Who would have thought that trimming hedges in winter could be so important? Hedge plants and topiary need to be looked after all year round, but it is especially important during the colder months. This article will give you a guide to what you should do with your hedge plants and topiary over the winter months to ensure their health for next Spring.
Here’s our top ten tips that will help you keep your hedges happy through those colder, damper months!
Have a good look at your plants
If there are any areas of damage or infestation on the leaves then take care of those right away because things that look spiteful will only get worse if left unattended! Now before we move forward with inspection let’s talk about how plants behave during different types weather episodes; rain is important since most pests thrive in wet environments while dry spells can sometimes lead them towards new hiding spots which means all hands should be raised at once against insect invasions – never underestimate their power over our gardens’ fate (and complexion)!
Taking photos of the plants is another great way of assessing them, but also of recording their growth over consecutive years, which leads nicely to our next tip!
Keep a gardening diary
Keeping a garden diary is an excellent way to stay organized and have access at all times. By taking the time to note the jobs you do with particular plants, you will be able to refer back to them in successive years and you’ll learn how the plants behave.
A good diary will help keep track of what you’re doing, when certain plants need trimming, or protection from pests and any other peculiarities that may arise. It takes time at the start but will save you hours of mind-dredging in the future!
Trim the edges of your hedges
Do you want to see your hedges grow stronger next year? Trim the edges of them in early Winter with a hedge trimmer. It will encourage root growth, leading that much more successfully for plant life in general!
You don’t need to trim too much off, but by tidying the plant early on, it will save on potentially wet messes in the bleak mid-Winter! And if you are concerned about trimming your hedges in wet weather, I can put your mind at ease!
Cut back any branches that are growing too close to power lines or other structures
If the weather takes a stormy turn, the best way to avoid power outages is by cutting back any branches that are growing too close and overlapping with other structures. Seek professional advice if you’re unsure of what you’re doing and on that note…
Consider using a tree service
If you’ve got big hedges like leylandii, or trees in your garden, it’s worth checking that they won’t be battered by storms in a way that might damage your property. I would never recommend cutting down or pollarding a tree without first consulting an arborist. Tree trimming services can help with these risks and it’s really worth taking the few minutes needed for safety! They will have the skills and tools necessary to help you prepare your trees for safe Springtime growth!
Pro-tip: book these guys when the weather is good because once the storms start coming, they will be in high demand!
Prune off any diseased growths or spindly branches
The winter season, with its damp dark soil conditions are perfect for fungal infections and any other diseases that may be present in your hedges. Time spent looking out for infection and diseases and taking careful action in early Winter will pay dividends if it prevents things worsening at the critical growth time in the spring.
What’s more, spending time pruning spindly branches that might be growing in strange places, such as at the base of the plant, will direct growth hormones towards the remaining branches, which can lead to a more measured growth of your plant in the next season.
If you’re worried that your hedge is dying, we might be able to help with that!
Trim away dead leaves and twigs from the base of your hedges
A bit of tidying and trimming at the bottom of the plant will support better drainage during the rainier times and will avoid wind-based build-up of debris in other parts of your garden. It’s one of those jobs that is easiest to do while the dead stuff is still attached to the plants, rather than once the weather has had its wicked way!
Need advice in choosing a hedge trimmer? We’ve got you covered!
Apply a layer of mulch around the base of your hedges
In our experience, a layer of mulch around the base can help protect your hedges and keep them insulated. They’ll also be less susceptible during freezing temperatures! If you choose wisely, you can use your own hedge trimmings as a mulch which is a smart move!
While you’re thinking about mulching, consider the following tip!
Apply a fertilizer with a low nitrogen content
The best way to ensure that your new plants get all the nutrients they need is by applying a fertilizer with low levels of nitrogen. This will make sure you don’t stimulate any growth in wintertime months when food sources are scarce and temperatures can be below freezing point for days on end!
If you mix some fertiliser in with your mulch, it should nicely drip feed the plants while also protecting them from the elements!
Don’t forget to water plants in containers
Winters aren’t always wet, so it’s important to keep tabs on your potted plants to make sure they’re suitably soaked. Topiaries in pots run the risk of missing out on rain water, or at least getting less than their ground-based brethren, so a fortnightly check on their soil conditions is a nice consideration.
Equally you may need to use horticultural fleece over some plants to give them that bit more protection, and while you’re wrapping them up, be sure to have a nice chat with them – we know plants love that kind of TLC!
So there you have it – our top tips to make sure your hedges and topiaries enjoy the winter months and come back brighter in the Spring!