Wednesday, 21 October 2015

The Best Way to Cut Hedges

Cutting hedges can seem like a very straight forward task that can be achieved with nothing more than a can do attitude and some form of hedge trimmer I guess. And this sit true but to cut a hedge correctly to achieve a neat finish you also need a little bit of know how as described below.



Hedges should be trimmed 2 - 3 times a year unless you have a few types that grow quicker than the average hedge in which case 4 times would be more suitable. You have to be careful with how much you do trim your hedge as you are basically amputating which the hedge can most certainly have a bad reaction to.


Use taut lines attached to canes in order to know exactly where you are cutting. Once you get some experience you will be able to do this by eye but if you are a starter it always good to have these lines to ease you into hedge trimming.


Cutting the side of the hedges with a vertical sweeping motion as you walk along the hedge is the standard technique that most gardeners employ. Cut the top of the hedges with a horizontal sweeping motion.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Installing a Fence

Installing a Timber Fence

Installing a fence seems like a daunting, difficult job for those inexperienced with the process, I know it seemed that way for me! I didn't know the first thing to do or even how to start installing my fence but with some help from my more knowledgeable friends I had my fence setup in no time. Now it's time to pass on this knowledge in these easy to follow steps:


Digging the Fence Post Holes

Before we work out the spacing involved in the holes lets talk about the hole dimensions (for the purpose of a 6ft fence with 4x4 inch posts). The hole should be 2ft deep & 12 inches square to make for a sturdy fence that won't fall down at the slightest breeze or even all these storms we have been having.

Measure and double measure and then triple measure a length of string. Once you have ensured that this string is the exact distance you need you can use this to space out your fence posts. Make a mark on the ground where you need the fence to go in.

Installing the Fence

Place the post in the hole and make sure its the correct depth and then we move onto the fence panel. Some fences come with fixing brackets and these are very self explanatory to setup (and if not open the manual guys!) other fences you may need to use nails or woodscrews.

Concreting the Fence Posts

Concreting the fence posts is a whole other kettle of fish, especially if you want to mix your own concrete. There is a fantastic blog that has done a wonderful post on this and can explain it much better than I can here.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Axe Types

Before you choose an axe it is important you know what it is you are looking for to fit your desired purpose of this axe. Cutting, shaping or splitting.

Cutting axe

Cutting axes are very thin as they are used to penetrate across grain. This thinness means that it presents max force on small area similar to a razor blade in this respect. This causes it to sever instead of wedge which makes it less useful for splitting but great at cutting.

Splitting axes

A splitting axe has a wide angle blade and when slammed onto a log it has a wedge like action and forces the log apart. It expends all its energy in this way and therefore causes a deep split that forces the grain apart. Because of this it cannot be used to cut across grain as it will not penetrate nearly deep enough and will lead to a shallow cut.

Curved or Straight bit

A curved bit means only a small point of the wood will be in contact with the axe at a time and this aids in wood penetration either with or across the grain. A flat bit gives an even cut rather than a deep cut and there are varieties on this theme. The broad axe has a flat bit and a ramp on one side. This allows it to cut out a very flat section of wood but for general purposes a rounded bit is much more versatile.

Single or double bit

The single bit axe is more common and has certain advantages such as its design is optimised to put all the torque behind the one bit it has.  A double bit axe offers different advantages and is generally symmetrical around the center line. This does offer a certain amount of balance that isn't found in other single bit axes. The two blades are often ground differently to offer both splitting and cutting prowesses and therefore grants a large amount of versatility however these axes cannot be bludgeoned.