GREEN fingered Helensburgh residents are facing unprecedented challenges when it comes to tackling their ‘monster hedges.

So much so that I’ve been been inundated with urgent calls to save overgrown gardens.

The climate has had a major impact on growth rates across the board. High levels of humidity and moisture have caused big problems for locals and their gardens – and hedges have suffered most of all.

While we always expect a great deal of rain here on the west coast of Scotland, the warmer summer this year has resulted in what we are calling ‘monster hedges’.

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In the third quarter of this year, we responded to more than 100 calls from local people asking us to help them get their driveways fit for purpose again.

Fortunately, my team and I love nothing more than getting our sleeves rolled up and giving people their cherished gardens back.

My recommendation to anyone experiencing overgrown hedges is to address them now before the plants lose their budding.

This will keep your hedges from becoming too large next year.

Typically, you would trim them back three to four times per year, however autumn is the season to get this crucial cut done. If you invest the time now, you will get a great result next year.

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Autumn tips and hints for looking after your hedges include:

October is the best month for doing the final hedge cut.

Hedges are best trimmed right before they lose their budding for winter, because it keeps them from becoming too large and overgrown for the space.

Most trees and shrubs should be pruned during what we call the dormant season – winter. This reduces stress and damage to the plant.

Apply weed and feed killer to grass to combat moss over the winter months.

Note that if you remove the moss before spring the grass will not be choked and thatch will be less likely to take hold.