compost or even with a mineral fertilizer. Fertilization should therefore take place between March and August. Foliage-dropping hedges need to be additionally watered only in extreme dry seasons and directly after planting. Your foliage should best be left on the ground. It increases the accumulation of humus and naturally fertilizes the soil with magnesium and phosphate. Evergreen hedges, however, need additional water in the winter so that they do not dry out. On sunny days, they also lose important water in this season due to evaporation. They are also happy about a mulch cover. This prevents infestation with diseases.
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