Hedge trimmer to cut tall grass?

mulcher2(5b)July 20, 2011

I've read where some have used hedge trimmers and chainsaws to cut ornamental grass. But that may work different than for my purposes.

My goal is to get hay for mulching the garden. The price for 5 large round bales of straw is $100. That's a lot of mulch, but after a couple of years, it'll all be gone. However, spending $450 for a hedge trimmer is still a lot, especially if it doesn't work. But, maybe I can find a used one for less.

We have quite a bit of brome grass growing nearby that is basically wasted. What I'd like to know is if those with hedge trimmers could try them out on tall grass to see how it works. I had borrowed a small electric one, ran out a long extension cord and didn't have much luck. The gaps between the teeth were about a half inch and you had to wiggle the trimmer back and forth to get it to cut into the grass. The grass would catch on the teeth and not let it through. I've seen some gas powered ones in the store with gaps between the teeth of an inch or more. I'm thinking they may do better. What I imagine would be great is to get a pole hedge trimmer and be able to cut the hay about as fast as one can walk. Turn around and walk back cutting another path. And, I can choose when to cut it such as before it produces seed.

I'd appreciate it greatly if someone could try out a gas hedge trimmer and report the results.

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loger_gw

Would a commercial grade string trimmer do just as good? I also feel the "Right" commercial gas power hedge trimmers will do the job. Similar to what some old tractors used. Think about the liabilities of gas power in the tall dry grass and electric cords getting cut due to the tall grass. Good Luck! loger

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 10:22AM
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nod702(z7Tenn.)

Just this past weekend i cut down some four and five foot high ornamental grasses around some eldery folks ponds. I used there gas powered hedge trimmer and if i recall it was an Echo brand. Not sure of the model, it was ready to use when i got there. He had already started some cutting, but he has back problems so he couldn't work too long. There was no problem cutting the grass with the hedge trimmer.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 7:46PM
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mulcher2(5b)

With a string trimmer, you have to do it just right or it'll shred the grass and make it hard to pick up, or it'll wrap around the head. I find it very tedious and non-productive. The grass is green so no worries there, and not sure it would be a risk if it were dry.

Thanks about the info on the ornamental grasses. Were they standing loose and could you cut through it quickly or did you have to wait for it to feed through?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 9:20AM
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mulcher2(5b)

Is there someone with a gas hedge trimmer who could try it out on tall brome grass for me and report the results?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 5:22PM
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slowpoke_gardener

You may want to try to grow some grain rye in the garden, mow and save the top and till the rest in. I try to save leaves and grass clippings for mulch and use the grain rye for green manure. It does take a pretty strong tiller to till the rye into the soil. I can sure understand where your coming from I have a hard time collecting enough mulch and organic matter.

There is no way I could cut grass with hedge trimmers. The only tall grass I have around here is Pampas grass, and It is hard to handle because it is so sharp edged.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 10:52PM
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exmar

IMHO you need a scythe. I've attached a link to one, but I'm sure there are other's out there that may be cheaper. think about it, prior to sicklebar mowing machines and Mccormick's reaper, all hay and grain was cut with these. I have an old one that I use to cut tall weeds, etc.

Good Luck,

Ev

Here is a link that might be useful: Scythe

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 8:05AM
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