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I am currently a student at Teesside University in my final year of Product Design. As part of the course we have to investigate and redesign a product.
I have chosen to look into the hedge trimmer specifically aimed towards an ageing population but am interested in any keen gardeners thoughts and feedback to do with hedge cutting as part of my research.
How do you prefer to cut your hedge...?
What trimmer do you use....?
What do you do with the hedge trimmings (compost, bin, etc)?
How and where do you store your hedge trimmer.....?
How often do you cut your hedge....?
Any thing that fustrates you about current hedge trimmer/anything you would change...?
Look forward to hearing any feedback or insights you have on the issue.
will be greatly appreciated.
Now you have posted this I understand.
yeah I decided to start again I don't think I made the last one very clear, my fault!
On your specific subject, for many older people the best hedge-trimmer is the one who turns up in a van and does it for you, especially if the hedge is of any size, and particularly if it's tall enough to need any sort of ladder. I see a lot of people standing on kitchen chairs waving hedgecutters around - and I offer up a silent prayer.
A lot of gardens don't need the hedges to be as tall as they are, and going back to basics would help in the decision-making process for many people.
Having said all that, the worst machines are the underpowered ones - they make the job twice as tiring, but with power and durability comes weight.
I'm a bit pushed for time now, but I'd be happy to add to this if you have specific questions arising from it.
HI James, last year i purchased a Spear and Jackson extra length ( 6 " ) trimmer a very good machine,i use it often when the birds are not nesting sometimes this was every week a bit at a time, power is esential but as Bob says with power comes weight,the cuttings this year im going to mulch, the first thing i bought was a safe strong set of steps ( car boot £10 ) the next thing i did was cut right through the bright orange cable,i cant see how to make it safer except to keep it away from idiots like me,right, the cable length is a very good, and most people use an extention lead as well so no probs with mine.The start grip is in 2 saftey stages and easy to use,most trimmers come with a blade cover,if this could have been made to fit onto the wall it would have made an easy saftey storage system with a U bracket on the cover for the looped cable to fit when not in use so im making this myself,not exactly Dragons Den stuff is it, hope this is usefull James
good luck Alan
Thank you both Alan and Joe_the_Gardner thats really helpful information!
Just to add a small point as I think of it. On two of the three makes of petrol hedgecutter that I've used the exhaust is directed straight back towards the user's face, unless they're left-handed, when it's marginally better.
James 9 I run a garden maintenance company and have just purchased two new hedge cutters. If you want to contact me through my website at www.sowyourseed.co.uk I will be more than happy to discuss with you what we look for in a hedge cutter and any other questions that you may have.
Hi, it'd probably be more appropriate to contact James9 via a Private Message (click on his avatar and take the Message option) as posting your website could be mistaken for advertising and then your post would be removed.
I can see that you posted it with the best of intentions - but just thought I'd mention it.
I cut several hedges - some of which are part of my vicarage garden and some are in the churchyard. As a result of this I have several hedge cutters. I have a long handled petrol cutter that is excellent but heavy. I'm in my early forties so its not a problem for me but might to too heavy for someone who is a bit older and not got the best health. I have a battery powered cutter which is light and has no cable to worry about accidentally cutting through. It is however incredibly tiring to use as its just not powerful enough and has a strange vibration effect. I always feel exhausted at the end of the job. I also have an electric cutter that I use with an extension lead. This limits where I can use it as the hedge has to be reasonably close to a plug which isn't a problem at the vicarage but is at my churchyard. I also have to be careful I don't accidentally cut through the cable. Another downside is of course the fact that you can only use it when it isn't raining. The one big positive is the fact that it's much more powerful than the battery hedge trimmer and easily tackles a long and established hedge with some thicker branches. Finally, don't forget to think about the length of the blade. I prefer a longer blade that can reach across the width of the hedge but this does mean the cutter is heavier.
I used to use a "proper" elecric hedge trimmer but with joint problems I now use a small rechargeable Bosch which is superb. I have quite a bit of yew hedge and tackle it in small stages. As it is a perimeter hedge of about 135 yew plants I am not bothered for a neat uniform finish - a bit more freeform (think mini Montacute garden style) and I do not mind it curving in and out. The small size of trimmer means I can cope without help and it can follow natural growth contours.
An obsessive type of hedge person would not like the style but it does mean I can deal with it myself.
I shred the trimmings for the compost and use some as mulch.
The hedge trimmer is stored in my trug at all times in my utility room ready for use. It is also used to cut down perennials . Any bits of hedge that are too thick for the blades are cut with sturdy loppers .
As with all rechargeable items a longer battery life would be good but the break while it recharges allows me to do other things in the garden.
The hedge is trimmed once a year - before or after the birds have left their nests so depending on the weather too.
Good luck with your course and hope you come up with a useful design.