UK Gardeners Urged To Do This One Thing Before Summer Ends

It's a pretty satisfying job, to be fair.
annick vanderschelden photography via Getty Images

When it comes to gardening, September is truly a month of bounty. Everything from blackberries to spuds and even autumn raspberries are ripe for the picking this month, but even the most generous seasons make their demands.

While now is probably not the time to cut your grass too short (aside from the upcoming heatwave, keeping your grass longer is better for our dwindling wildlife), it’s more or less exactly the right time to consider trimming your hedges.

Here’s why, and how best to do it (according to the pros):

Giving your bushes a haircut can prepare them for upcoming pests

It’s a bumper year for midges and mosquitoes, and it’s around about time for multiple other pests to start gnawing at your garden, too.

Black & Decker’s gardening supplies manager, Tim Winstanley, recently told Yorkshire Live that “Trimming is one of the best ways you can boost a plant’s defence against pests and diseases[,] and doing this ahead of autumn will promote green growth.”

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) says that trimming your hedges can help[p to provide a denser bush, meaning it blocks sound and lights much better than a scrappier hedgerow.

As the summer winds down and winter winds slowly in, you’ll need to mow your lawn and prune your plants less and less often. You’ll only need to cut back your hedges yearly or even every two years ― and now’s the perfect time to do it, before winter frost creeps in and new growth stops entirely.

OK, but how?

Well, different bushes need different approaches, the RHS says. For instance, formal (very neat and ‘square’) hedges might need tapering; informal, or messier, hedges might only need lopping off with shears.

Winstanley has advice for trimmer users, too. “Before making the cut I would recommend checking your hedge trimmer is in good working condition and if you’re using a cordless trimmer make sure it[’]s fully charged,” he told Yorkshire Live.

“When trimming start from the bottom of the hedge and work your way up, this will allow you to catch falling clippings and maintain an even cut,” he added.

Bear in mind that hedges are vital for predatory insects, and they stay in them over the wintertime. These help to control the pest population once summer comes, so don’t scalp your lawn or leave your hedges skeletal.

But if you’re careful to keep your trims tame, get to it now ― it’s the perfect time for the job.