Hedges are an incredibly popular plant type amongst UK homeowners, both beautiful and practical. Affordable and very easy to plant hedges can be used to create privacy and boundaries, to reduce wind and noise and to attract and home wildlife, making them very multifunctional and attractive to a vast array of people.
Today we are here to inform gardening beginners of the basic hedging facts and planting advice, to encourage more gardeners to take the plunge and purchase hedge! Here goes…
- Evergreen and semi-evergreen hedges should be planted in early autumn
- Deciduous hedges should be planted in mid-autumn to late winter
- Planting should be delayed if soil is waterlogged or frozen
- New hedges must be well-watered for at least the first two years
There are many different types of hedge available, therefore the first thing anyone looking to buy hedge must do is choose which is the best for their personal needs and requirements. Some of the most popular types of hedge, and definitely one’s worth taking a look at include Laurel Hedging, Holly Hedging, Evergreen Hedging, Privet Hedging, Hawthorn Hedging , Small Gold Conifers and Beech Hedging. Take a look at the qualities and benefits of each and make your decision.
Planting and caring for a new hedge is very similar to that for any new tree or shrub. Good soil preparation beforehand is vital when looking to give the hedge the best start in life.
Soil Preparation Tips
- Prepare the ground by digging over a strip 60-90cm wide and one spit deep
- If a weed killing agent has not been used beforehand, remove all weeds manually
- Soils that become waterlogged in winter may require a permanent drainage system
- Do not add organic matter to the bottom of the trench as it decomposes causing the shrub to sink
Hedge Planting Tips
- Position boundary hedges so they are set back a little way (e.g. 90cm/3ft) from the boundary line so that no issues are caused by overhanging the pavement or a neighbour’s property
- Within the row planting distances vary from 30-60cm (1-2ft), depending on the plants’ final size and the size of hedge required. For hedges thicker than 90cm (3ft), plant a staggered double row 45cm (18in) apart, with plants 90cm (3ft) apart
- Trim back damaged roots to healthy growth with sharp knife or secateurs
- Spread out the roots, ensuring the planting depth is deep enough.
- On sandy or heavy clay soils, mix organic matter, such as garden compost or a proprietary tree and shrub planting mix, with the soil dug out from the hole to backfill. Otherwise you can spread over the soil surface and mix into the top 25cm (10in) of soil with a fork
- Work soil between the roots and firm plants in so that soil is in close contact with the roots. If the soil feels dry, water it
- Mulch to a depth of 7.5cm (3in) after planting to prevent weed from coming back
Now you are ready to go! If you have any questions about hedges, or want advice in choosing the best hedge for your garden, we advise you contact your local nursey today.