Hedge Trimming for Beginners

Pruning or trimming your hedges is an important aspect of gardening and general property maintenance. It allows hedges to grow and stay in shape, providing a manicured appearance. Many seasoned gardeners are aware of the need to regularly trim their hedges, what equipment they should, and the best time to start trimming. Beginners, on the other hand, may struggle.

Trimming your hedges without basic knowledge and skills means you could end up doing more harm than good to your hedges. Much like a bad haircut, a bad trimming job can stunt the growth and way your hedge grows. As we are professional hedge trimmers, we know how to successfully trim a hedge. Read on to learn how best to trim your hedge as a beginner and the fundamentals of having healthy and established hedges.

The basics of hedge trimming

Before you grab the cutting shears or electric hedge trimmer, you need to know the basics of hedge trimming such as why we trim hedges, when to do it and which hedges it’s best suited to.

What is hedge trimming?

Hedge trimming is the process of cutting or removing dead and overgrown branches, usually performed with shears or a hedge trimmer. It is done to allow new growth and to make hedges look tidy and neat.

When is the best time to trim?

Effective trimming does not only mean doing a good job, but also about knowing when is the best time to trim. Usually late winter to early spring is the best time to trim, however some hedges may need to be trimmed more often.

Should you trim new hedges?

Yes, new hedges require more attention during their formative years (the first two years). Regular formative trimming will ensure thick and healthy growth, which is important in establishing an attractive hedge.

Should you trim established hedges?

Most established hedges will require trimming about twice a year. It should be done once at the beginning of spring when there is new growth to remove stray branches and dead woods and allow sunlight to penetrate the inner branches. The next one is done at the beginning of summer to maintain its shape.

What tools should I use for hedge trimming?

When it comes to hedge trimming, there are multiple different tools you can use. Hand shears are usually the most popular amongst home gardeners and beginners as they are quiet, affordable and safer to use. Hedge trimmers, which can be petrol, electric and battery powered, are better if you are cutting a larger area and are more experienced with trimming.

You’ll also need safety equipment such as earmuffs, a respirator or mask, and gloves. It can be handy to have a rake and garbage bag on hand to manage any debris.

Best hedge trimming practices

Although trimming your hedge may be relatively straight forward, here are some recommended tips and tricks to follow to ensure that your trimming is successful!

1) Gather your tools

The first step to trimming your hedges is to ensure that your cutting tools are sharp, charged and ready to go. Blunt blades or cutting teeth can lead to tearing and give your hedge an uneven appearance. You also want to ensure that your tools are clean and ready to go, whether that means having a long enough extension cord, charged batteries or a sufficient level or petrol. Get into the habit of cleaning your tools after every hedge.

2) Begin with the dead or diseased branches

Now it’s time to get trimming! You want to start with the dead and diseased branches on your hedge first. This is because removing these branches will encourage new growth and enable light to enter the inner ears. After removing these branches, you will also be able to see the shape of the hedge easily and cut according to the healthy growth.

3) Cut branches clean

Cutting the branches clean refers to cutting close to the nodes of the branches or the trunk. This is because diseases can easily penetrate the stubs and can prevent an uneven appearance.

4) Regularly observe post-trim

After you’ve trimmed your hedges, it doesn’t mean the work is over! It’s best to check the condition of your hedge regularly as well as fertilising and applying mulch to encourage growth. Maintaining hedges may seem like a lot of work, especially during their formative stage. But once they are established, they require less attention. It just takes the right tools, patience, and careful planning to keep them healthy and attractive.

Learn more about hedge trimming

You can understand more hedge trimming by asking the experts! At Jim’s Mowing NZ, we offer a comprehensive hedge trimming service so your hedges are healthy, growing and look fantastic! We can provide you with professional advice which is specific to your hedges and garden. Contact us today to learn more!

How to care for your roses in winter: planting and pruning tips

Roses are a stunning and hardy addition to your garden that can be planted as a colourful hedge, complementary pop of colour, or even on a feature such as an archway. So, if you want to make sure your roses look their best this year, winter is actually the best time to plant and maintain your roses to ensure a blossoming, gorgeous garden come spring. Planting, pruning, mulching, and spraying roses in New Zealand is all best done in winter, so check out these tips from our Mowing and Gardening experts on how you can care for your roses in winter.

Planting roses in winter

If you plant your rose bushes right, it will be a lot easier to keep them healthy, strong, and full of flowers. Roses like a lot of sunlight so choose a sunny spot; somewhere that gets at about 5 hours a day is best. Also try to pick a spot sheltered from strong winds.

Next, prepare your soil. Dig it through using a garden fork and remove any weeds. Add plenty of peat, compost, or any well-rotted organic material to give the soil a nutrient boost.

Now dig a hole big enough to hold the roots and create a small mound of soil (around 5cm high) in the centre of the hole. Carefully squeeze out your rose bush from its pot and place on top of the mound. Check that where the roots and stem meet is level with the top of the hole. If it isn’t you may need to adjust the size of your mound. Then spread out the roots around the mound.

Fill in the hole, firm the soil and water well.

Finally, add a layer of mulch around the rose bush to help prevent weeds from growing and to help retain water. Just make sure that mulch doesn’t touch the stem of the bush, as if it does it can cause it to rot.


What is the proper way to prune roses?

Roses should be pruned when they’re not in flower. This is generally around June or July, although in cooler regions, it may be more like August. Don’t be concerned if you still have a few roses flowering when it is time to prune. A few flowers are an acceptable sacrifice to ensure a good performance next year.

Choose a sunny dry day to prune, as wet weather can encourage the spread of disease. Always use sharp secateurs to get a clean cut. A clean cut prevents die back and bacterial disease from affecting roses.

TOP TIP: Dip secateurs in bleach or methylated spirits to reduce the chances of spreading disease.

To prune, first remove any dead or diseased growth and then clear the centre of the plant to allow air movement. Cut branches back by about half and make all cuts on an angle which slopes away from the bud.

HANDY HINT: Keep your garden bag handy to collect all the cuttings and debris that falls on the ground. You should dispose of this to stop the spread of disease rather than putting it into your compost bin (if you have one).

Watering and feeding roses in winter

Roses do not need watering or feeding in winter as they are dormant and not growing. But they do require plenty of water in summer. Consider installing an irrigation system to make sure your roses get the regular, deep watering they need.

When buds start to burst in early spring start feeding them approximately once a month with a balanced fertiliser specially blended for roses.

Roses do well with cool, moist, rich soils, and do not like competing with weeds for food and water, so continue to add a layer of mulch around the stem.


When to spray roses

To keep roses pest and disease-free many gardeners regularly spray them. Winter is a good time for spraying to catch any over-wintering insect eggs or fungal spores. A copper-based spray is a good general clean up spray to apply. Talk to a gardening expert for specific advice on different sprays available or alternative options for dealing with pests and disease.

HANDY HINT: There are lots of rose varieties available. Consider colour, planting location, and climate and scent when choosing your favourite.


If you’re looking at planting roses in winter, or want someone else to look after them for you, give one of our friendly team members a call on 0800 454 654 or enquire at Jim’s Mowing NZ for advice on caring for your garden and lawn this winter.

Care Tips For Your Hedge This Autumn

Autumn brings about a lot of cleaning and sprucing chores. A lot of these jobs will require you to stay outdoors, and most of these are all about or related to gardening.

Pruning your plants is an important gardening chore you should not neglect doing this autumn. This is because you need to prepare them for the negative effects that the winter season will bring. Trimming is one of the best ways you can boost a plant’s defense against pests and diseases. In addition, pruning hedges in autumn will promote tight, green growth in the plant which will have the chance to harden off before there is frost.

The Right Hedge Trimming Process

When trimming your hedges this autumn, you need to make sure you remove all dead and diseased wood and competing branches since they can chafe and infect the healthy ones.  You also have to get rid of all dead leaves since pests, particularly insects, will spend the winter in hollow straws and seed stems. You also have to trim parts of the hedge that have already strayed too far and could be preventing people from safely using paths.

Although a lot of things will have to go, you should still trim and cut with restraint. This is because frost can damage cuts and freeze the back branches. If you cut too much, the plant will suffer frost damage and you won’t be able to correct it in the spring. As such, cut less away now so that your freedom to care for your plants won’t be restricted when spring comes.

Additional Tips

Below are some additional care and maintenance tips for your hedges you should take note of this autumn season:

  • Make sure you sharpen your cutting tools before using them to trim your hedges to minimise the risk of tearing branches you don’t want to remove.
  • If you’re pruning rounded and small hedges, use shears since this tool enables you to make very precise cuts for these types of hedges. To make the job easier and to reduce tearing, you will do well to use shears with wavy blades and gears.
  • To have an easier time trimming long, straight hedges, use a powered hedge trimmer.
  • Disinfect the tools as you go, particularly before use for different types of plants, to prevent diseases from being spread around the garden. You can wipe the trimming tool or trimmer’s blade using disinfectant wipes or dip it into a bucket of diluted bleach.
  • Lastly, cut in stages if you are removing a thick branch. Start on the underside then cut from the top to meet the undercut and prevent the bark from tearing.

Regardless of the season, beautiful, thriving hedges add to the appeal of your garden and your property. You can maintain and enhance their quality this autumn by following the right trimming steps and techniques.

For more garden and landscaping tips, tune in for more Jim’s Mowing NZ blogs.

6 Unique Hedge Design Ideas

What makes a garden, a lawn, or a property impressive and unforgettable? One answer would be uniquely designed hedges.

Hedges are created to serve a variety of purposes in a certain space. The most common purpose is to create a boundary around a property. Hedges are also added to create a beautiful backdrop that blends well with the surroundings. In addition, they serve as borders or outlines to pathways to protect the plant-beds from being stepped on.

Besides aesthetics, hedges also create solitary outdoor living spaces by offering more privacy around your property. They also reduce noise and block strong winds.

To get the most out of your hedges, it would be best to incorporate unique designs in your garden or property.

Hedges as living fences

Instead of using fences to separate the structural area in your property from your landscape or garden, why not use hedges instead? Tall hedges can be planted and formed as living fences to bridge the space between a commercial building and a landscape or between your home and your garden.






















Hedges as mazes

Hedges used to create labyrinths and mazes never get old. The complexity and mystery of the designs will definitely grab every person’s attention. They give a space a different look not commonly seen anywhere.









Hedges as vertical gardens

Vertical gardens, also called wall gardens, have been thriving since ancient civilization. Incorporating hedges in your vertical garden will give your wall an elegant and sleek look.









Shaped hedges as borders

Aside from the usual geometrical shapes you find as borders and outlines, hedges can also be trimmed to form other structures. They can be trimmed to look like your favorite cartoon character or they can be formed into animal shapes.
















Your own sense of style

What better way to create a unique hedge design, than to incorporate your own style vision? By adding your personal flair, you can create designs and pieces that are significant to you.

A fusion of distinct styles

Who says you can’t have the best of both worlds? A combination of contemporary and old-fashioned hedge designs can give your property an unparalleled look.















Trimming and molding hedges require skill and creativity. It demands a certain level of competence and physical strength to operate the equipment needed in order to accomplish the job. Whenever hedge designing becomes too tough to handle, calling in experts is the best thing to do.

For more garden and landscaping tips, tune in for more Jim’s Mowing NZ blogs.

Enhance Your Garden With The Right Hedge Design

It is common knowledge: a garden is made up of different species of plants. These plants can be ornamental, fruit- or vegetable-bearing, functional, or even all three. Some types of foliage, though, can be both decorative and, at the same time, functional elements of a garden. Hedges are one of these.

Hedges can provide a visual barrier around a property or within a garden. A dense hedge can help stifle traffic noise from a busy street. It can also act as an effective windbreak.  A hedge made of spiky plants can also act as a physical deterrent to unwanted guests, pests, and even dogs and cats that will intrude into and damage your yard. When designed properly, hedges can also be used in artistic ways to partition your garden to create rooms or areas.

Hedges As Garden Frames

One technique used by seasoned landscapers for designing amazing landscape designs is framing. This helps create a clean and tidy look for a garden.

Low hedges make for great frames. From a distance, hedges that are about 600 millimetres high and wide not only hide any unruly weeds but unify the mixture of plantings you may have beyond the garden beds. If your property has a mixed border or garden on the whole, the hedge can pull everything together into something more unified.

Aside from acting as frames, low-growing hedges can serve other purposes, too. They can edge a path, surround a pond, water feature, or swimming pool, and even separate areas within your yard.

Plants that work best as low hedges include the Buxus Faulkner or Japanese box, Buxus Harlandii, and Murraya or orange jessamine.

Hedge Designs

The conventional image of a hedge is one of a neatly clipped, straight, and box-shaped living fence. This pertains to the classical, formal design of a hedge. However, an informal hedge, or one that is permitted to grow without intensive shaping or to follow a straight line, also offers benefits as well. A meandering hedge can look amazing if it complements a less formal garden design. This type of hedge also has the remarkable advantage of being allowed to flower and, in some cases, even produce ornamental or edible berries, too.










Choosing the Right Plant for Your Hedge

The first important element to look for in the right plant to grow as hedges is its being extremely hardy and long-lived so that gaps or spaces do not develop as it grows. In addition, you also have to consider your yard’s soil type and the local climate.

If you want to have a formal hedge, keep in mind that this will have to be clipped often to maintain a particular shape. Plants with relatively small leaves such as the box varieties are the best options since they can be trimmed as often as needed without looking ragged. If you want to have less formal hedges, opt for larger leaved plants such as Photinia.

For more garden and landscaping tips, tune in for more Jim’s Mowing NZ blogs.

Common Types Of Plants Used As Hedges

Whether you have a small or large yard, when designed and planted properly, hedges can give your outdoor space an additional charming quality. They can be functional garden features as well since they divide rooms or areas in your lawn and tall hedges can minimise outside noise and even block strong winds.

In Australia, there are four popular types of plants used to grow as hedges. These are:


Buxus, also known as boxwood, is perhaps the most well-known and popular choice for hedge plants. It is distinguished by its small leaves which gives it its primary advantage over other plant species. This is because the size of leaves can create a formal, tight hedge. It is a slow-growing plant and therefore easy to shape into a formal hedging style. It works best as a driveway or garden bed boundary.

For subtropical areas such as Southeast QLD and Northern NSW and temperate areas including Sydney, Victoria, and NSW’s coastal area, the English Box is the best species to grow as hedges.


If you want a taller hedge that has the look of boxwoods, you can go for murrayas. Their creamy white flowers have a sweet orange scent when they bloom. They are easy to care for and are disease-free. This plant has a dense, twiggy habit and foliage that is glossy green in colour. Since they can grow really tall, they are great as a privacy screen or hedge.

Murrayas grow best in areas with a warm climate including Sydney and Perth and other northern areas.

Lilly Pilly

Lilly pillies are native Australian plants. They are evergreen rainforest plants with glossy green leaves. They come in different varieties that can have flushes of colourful new growth, from bright pink to red-brown. Most lilly pillies have fluffy white or greenish flowers followed by long-lasting red, purple or whitish berries from spring to early summer.

Lilly pillies grow well and are quite popular in NSW, QLD, VIC, SA, and WA.


Most viburnums are very hardy and can easily grow in sunny or partly shaded areas as long as there is moist and well-drained soil. Some species are drought-tolerant; however, they will require additional water during the hotter seasons.

Viburnum odoratissimum and tinus are the two most common hedging varieties of viburnum. Odoratissimum is popular and grows well in QLD, NSW, VIC, TAS, SA, and WA. Tinus, on the other hand, thrives well in temperate areas including Sydney.

To choose the best plant species to grow as a hedge, make sure you consider various key factors such as the type of soil you have, the local weather condition, and the plant’s typical water amount requirement.