Give hedges a haircut

Give hedges a haircut

Now is the time to give your hedges a bit of TLC, with a trim to tidy up their summer growth, which will also thicken them up, as well as a boost of nutrients to help them thrive and a pest check to keep them healthy. Here’s what to do.

Take out the shears or secateurs and tidy your hedges to trim any rampant growth. Even hedges planted last spring should be trimmed now to encourage the plants to bush up. This encourages many more side shoots that will eventually make a more effective screen.

After pruning, fertilise with organic pellets, water well and renew a layer of mulch on either side of the hedge, without allowing it to directly contact the trunks of the plants.

Check plants for pests, too. Popular lillipillies are quick-growing screens but many varieties are affected by psyllids, tiny sap-sucking insect pests that cause unsightly bumps in the leaves. Scale insects are common, too. Give affected plants an all-over trim to remove the most obvious damage. Put affected prunings into the bin, not the compost, and spray the plants with an oil-based spray to suffocate pests that remain.

You’ll find more ways to manage regular jobs around the garden, including how to keep on top of weeds, in the February 2021 issue of ABC Gardening Australia magazine, out now.