Hedges are a great add on to any lawn. Since it creates a natural-looking landscape or barrier, it certainly adds pizzazz to any home.
What’s interesting about hedges is that you can prune it into almost any shape imaginable. Aside from creating a bushy fence, you can also create arcs and other interesting shapes with them. And this certainly adds a rustic charm to your estate.
Because of how sophisticated it looks, a lot of people think that only a professional could do it – but that’s not true. If you’re only planning on creating simple designs for your hedges to serve as a boundary marker, we believe that you can do so on your own.
But before doing so, there several factors that you should be well-researched on. One of these factors is when is the best time to trim hedges. And in this article, we’ll be talking all about it.
What is the difference between trimming and pruning?
There are two main actions needed when it comes to hedges, and these are trimming and pruning. Both of these are equally important to make sure that your hedges are growing beautifully and healthy.
Trimming simply refers to cutting the overgrown parts of the shrub, while pruning refers to the deliberate removal of parts that are considered loose, dead, or no longer useful for its purpose.
To make sure that your hedges will be shaped perfectly, you have to make sure to perform pruning and trimming during their recommended times. We would recommend buying a good hedge trimmer. It will make your task efficient, safe, and fast.
Best Seasons to Trim Hedges
The shrubs used for hedges usually grow during springtime and at the end of summer. These are the two seasons when the shrubs get the right amount of sunlight, moisture, and nutrients from the soil.
During spring, the temperature is just right to leave the soil moist and filled with nutrients. Days are also longer, so the shrubs get enough Vitamin D. This condition is similar to that by the end of summer, just before the start of autumn. And for this reason, shrubs grow fastest during these seasons.
Since this is the season when shrubs are at their most vegetative state, then it’s best to wait until the growing process starts to slow down before you start trimming. In doing so, you won’t be hampering the shrub’s growth.
Also, once the growing period has slowed down, this allows the shrub to retain the shape that you trimmed. This calls for less maintenance work in the long run.
Thus, we advise trimming hedges at least once or twice a year, and preferably during these seasons.
Bear in mind, however, that this is only true for non-flowering shrubs. In case of flowering ones, we advise waiting after the flowers have completely fallen before you make the necessary trimming or pruning. The period when the flowers would bloom depends on the particular shrub you chose for your hedges.
Waiting until the flowers have fallen before trimming and pruning will leave you with hedges filled with beautiful flowers when they’re in full bloom. Once all of them have fallen, and the seed pod has dried out, you can start pruning the area to make room for the next blooming season.
Best Months for Cutting Hedge
Now that you know which season is the best time to trim hedges, we now proceed to identify the particular months when it’s best to do so.
As previously mentioned, we do not advise trimming when the shrubs are still growing well. And that means we want you to avoid trimming when it’s in the middle of spring and the end of summer.
With that in mind, sometime between late April and mid-May would already be great for trimming hedges after they’ve grown during springtime. This keeps it well-maintained for the duration of summer while avoiding the development of dried out areas.
If you plan on trimming twice a year, then the second trimming can be made sometime between late September and later October. Preferably, before it gets too cold to keep the plants growing. This will leave you with a beautiful hedge come wintertime.
But again, this will also vary depending on whether you have flowering shrubs or non-flowering ones. In the case of flowering shrubs, you have to wait until the flowers have fallen, as we have previously established.
For example, lilacs tend to bloom until the end of May, so you may have to start trimming and pruning around June. The same is true for the butterfly bush, which is in full bloom until late October.
What time of the day is best for trimming?
At this point, you now know the ideal seasons and months when it’s best to trim hedges. Now, we’ll talk about the specific time of day when it’s best to trim.
When you trim or prune, the freshly-cut area will bee exposed to a lot of external factors – including the sun. Overexposure to the sun can cause it to dry out, and that can leave you with brown parts all over your hedges.
Thus, we advise trimming in the early morning or in the late afternoon to keep the shrubs healthy. This will also prevent you from being under the heat of the sun for a long time.
Importance of Trimming and Timing
While some gardeners do not mind trimming more than twice a year, we still believe that it’s best to do so within the time frame stated above. Here are some of the reasons why.
- First of all, trimming makes sure that the entirety of the hedges is exposed to the sun. you can opt for a wider bottom that gets narrower as it reaches the top to make sure that even those at the bottom get enough sunlight. Similarly, picking the right time to trim helps you make sure that the shrubs wouldn’t be overexposed to the heat.
- The second reason is that it helps keep the hedges healthy without hampering their growth. Bear in mind that we advise trimming after their vegetative stages – and this is to make sure that you wouldn’t prematurely cut them when they’re still actively growing.
- And finally, trimming the hedges during the right time will leave you with a beautiful boundary that’s lined with flowers. In the case of flowering shrubs, we strongly recommend trimming only after the flowers have dried out and fallen. This allows you to enjoy the beauty of the flowers without prematurely nipping their buds.
Also, trimming them is a great way to give space for new flowers to bloom just in time for the next season.