Many homeowners have found that varied hedges and shrubs growing in their yard add a certain peaceful tranquility that’s difficult to beat. The only downside to this natural beauty is the difficulty of maintaining, trimming, pruning, and generally caring for this plant life. But fortunately, this difficulty is highly exaggerated and with just a few simple tricks and tips you’ll be a master of taking care of your shrubbery in no time. Take a look at these five guidelines to help get you started!
Choosing the Shrubs
Before you get started with the tips related to maintenance, pruning, and care, you’ll first want to make sure that you’re on track to own the ideal shrubs for your yard. The key advice here is to pick a type of shrub that naturally grows straight and in a manner that works well with columns.
To get the type of shrub you want narrowed down further, you’ll really want to sit down and figure out the dimensions you want your future hedge to have. Then, all you must do is find the type of shrub that will work best with that plan.
Time Your Pruning
If you’re just doing some light pruning, the time of year isn’t necessarily critical. However, for anything more than this, like heavy cutting, it’s a good idea to time your pruning to achieve the best results.
Generally speaking, the ideal time to trim or prune your yard’s shrubs and hedges is late in the winter. This allows you to direct the plant to grow in the direction you want it to without having to worry about any buds that might have set. Little things like this can make a world of difference for your yard’s shrubbery!
Pruning and shaping your hedges can be a Herculean challenge at times, so it’s more than a little helpful to have the right tools for the job. The main thing to look for is a solid pair of shears; however, this isn’t as easy as it sounds!
At this point, you’ll have to decide whether you prefer simple hand shears or something more advanced like power shears, which will naturally depend on your yard’s shrubs and your own personal preference.
After you’ve chosen your shears, you’ll also want to locate additional materials such as poles, hammers or mallets, scissors, string, and measuring tape. Not all these materials will be necessary every time, but they will certainly be helpful down the road!
Once you have all your tools and materials, you can move on to the shaping and pruning of your yard’s hedges and shrubs. Though this process can seem intimidating at first, it can be simplified enormously with a couple of basic tips.
The first and most essential guideline is to trim the hedge’s top so that it will be less wide than the bottom. This might seem strange at first, but it makes sense when you realize that the tops of shrubs typically widen because they are exposed to the most sun. If you trim them narrower than the bottom, they will widen more evenly and prevent this problem.
Another helpful tip is to set up guidelines before you begin pruning, using the string and other materials mentioned earlier. While this can add a fair bit of extra work, it will make your job simpler in the long run!
If you’re just starting out with growing shrubs in your yard, exact guidelines and heavy trimming usually won’t be necessary. In the early portion of your hedge maintenance, the most important thing to keep in mind is to cut back any unwanted growth and keep the shrub shape roughly where you want it to be.
You can expect this simple stage to last for about a year or two, after which you will probably need to start getting a little more proactive and exact with your pruning.