At Mirage Landscaping in Calgary, we pride ourselves on the precision and speed that our crews can achieve with their line trimmers. Weed whipping can be a difficult task to attain professional looking results, but our landscape design experts have considerable practice and pay meticulous attention to detail.
Here are a few weed whipping tips from the pros at Mirage Landscaping of Calgary, Alberta’s finest full service residential and commercial landscaping design, construction, and maintenance firm.
Safety Is A Priority
At Mirage Landscaping of Calgary, we have over three generations of experience with weed whippers, which were only invented in 1971. Before then, weeds and fence climbing grasses were either manually pulled, (which ensures that particular weed’s permanent absence), trimmed by hand, or a weed barrier or gutter was created near the fence line or around trees to allow a mower to run over the perimeter of the yard or tree trunk without rubbing the fence or damaging the tree.
The line trimmer, especially those that are gas-powered, and higher-end shaft driven electrical and lithium-ion battery trimmers, are very serious power tools. The single or double strands of nylon line present in the head of these machines travels well over two or three times the speed of sound, but the engines are still loud. No matter the type of trimmer, wear earplugs or muffs.
Every summer weekend you can find someone in Calgary operating a line trimmer without eye protection and while wearing shorts. A professional grade weed whipper can launch small bits of debris with nearly as much velocity as a small rifle can expel a bullet. Being struck in the eye by pea gravel thrown by a trimmer can permanently damage your sight. Debris thrown from a trimmer can throw cut bits of nylon line, concrete chips, and pebbles hard enough to break your skin. Always wear your eye protection and long pants while power trimming.
Use The Trimmer As Intended
The secret to good weed whipping is not really mysterious, just labourious. First you have to be able to comfortable heft and swing the weight of the machine. Without this crucial step you are nowhere. Trimming well is a little bit of a workout, and if you easily fatigue under the weight of the trimmer you will make sloppy mistakes, possible damaging the fence, your plantings, or yourself in the process.
Whatever weed whipper you have, ascertain the rotation of the line head, as this dictates what type of body motion should be best applied. Most trimmers rotate counter-clockwise, making a right to left swing over the ground to be trimmed the more practical motion to use. The debris guard is usually oriented in alignment with the intended swing direction too, making it safer to operate it that way than the reverse.
After you are comfortable with the weight, and oriented to the controls, handle adjustments, (if any are present), and the sweeping motion, make sure the line is loaded and fed out a bit, and fire up your weed whipper. You want to keep the head off of the ground, as most retail units feed out more line by bumping the head off of the ground. By observing the cutting arc presented by the coloured blur of the nylon line, you can readily angle the approach of the machine to trim weeds or grasses close to the surface of the ground, tree, or fence, without damaging anything unintentionally.
Do not use the weed whipper as anything but a grass trimmer. Line trimmers cannot tackle vines, blackberries, or other unwanted fibrous vegetation, and can be quite dangerous to handle in such encounters.