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Lawnmowers, garden machinery and more

At Andrews Of Hindhead, we provide gardening products such as lawnmowers and garden machinery. Not only do we sell garden products, we also repair machinery.

Service and Spares

Repairing a lawn mower > Repairing lawn mower engine

We supply spares for:

Allen, Alko, Billygoat, Bosch, Briggs & Stratton, Countax, Flymo, Golden Star, Hayter, Honda, Howard, Kawasaki, Kohler, Kubota, Lawnflite, Littlewonder, Mountfield, Murray, MTD, Qualcast, Quadzilla, Ransomes, Ryobi, Simplicity, Shindawa, Stiga, Stihl, Tanaka, Techumseh, Victa, Villiers, Westwood, Wheelhorse, Wolf, Zenoah.
 
Our parts department keeps over £50,000 worth of parts in stock, at any time. Contact us today for all your enquiries. We can even post spares to you in the UK or Europe.

Advice & Tips

Top Tips for lawnmower safety

Don’t leave yours or your children’s safety to chance and follow our Top Safety Tips when cutting your grass. 
 
1) Wear the correct clothing.
By their very nature, lawnmowers move the ground and can throw stones and small objects back at you. Ensure you wear long trousers to protect your legs and other protective equipment, like gloves. For extremely loud lawnmowers you should consider wearing earplugs, or protective hearing aids to protect your ears.
 
2) Wear shoes! 
We have all done it, but cutting the grass in nothing but flip flops or even worse - nothing at all! - can have disastrous consequences. One slip and you could lose a toe or two! Always wear shoes to protect your feet.
 
3) Slopes 
If you have to cut the grass on a verge or slope, always mow walking across the slope. By avoiding cutting the grass by going up and down the slope, you remove the risk of losing control of the lawnmower and having it run you over. Push don't pull  By pushing your lawnmower around the garden you remain in control of where it goes. You are also guaranteed to be walking facing forward, reducing the risk of you tripping and falling.  
 
4) Avoid wet grass.
Do not cut the grass when it is wet. This is particularly relevant when using electric lawnmowers. Remember - electricity and water doesn’t mix. You will also reduce the risk of you slipping and hurting yourself in the process.
 
5) Avoid the dark.
Only cut the grass during daylight. By mowing the lawn in the dark you run the risk of tripping and falling and hurting yourself in the process.  
 
6) Avoid alcohol. 
People are often tempted to fire up the barbeque, have a beer and mow the lawn. A lawnmower is much the same as driving a car, and you wouldn’t drink and drink! Stay safe and avoid alcohol when you are mowing the lawn. 
 
7) Use a socket adapter.
Ensure the power to your lawnmower cuts if for any reason there is an electrical fault. An RCD socket adaptor will automatically stop the power to the machine if there is a power surge etc.  
 
8) Keep hands and feet safe.
Avoid cleaning the lawnmower blades with your hands and feet. The lawnmower blade can be sharp and can still turn, causing damage to your skin. Use a hard object like a trowel to scrape the debris and clumps of grass from beneath your lawnmower. Before doing any of this, make sure that the lawnmower is turned off.
 
9) No children.
Lawnmower aren’t toys so don’t let your children play with them. Be aware of where they are, when cutting your grass to avoid any unexpected accidents from occurring. 

How to add stripes to your lawn

 
Many gardeners in the UK like to have a lawn with stripes. This is easy to do and requires little to no extra work when cutting the grass. 
 
Adding a stripe to your lawn is relatively simple. All you need is a lawnmower with a rear roller.
 
Typically, rear rollers are found on rotary lawnmowers and Westwood Tractors with a Powered Grass Collector on the back, Stripes are added to the lawn by flattening and bending the grass as you cut the grass. This, in turn, changes the angle at which the light reflects off the grass blade, giving the impression that the grass is a different colour. The colour that the stripe appears is dependent on how far you bend the blades of grass. The further you bend and flatten the grass, the darker and more intense the colour of the stripe will appear. Because the colour of the stripes is created by reflecting light, the colour may look different depending on where you are standing in the garden.
 
To achieve a perfectly striped lawn, you first need to consider the direction of the stripes you want? Do you want them horizontally or vertically? Do you want the first stripe to be light or dark? Once you know this you will know where to start mowing the lawn. For gardens where it is difficult to turn the lawnmower at either end of the garden, it may be beneficial to first cut around the perimeter of the garden to get an even cut and a nicer looking lawn.
 
When adding the first stripe to your lawn, ensure you are at right angles to the perimeter. Use an object like a fence etc. as a rough guide. When you get to the end of the lawn, turn your lawnmower around and come back in the opposite direction.  When adding new stripes, try and overlap the previous stripe slightly. This will help ensure that you do not miss any patches of grass and that may spoil the look of your lawn. Try and use the same overlap distance for each stripe to make sure your stripes are equal in width. Use something obvious as a guide. 
 
To add a wider stripe to your lawn simply go down your second stripe again in the same direction as the previous line to ensure the grass is bent in the same direction. If you cut the grass regularly and add stripes, you must remember to alternate the mowing direction every couple of weeks. Failure to do this will encourage uneven and indirect growth which may affect the look and feel of your lawn. 

Lawn Care Calendar

Getting a great looking lawn all year round requires only a little knowledge and a small amount of hard work.
 
January 
January is a quiet month in the lawn care calendar and there is relatively little you can do, because the weather conditions do not benefit productive lawn care – so take some time off! 
As you won't be using it now is the ideal time to book your lawnmower for a repair or service.
  
February 
February is probably a good month to start thinking about your lawn, and what needs to be done. Have a quick check of your lawnmower and other garden equipment, to ensure that it’s in good working condition. Start up any mechanical tools to make sure that they still work and haven’t been affected by the winter cold.  Check that your lawnmower blade is sharp, and that you have enough trimming line for your grass trimmer. 
 
March 
The soil conditions may be right, allowing you to make the first cut of the season. Make sure the grass is dry and that you make the first cut of the grass on the highest cutting height.  Never cut more than a third of the grass blade off in one go to avoid overstressing the grass. Cutting the grass before scarifying will also help loosen any thick patches of thatch, making it easier to remove thatch when you scarify the lawn.  Gradually reduce the cutting height throughout the month and the beginning of the next, until you reach your preferred grass height.  Start to think about preparing your lawn for the months ahead. Lay any weed or moss killer on your lawn where needed. Also consider, adding a spring fertiliser to the lawn to help rejuvenate it. 
 
April 
In April the weather begins to get a little warmer and there is still moisture in the grass. The grass begins growing again - making it the ideal time of year to scarify your lawn, removing any excess thatch and moss. A  Lawnrake is the perfect garden tool for this task.  
 
TOP TIP 
Remember: never remove moss without killing it first. Moss does not have roots, so if it is spoaring, by scarifying it before it is dead you will simply spread it across the lawn.   April is likely to be the ideal time to sow some additional grass seed to any bare patches of the lawn. If you are planning on growing grass in areas of the garden that have lots of shade, consider using a seed specifically designed for this purpose. 
 
May 
You have probably managed to cut the lawn down to the height you want by now, after the winter growth. This is the ideal time to add stripes to your lawn if you want them. Use a lawnmower with a rear roller to do this.
 
June 
The grass is growing at its fastest rate, meaning that you may have to mow your lawn once or twice a week. You may also find that the lawn requires watering. When doing this ensure that you water deeply and occasionally. This will encourage the grass to root deeply reducing the need for you to water the lawn. It is also a more efficient way to water the lawn than watering a little daily as less water is lost via evaporation.  
 
July 
Many people start to go on their summer holidays in July and into August making them the most challenging months in the lawn care calendar. Make arrangements for someone to look after your lawn, flowers and other areas of your garden while you are away.  
 
August 
Often the hottest month in the UK - you may need to water the lawn more frequently than before. Extreme heat may scorch the lawn and turn it brown. If it is hot for long periods, allow the grass to grow slightly longer to protect the soil from the heat. The heat will remove the moisture from the soil preventing grass growth.  
 
September 
It’s now a little cooler and you are cutting your grass less often. The grass is still growing however, making it the perfect time to scarify your lawn one last time before the end of the year. When mowing the lawn raise the cutting height to allow it to grow thicker helping protect it from moss and disease.  Aerate the lawn with a garden fork or an aerator, to reduce the compaction of the soil and to help improve the drainage of your lawn and encourage healthy grass growth. The weather conditions are also ideal to sow grass seed on any worn or damaged areas of the lawn, like round children’s play equipment or pathways. 
 
October 
The autumn has arrived and the leaves are falling from the trees. Fallen leaves left on the lawn can block the sunlight from reaching the grass and in effect – suffocate the lawn, resulting in it dying.  Adding a good autumn/winter fertiliser to your lawn will help the lawn survive the winter and harsher conditions. Autumn fertilisers differ from summer fertilisers as they release their nutrients slower, making them ideal to use when use in the garden is limited.  
 
November 
Now the weather is a little wetter, spike your lawn with a garden fork to relieve any compaction of the soil. This will help prevent water from pooling on the lawn and damaging it. It will also help oxygen reach the grassroots, which is essential for healthy grass growth. Soil compaction is a big problem around areas of the garden that are used frequently like pathways and children’s play equipment.  
 
December 
Christmas is nearly here and so are the harsh winter frosts. Avoid stepping on the lawn when it is frozen to avoid breaking and damaging the grass.  

Causes and fixes for yellow grass

There’s nothing worse than a lovely green lawn that is spoilt by patches of yellow grass. Continue reading to find out the common causes on why your lawn turns yellow and how to cure it. 
 
If the tips of your grass have turned yellow, but the rest of the grass blade is green, then there is probably a quick and easy solution. All you may need to do is replace the blade on your lawnmower. If the blade on your lawnmower is dull or blunt, it may be tearing the grass and fraying the edges. This dries out the tips of the grass, which causes it to turn yellow. You can purchase a new genuine blade for your lawnmower from our Parts department
 
If the entire grass blade is yellow – then there may be a number of other reasons for this. 
 
1. The lawn could be lacking the required nutrients specifically iron or nitrogen.  To remedy this you can add fertiliser to your lawn that is rich in these vital components and it should regain its colour in a few days. Remember to always follow the instructions on the packet. Too much nitrogen will also turn the grass yellow. This is the reason why dog urine damages your lawn too. If you have a dog you should encourage them to use areas of the garden that do not have grass and that you do not mind them using. 
 
2. Spilt petrol can also turn your lawn yellow  If you use a petrol lawnmower then you should fill it up, off the grass. If you do spill petrol on the lawn, then it is advisable to clean the spillage up as quickly as possible and flood the area with water to dilute the fuel. Then add an absorbent product to collect the fuel, and dispose of this as instructed. You may need to dig this area of the lawn up and reseed in order to get a green lawn once again. 
 
3. Prolonged periods of heat may cause the grass to dry out & lose its colour  This could happen in only a couple of days depending on your grass. This could be a sign that your lawns root structure is quite shallow. To get the colour back into your lawn, you could water your lawn, however, to tackle the cause of the problem and reduce the likelihood of it happening again you will need to encourage your grass to root deeply. To do this, water thoroughly and less frequently. By watering frequently but adding little water, the roots never grow downwards looking for additional water, therefore are susceptible to drying out during hot conditions.
 

How to water your lawn

Too much or too little water will harm your grass and prevent you obtaining the lush green lawn you want to achieve. If your lawn is turning brown or it has lost its spring then it is likely you need to water your lawn.  
 
Rule of thumb! 
As a rule of thumb, your lawn needs moisture at a depth of approximately 2 inches from the surface. Any less than this and your grass may struggle to get sufficient water to survive. Any more and it's a waste of water as grassroots do not penetrate into the soil much deeper than this.  
 
Top tip 
You can test the moisture levels in your lawn, by inserting a screwdriver or digging a small hole into the lawn feeling for moisture. If the soil is dry then the lawn probably needs watering. It is a good idea to test several different areas of your lawn. You may find that areas of your lawn that are in the shade may require less water as they are shielded from the sun allowing them to retain more moisture. Try and water your lawn evenly for healthy grass growth.
 
When to water your lawn
Water your garden early in the morning, ideally before work. Because the sun hasn’t fully risen, the temperature is lower so less water is evaporated by the sun from the soil. Watering at night invites pests, fungus and mildew which can damage your lawn. Watering in the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest and hottest is an inefficient use of water, making the morning the ideal time to water your lawn. You should try and water your lawn once a week, allowing your lawn to partially dry out during this time. If you find the lawn doesn’t seem to dry out, then increase the time between watering.  If you find that water is running off your lawn when you water, then you will need to adapt your watering strategy. A simple cause of run-off could be that you are adding more water to the lawn than the soil can absorb - if this is the case slow the rate at which you water. This can be a common problem when using sprinkler systems. 
 
Aeration 
Another cause of 'run-off' could be that the lawn is too dry or compacted. If this is the case reduce the amount of water you use and water more frequently. This way you will slowly add moisture back into the soil allowing you in time, to add more and more water into the soil.  Aerating your lawn will also help – because by forking your lawn and adding small holes, it will allow water to penetrate deeper into the soil and allow fresh oxygen to reach the grass roots which is required for healthy grass growth. 
 
Quick and easy watering 
Garden hoses and sprinkler systems are commonly used to make watering your lawn quick and easy. During periods of extreme heat and drought, hosepipe bans may be in enforced. It is important that you always follow these without exception.   A good alternative to this is the use of water butts which collect water when it rains. This water can then be used on flowers, plants or on your garden when water is in short supply.  Another helpful tip is to cut your grass frequently and leave your grass clippings on the lawn. As the grass clippings break down and return to the lawn, they release water and nitrogen which is absorbed by the soil, helping to promote healthy grass growth.

What to do with grass clippings?

You’ve cut your grass and now you are left wondering what to do with your grass clippings. Don’t despair; we have a number of top tips that put your grass clippings to good use.  Many of us collect our lawn clippings and throw them into the organic waste bin which the council collects and disposes of for us. There are, however, a couple of additional things you can do which will help ensure a healthy, green garden.
 
Leave them on your lawn 
Leaving your grass clippings on the lawn provides a great natural fertiliser for your lawn. It does not create thatch as some people believe. If you cut your grass weekly and remove the clippings from the lawn every time, you may actually be harming your lawn as you will be creating a nitrogen deficieny.  Only leave grass clippings on the lawn if they are quite short. Shorter grass will break down into the lawn quicker. Some lawnmowers have a mulching mode which does this for you, making them ideal for leaving your grass clippings on the lawn. Longer grass will take longer to break down and will block sunlight from reaching the grass underneath, and may limit grass growth. For this reason, you should avoid leaving wet grass clippings on your lawn as they will clump together and be difficult to break down. It will also make your lawn look unsightly.  There are a couple of instances when you should avoid leaving grass clippings on your lawn. If the grass shows signs of disease or is full of weeds, you will only spread the disease and weeds further around your garden. You should tackle each of these issues first before you leave your grass clippings on your lawn.
 
 
Give your hedges a helping hand 
Grass clippings are not only a great natural fertiliser but they are also a fantastic defence against weeds. By placing your grass clippings underneath the base of your hedges and bushes it will prevent weeds from growing. It also has the additional benefit of containing water which will be added to the soil when the grass breaks down. For best results, add about an inch and a half of clippings around the base of the hedge avoiding the main stems.
 
Create your own compost 
Every compost heap needs a mixture of green and brown material, and grass clippings are an easy and readily available source of green material for you to use. Creating your own compost is an easy, cost-effective way to add nutrients to your plants and lawn. If you don’t have the space or desire to create your own compost heap, then you could always ask someone at your local allotment. They will usually be more than happy to take the grass off your hands for their own compost pile. 
 
Save your vegetables 
If you grow your own vegetables you may find that slugs and snails often frequent your crop. One way to remove them without the use of pesticides is to dry out your grass clippings and add them in thin layers around your vegetables. This may deter those pesky critters from taking a nibble out of your crops allowing you to enjoy them that bit more. 
 
Things not to do with grass clippings 
Some people are often tempted to burn their garden waste. This is a huge shame as much of it can be naturally recycled to make your garden healthier. Not only this but it creates smoke, can annoy the neighbours and creates carbon dioxide which is added to the atmosphere.   Also, people are tempted to throw their grass clippings into their general waste bin. This again should always be avoided. When organic material breaks down it creates methane which can ignite in large quantities.  The alternative to both of these is to visit your local tip. Many local recycling centres now accept organic garden waste for free and is the quick and easy way to get rid of your grass clippings for free.
 
 

How to shape your hedges and bushes

Often, hedges and bushes are visual features of your garden and make a real impact on how your garden looks. The beginning of the year is typically a good time to trim your hedges and bushes before the summer sun, and warmer weather encourages them to grow.
 
 
Shaping - what do I need? 
Shaping a hedge or bush is generally only limited by a hedge’s type, size and your imagination. This is commonly called topiary. It is relatively easy to do and just requires a little practice.  Depending on the shape you want your hedge to be, you will need: Hedge trimmer Wooden stakes  Piece of bamboo String For irregular, round or spiral-shaped hedges: Hand shears or saw Wire meshing It is recommended that you wear appropriate clothing and safety equipment when cutting your hedges. If using an electric hedge trimmer with mains electricity, you should plug it into an RCD adaptor so that it cuts out if there is a power surge. 
 
Giving your hedge a straight edge 
In the UK, you’re more likely to see hedges with straight edges. This is often called a formal hedge, as they are commonly used to define property boundaries. Giving your hedge a simple ‘top, back and sides' is relatively simple. Smaller hedges can be cut by eye, using an electric hedge trimmer with the user periodically stopping, standing back and checking that the hedge is straight. For larger hedges, it is recommended that you hammer two stakes into the ground at either end of the hedge. Tie a piece of string at the height you wish to cut and pull it taut to create your straight line. This can then be used as a cutting guide to ensure that the hedge is evenly cut
 
Cutting a square hedge 
The principles of cutting a square hedge are the same as creating a straight line. Use a string pulled taut between two garden canes to create the flat top using your hedge trimmer in a straight, sweeping movement. To create the flat sides, use the garden canes again as a guide, making sure that they are stood up perfectly straight. Move the hedge cutter up from the base of the hedge, keeping it well aligned with the garden canes to ensure a flat surface. 
 
Giving your hedge a slope 
Before attempting to give your hedge a slope, you should map out how you want it to look. Make sure that all areas of your hedge will be able to get sunlight. If not, these areas can turn brown and die off. The widest part of your hedge should always be the base. Using the same principle with the pieces of string and wooden stakes, give yourself a guide for creating a straight edge. Move the hedge trimmer upwards from the base to form your slope, gradually increasing the amount you trim off as you move to the top. If you’re cutting older bushes, your electric hedge trimmer may not be able to cut through dense patches or thick branches. Make sure you have a sharp pair of manual hedge cutters or saw to help you get through thicker branches.
 
Cutting a round hedge 
For a rounded cut, you should start around 3 inches from the top of the hedge. To achieve the curve, you will have to use your eye and instinct. Keeping the hedge trimmer at an angle, move it away from your body and to the top of the hedge. Keep repeating this motion as you move around the hedge to create an even finish.  Unfortunately, unless you intend to use wire mesh, there is no other way to create this shape than by eye. This means that you might wish to practise on a less prominent hedge before you attempt to create a feature.  
 
How to cut a spiral 
Spiralling is the most popular form of topiary, and though it looks complex, the steps are easy to follow with a keen eye and a bit of practice.  First, you need to make sure that your hedge is the right shape.  Start by trimming your hedge into a cone shape with the base as the widest point. Do this by locating the central point of growth at the top of your hedge and working away and down from there to achieve the cone shape. If your hedge is looking a bit thin, give it some time to grow before returning to create the spiral shape. Using a piece of string, map out where you would like the spiral to sit. This will help to guide your shears as you work around the plant evenly. Work up from the base of the plant, cutting at an angle below the string to remove foliage to create the spiral shape. As you progress, allow the angle to increase gradually to give the spiral more definition. If you want to add a ball on top, cut using the rounding method as before, but also make sure you remove the branches directly below the ball to make it stand out on top of the spiral. 
 
Obtaining and maintaining, an irregular shaped hedge 
We have all seen them, hedges shaped like animals or abstract shapes. They look impressive, but as you might have guessed, they aren’t the easiest of shape types to get. The best way to achieve an irregular shaped hedge design is to create a metal mesh that fits nicely around your hedge or bush. Sit the frame on top of your hedge and then neatly cut around the mesh using your electric hedge trimmer or hand shears. By trimming regularly, it will slowly train your hedge or bush to grow in the shape you want. 
 
Cutting different types of hedge 
Some hedges, such as hawthorn, privet, conifers and box are tall and therefore best for achieving spirals and other taller topiary shapes. Others, such as beech and hornbeam are slightly stockier so are more suited to smaller shapes.  For formal hedges, the best option is usually the box as it has thick growth and small leaves, perfect for shaping and maintaining easily. Informal hedges, such as rhododendrons or hydrangeas are much more difficult to shape as they have much larger leaves and some ideas of their own about how they want to sit. Though you are well recommended to prune them for maintenance, leave the peacock shapes to other hedge types! Always remember that most hedges prefer to be pruned or shaped during their dormant season and for flowering or fruiting hedges, this means after the flowers and fruit have gone. The very beginning of spring is often a good time for pruning as it will give your hedge plenty of time to fill out again over the summer. 

Five common gardening myths

Bats are blind. Apple seeds grow in your stomach. Goldfish have a three second memory. What do these three things have in common? 
 
They’re all commonly believed myths.  
 
And whilst everyone enjoys the occasional old wives’ tale that has been passed down through the generations, did you know that the gardening world, in particular, is full of myths that could actually be compromising the welfare of your garden? That’s why we’ve gone undercover to dig up and dispel five of the most common misconceptions about gardening.
 
You must water the lawn daily in the summer 
There is no need to water your grass every day and too much water can actually cause serious harm to your lawn – as you may have seen after heavy bouts of rain. So that your lawn can remain healthy, the roots of the grass need a period of dryness to stave off insects and disease – so try to water your garden approximately three times a week during warm summer periods.  
 
It's essential to change potting soil every year 
FALSE! Whilst some gardeners worry that potting soil only contains enough nutrients to keep plants healthy for a single growing season, most types will actually stay rich for up to two years. And if you’re worried that your old potting soil is running low on nutrients, simply work a few handfuls of compost into the pots at the start of each year to keep your plants growing strong.  
 
Adding stones to pots improves drainage 
The chances are that gardeners have probably added stones or gravel into the bottom of containers in the hope of improving drainage, at least once in their lifetime. After trying it out ourselves we can safely say that this doesn’t work. Instead, ensure there is adequate drainage by using top-quality potting soil, and either selecting pots with holes at the bottom or adding your own.  
 
Organic pesticides are the best to use in your garden 
This is one of the most common gardening myths out there and potentially one of the worst. It has been found that many natural toxins used in organic garden products are potentially harmful, and if misused, they can be dangerous to people, pets and the wonderful inhabitants of our gardens like frogs and bees. Whenever possible, it’s best to select the least toxic option available as even if it isn’t lethal, many of the toxins found in organic pesticides can cause serious health complications. Safe storage of these products can help prevent any harmful accidents and it is extremely important to read and follow all the directions on the label.
 
Eggshells discourage slugs 
Many people believe that crushed eggshells can ward off those pesky slugs that can be perilous to our plants and vegetables. Whilst it might be true in extreme abundance, take a moment to consider how many eggs you’re going to have to consume to protect just a few plants? So unless you’re on a diet of scrambled eggs, this probably isn’t the most effective way to treat the problem. If you wish to avoid chemicals, why not try raking over the soil regularly to expose slugs to the birds, or alternatively get creative and make your own traps using melon or upturned half oranges to capture the predators. It works wonders! 

How to use a hedge trimmer

The electric hedge trimmer is the most commonly used in the UK. Though petrol models may offer slightly more power, the electric hedge trimmer is quieter, lighter and better for the environment. And, given their relatively low cost and ease of use, you can see why they are so popular. Hedges require a certain amount of maintenance and knowing when and how to trim your hedge will ensure that it stays healthy and attractive all year round
 
When to trim your hedge 
The best times to trim your hedge depends on the type of hedge you have and whether it is a formal or informal shape you are after. You must also make sure that there are no nesting birds when you plan to trim your hedge. It is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to trim a hedge when there is a nest being built or being used by birds.  
 
Guides for popular hedging plants
  • Evergreen Ilex aquifolium (holly) – Cut once during late summer
  •  
  • Buxus sempervirens (box) – Cut two/three times during growing season
  •  
  • Cotoneaster lacteus – Only after fruiting
  •  
  • Prunus laurocerasus – Prune twice during spring/summer
  •  
  • Lavandula (lavender) – Prune immediately after flowering
  •  
  • Conifers Chamaecyparis lawsoniana (Lawson cypress) – Cut twice, in spring and summer
  •  
  • Taxus baccata (yew): Cut twice, in mid-summer and autumn Deciduous
  •  
  • Carpinus betulus (hornbeam): Once, in mid-to-late summer
  •  
  • Crataegus monogyna (hawthorn): Twice, in mid-summer and autumn
  •  
  • Berberis thunbergii – cut after flowering  Formative pruning 
 
Formative pruning is to be done soon after you have planted your hedge or bush and will dictate the shape you want. Deciduous hedges should be pruned in winter after planting, and evergreen hedges should be pruned in the spring. Both types of hedges should be pruned for the first two years to form their shape.  
 
Hedge maintenance and trimming 
If you have a formal hedge, you will need to trim more frequently to maintain the shape. For the vast majority of hedge types, the summer is the best season for this, just be wary of any birds who may still be nesting. Some conifers and deciduous hedges may allow you to continue to trim into autumn, for example, the hawthorn and yew.  As a general rule, if you have a flowering or fruiting hedge, you should wait until after the flowers or fruit have grown before trimming. You may also wish to remove older stems or thin twigs at this time to encourage new growth.  
 
A few safety tips to bear in mind before you start 
Check the weather.  You should never cut your bushes or hedges in the rain, and this is especially important when using an electric hedge trimmer as water and electricity don’t mix! If the weather is fine to work in, check your equipment is in good working order and not damaged in any way. If your hedge trimmer is damaged, you should either have it fixed by a trained professional or buy a new one. 
 
Wear appropriate clothing and footwear.
The clothing you choose should allow you to move freely, be sturdy and tight-fitting. Your clothes should offer you some protection and not be liable to snag on the branches as you cut. You should also wear sturdy non-slip shoes to provide you with a secure footing when using your hedge trimmer. Goggles and gloves are also recommended.
 
 
Clear the area
Pick out any dead leaves or debris that may be stuck in your hedge. This will stop debris from jamming your hedge trimmer and make cutting a whole lot easier. You may also need to move other things out of the way to give you the best direct access to the hedge.
 
 
Is it safe to start?
Are there children or pets running around the garden?
If so, rope or mark off an area or safe zone so that they cannot enter where you will be using the hedge trimmer. This will prevent them from knocking you when cutting your hedges and hurting you or themselves.
If you are using an electric hedge trimmer, ensure you have enough cable to reach where you need to go. If the standard cable that comes with the hedge trimmer is not long enough, you can attach an extension lead. Never use more than one extension cable at one time and always make sure that the cable doesn’t form a trip hazard. 
 
How to shape your hedge 
Now you and your hedge trimmer are ready to start work. Stand a comfortable distance away from your hedge and gain a sure footing. If you are using an electric hedge trimmer, ensure the cord is behind you and out of the way. By cutting away from the power source, it will ensure the cable is always trailing away from you.
 
Shaping a formal hedge can take some practice to achieve, but with a few simple tips, it will be much easier to create beautiful shapes.   Achieving straight lines  Cutting by eye is incredibly difficult, and most gardeners prefer to use string to ensure their accuracy. Use two stout canes either side of your hedge and tie the string so that it is pulled taut between them. This will give you a good guideline to achieve your perfectly straight line. Canes or stakes will also act as a guide for vertical lines.  
 
Tapering
To ensure that light can reach the whole hedge, and not just the top, you should taper the hedge very slightly so that the top is thinner than the bottom. Even the most vigorous hedges won’t exceed more than 60cm depth, use this as a guide for the broadest section at the bottom.  Shaping If you wish to achieve a more interesting shape, you can use cardboard or plywood cutouts to guide your hedge trimmer. This technique is especially good for making arches in your hedge. For a rounded cut, start around 3 inches from the top of the hedge and move the hedge trimmer away from your body and to the centre of the top of the hedge, using an angle to create the curve. Repeat this motion on the other side of the hedge. 
 
 
Shaping tall hedges
If you are cutting taller hedges and using a hedge trimmer with a telescopic pole, you will need to extend the pole to the appropriate height and tilt the blade to a 90-degree angle. When using this, take care to avoid any falling debris as you are cutting. 
 
Tidying up and hedge trimmer maintenance 
If your hedges are large or require a lot of trimming, you may prefer to tidy as you go. Placing a sheet on the floor before you begin will allow you to easily collect the cuttings as they fall. Then you can easily pick them up to dispose of them in your garden waste bin, or add them to your compost heap.
After cutting your hedges, it is important that you clean your hedge trimmer. During cutting it is likely that sap and debris from the bushes has become stuck in the blades and teeth. Leaving this debris in the hedge trimmer will make it more difficult and less efficient for your trimmer to cut the hedges next time you need to do it. 
Turn off the machine and place it on a suitable work surface. Gently remove any loose debris and, clean the blade following the manufacturer's guidance. If you are using a petrol hedge trimmer, you may be required to lubricate the teeth with an appropriate oil such as linseed oil.
 
Always follow the manufacturer’s advice
Always a good rule to follow when cleaning the product to maintain its warranty. To sharpen the blades of your hedge trimmer, release the blades and clamp the first one into a vice. Slide a metal filer at a 38-degree angle up the length of the blade from bottom to top. To test the sharpness, gently bring a piece of paper down over the blade, and if it cuts, your blade is ready. Apply linseed oil and move to the other blade. Once you have sharpened both blades, screw them back onto your hedge trimmer ready for use. 

How to move a hedge or bush in your garden

Moving (or transplanting) your hedge may seem like a daunting task, but by following our simple guide, you can complete the move as quickly and efficiently as possible.
 
When to move your hedge
Deciding when to move your hedge will take a lot of forward planning, many hedges will need time to prepare for the move. If you plan to prune the roots before the move, you will need to do this the spring before the move in the autumn or winter. For more mature plants, this should be done the year before. The vast majority of hedges and bushes prefer to be moved during the dormant season between late October to mid-March. However, there are many different types of hedges and bushes, and each has its own preferences.
 
Transplanting a rose bush 
Unlike other bushes, roses prefer to be transplanted just above the ground level. This means that the hole you dig for them to sit in doesn’t need to be as big as for other bushes. You should also only use about half of the excavated soil to fill the rose in before giving the plant a thorough watering. You should allow the hole to fill up and drain with water before you replace the other half of the soil on top and press down firmly to remove air pockets. 
 
How to move a privet hedge
Privet hedges require a strong cut back between one and two-thirds of the plant to encourage new root growth after the move. If the root system is particularly tenacious, this should also be pruned back. However, you should always endeavour to retain as much of the root ball and attached soil as possible. 
 
Transplanting hydrangea bushes 
Hydrangeas are a really popular bush in many gardens and can be transplanted if necessary. Wait until the flowers have died back and the leaves have dropped before you begin. In the UK, November is the best time to move a hydrangea because the ground has not yet frozen, but in a warm year, you could wait a little longer. Once you have transplanted your hydrangea, make sure you water it regularly through the spring as it establishes itself.
 
When to love rhododendron
The transplanting of most rhododendrons, even the larger ones, can be performed fairly easily. In cooler and temperate parts of the UK, transplanting is recommended in early spring.  A move should only be performed on younger rhododendrons, as more established bushes will have their roots intertwined with other established vegetation – removing such bushes will potentially cause damage to the root system. Unlike other hedges, rhododendrons do appreciate a layer of compost as well as a sprinkling of fertiliser once they have been transplanted. Rhododendrons also prefer the soil to be lightly applied and aerated so don’t be tempted to plant it too deep or pack in the soil as you would with other types of hedges. 
 
 
Deciding where to move your hedge 
Before moving any hedge, you need to work out where you are moving it to. Consider whether the conditions for the hedge are similar to where it is now.  Moving a hedge to a new location is hard enough for any plant, but moving it somewhere where the living conditions are completely different may not be a good idea. Ensure that the other bushes and plants in the new location are compatible with the hedge you plan to move. There is no point moving the hedge next to plants that like lots of water if it requires very little. They just won’t be compatible. For example, if it is in the shade at the moment, move it to another shady space.  Moving a hedge or bush in your garden  Once you have chosen your location, you are ready to start the moving process.
 
You will need:
  • A sharp flat spade
  • Pruning shears or a hedge trimmer
  • Twine A sheet or burlap sack
Dig a suitable hole for your hedge 
Make sure that it is twice as wide as the root ball and deep enough to accommodate the hedge roots. You can estimate the root ball size by gently digging around either side of the roots of your hedge, without digging it up entirely just yet.  
 
Drench the soil with water
This will ensure that when the hedge is moved to its new location, it has enough water to survive and recover. It is also worth adding a layer of fresh compost to the soil to provide additional nutrients required for healthy hedge growth.  
 
Prune your hedge 
To limit the stress, you should try to ensure that it has everything it needs to recover from the damage it will suffer when being transplanted from one location to another. To ensure your hedge stands the best possible chances of surviving the move, prune the hedge back. Remove any dead or dying leaves and take it back as far as possible. You can use a hedge trimmer or pruning shears for this job but remember: never cut more than 20% of the hedge in one go. Make sure you water the hedge a few days before the move to ensure that it is fully hydrated.  
 
Digging up the hedge 
When digging the hedge up, first - loosely tie the branches together with twine. This will allow you additional room to work in and keep the branches out of the way. Start by digging approximately 10 inches away from the base of the trunk. Create a trench around the shrub gently tipping the bush onto a sheet or burlap sack. This will make it easier to transport to its new location.  
 
Dealing with the roots 
If you do need to cut the roots, be sure to use a sharp pair of secateurs or a knife to ensure a clean cut and reduce stress on the hedge. Try and be as gentle as possible saving as many roots as you can. Avoid the temptation of breaking up the soil at the bottom of the roots. This may cause the bush to sink, therefore encouraging rotting.  
 
Introducing the hedge to its home 
Add the hedge to its new hole and spread out the roots out as much as possible. Make sure that the hedge is no deeper in its new hole than its old one and fill in with a mixture of soil and fresh compost. Water the hedge once more and keep watering the hedge every few days. You can also add additional organic material like bark chipping or grass mulch, which will slowly break down and provide nutrients to the hedge

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