Now that you have chosen the best petrol hedge trimmer for your requirements, a little thought to how best to use it will save you ages in clearing up! Preparation is the key!
Equipment you will need:
Your hedge cutter (plus adequate fuel to complete the job!)
A tarpaulin or ground sheet
Marking out string and wooden stakes (for formal hedges only)
Lopping shears (for large branches)
Pre cut template from cardboard or wood if the top of your hedge is shaped (arched)
Firstly, put down your tarpaulin or ground sheet under the area you will be working on. This will gather up the leaves and twigs you cut, saving you the sweeping and bending picking up armfuls of the stuff, especially if it is prickly.
Twiggy branches can be put direct into your garden shredder for making mulch and leafy cuttings can be composted or taken to your recycling plant. You can now buy handled tarpaulins with a grab handle at each corner, allowing these to be gathered together to make a bundle of all your cuttings that can be dragged or carried with very little effort or mess.
If you need to create a straight line to make for accurate trimming, you should mark this out with your string pulled taut between two wooden stakes. This is a tip the professionals use and saves the ‘battle of the bulge’ in a long hedge! My picture shows a cutting guide for a small box hedge, but the principle is the same.
Before you start with your cutting, use your lopping shears to remove any branches that are obviously too thick to cut with the petrol hedge trimmer.
Stop regularly, take a step back to admire your handiwork. As with painting and decorating, sometimes it is hard to see when you are working close-up if any errors are creeping in.
If the top of your hedging is shaped (perhaps an arch), hold the template on the hedge and cut following the line of the template. You should move this along as required.
If you have been cutting back a large hedge and it has not had a cut for a while, it may be worth using a small blade trimmer for the final ‘manicure’.