Trimming is the job of cutting your hedge regularly to encourage strong growth for a full, dense, hedge. Trimming maintains shape and keeps the hedge at a manageable height and width.
When you garden sitting down, trimming a low hedge that is not too wide, should be manageable but tackle a section at a time to avoid getting over tired.
Top tips to make trimming hedges easier
- When trimming hedges sitting down, it may be just as easy to use conventional hedging shears as long-reach tools can be heavy to use. Try to work with the shears close to your body, just below chest height. If this isn’t right for you, a half-size pair of hedge shears is lighter than conventional shears and will take less effort to use.
Keep shears and other cutting tools sharp, clean, well oiled and adjusted. Don’t try to cut material that is too thick with shears – carry secateurs to cut through any thicker stems and use long reach secateurs if needed.
- Avoid very fast-growing species and keep the hedge to a height that is easy for you to reach.
- If you find cutting the hedge difficult, an alternative such as a wall or fence - with climbing plants - can be wildlife-friendly, attractive options.
- Depending on the size of your hedge, this is a job that you might decide to get regular help with.
- Always ‘warm up’ with a few gentle stretches before starting work, keep your back straight and only work for short periods, to avoid strain.
- Conventional hedging shears can often cause neck, back and arm problems. Try to work with the shears as close to your body as possible and hold them just below chest height.
- Make sure you are working from a stable chair and only trim within your reach to make sure you don’t lose your balance. Only cut where you can reach comfortably, tackle a bit at a time and take rests.
- Wear suitable shoes and clothing to protect your feet and legs. Safety glasses are necessary when using powered trimmers.
Equipment and tools
Super sharp shears, with shorter blades and long handles, are lighter, and suitable for more delicate trimming, such as topiary.
- A lightweight telescopic hedge shear helps you to reach further and is helpful if you are sitting down.
- For light trimming jobs, such as box hedges, you can use one-handed shears
- Battery powered shears are ideal for trimming soft foliage and for light hedge trimming. They can be used one handed.
- A long-reach battery powered trimmer can be managed sitting down if you have good balance and upper body strength.