Summer is here, and most people will be going into their gardens to tidy them up for barbecues and lazy summer evenings.
Once the trees are trimmed and the lawn is mown, attention turns to shrubs, bushes and hedges; therefore, it is time to take out the hedge trimmer. This handy tool may have been hurriedly stored before the winter, so it is worth ensuring it is in good working order and safe to use before plugging it in and starting it up. If you have any questions, your local hedge trimmer spare parts supplier can help.
Following the manufacturer’s handbook, or by inspection, remove any loose soil, twigs or debris that are lodged in the moving blades. After washing the blades with a hose, use a brush to clean the spaces and corners where mud and fine cuttings have settled and hardened. Be careful not to flush water into the motor or gearbox while cleaning.
There may be lubrication points on the casing, which should be used to apply light machine oil as directed in the handbook. Once the blades are clean, a light coating of oil will help their sliding action and indicate worn sections. A local hedge trimmer replacement parts supplier will be able to advise you if in doubt.
Before using your hedge trimmer, check the power cable for any bare spots or cuts. You should also check the integrity of the plug and socket to ensure their safety.
Use a good hedge trimmer to cut back your hedges and perhaps to practice a little topiary on the shrubs. Start by checking that there are no nesting birds in the hedges or bushes, as it is illegal to disturb them in many places.
Rake out and remove any debris and identify thicker branches that your hedge trimmer could struggle to cut. Use a sharp pair of secateurs to remove these branches before you start to use the hedge trimmer. Failing to remove the thicker branches could mean that your hedge trimmer will jam when attempting to cut through them and misalign the blades, thus damaging the drive mechanism or overloading the motor. Your local hedge trimmer spare parts supplier will be able to advise you on the capability of your machine.
Secateurs can be found at your local gardening center or hedge trimmer replacement parts supplier if it has a range of gardening tools. While you are there, it is a good idea to equip yourself with a pair of eye protection goggles or eyewear.
Be cautious with the hedge trimmer while trimming close to the ground or near walls and patios. It is damaging for the blades to strike these hard surfaces; also, pebbles and sand could be thrown up and could harm a bystander. Similarly, take care not to cut into the power cable as you traverse a shrub.
Try not to cut in too deeply, as this leaves uneven gaps between the branches and leaves.