Hedge plants are pretty cheap. Plus, they are straightforward to plant. As a result, you can form a beautiful-looking boundary quicker than most gardeners can even imagine. Moreover, with these hedge plants, you can provide a structure to your garden.
Finally, these hedge plants are excellent for wildlife, along with nesting birds. You will have to time the different types of hedge plants when planting them, and they will add a look to your garden you can cherish all year long. Here’s everything you need to know about preparing the ground for your hedge and maintaining it. Scroll down to read further.
What Should You Plant in Your Hedge?
Most types of shrubs and trees have the potential to form a hedge. In addition, these heading plants often come in bare-root specimens. Therefore, they are not going to cost you a fortune.
However, pot-grown plants are equally suitable, but they will cost a little bit more. Moreover, evergreen plants often come root-wrapped. Their roots are in a soil ball, and this ball is in a fabric casing.
If this casing is made of synthetic fiber, you will have to remove it. But, at times, you can leave the fabric casings. However, it is recommended by the gardening experts to remove these fabrics casing too.
Small hedge plants are also known as whips, and they are approximately two feet in height. These plants are easy to establish and come cheap. Plants taller than two feet need more care, and they are more expensive.
Experts recommend planting whips closely because they can form a thick hedge. Furthermore, they compete with each other and do not need much trimming.
When Should You Plant А Hedge?
The next question to deal with here is when you should plant these hedges. Well, you should plant semi-evergreen and evergreen hedges in the early autumn.
These plants include hedges such as yew, box, and privet (semi-evergreen). Nevertheless, you can plant them at any time between late autumn and late winter.
However, deciduous hedges like beech, hornbeam, and Hawthorne are slightly different.
You can plant them any time after the leaves fall. Therefore, typically you can plant them between mid-autumn and late winter.
But, you have to make sure that you delay your plantain until that soil becomes easy to work with. It is especially the case if your ground is waterlogged or frozen.
If there is some delay in planting, keep your plants in a shed free of frost. Moreover, you should cover their roots using a moist straw. Furthermore, you can use potting compost, paper, or plastic sheets.
It will prevent your plants from drying out. Alternatively, you can plant these hedges temporarily very close to each other within a trench. However, you must make sure you cover their roots in about eight inches of soil. This process is also known as heeling-in.
How to Plant А Hedge?
Planting and taking care of your hedge is similar to how you plant a new shrub or a tree. Therefore, you have to prepare your soil in the right way beforehand. As a result, you will provide it with the best start in life.
There are a few steps in this process:
- You must prepare the ground first. Start digging over a strip about two to three feet wide and one spit or a spade blade deep. If you want you can check out some aerators and scarifiers that will get the job done easily.
- The next step is to remove all weeds. That is if you have not used any weed killer or herbicide before.
- If your soil has become waterlogged in winter, you will have to go for a permanent drainage system. As an alternative, you can also form the soil in a ridge about six to eight inches high and twenty to eighteen inches across for planting your hedge.
However, you have to make sure you do not add any organic matter to the bottom of the trench. Otherwise, it will cause your shrub to sink.
Here are the steps that you need to take when it comes to planting:
- You must position the boundary hedges to make them set a little way back. It can be around three feet from the boundary line.
- Planting distances can vary from one to two feet within the row. You will have to decide this by the size of your plants, the hedge you need, and the plant vigor. Hedges thicker than three feet you can go for planting staggered double rows that are eighteen inches apart, and plants should be three feet apart.
- Trim back any damaged roots to ensure healthy growth.
- Spread the roots out and ensure their depth is correct.
- You can mix garden compost or any planting mix for shrubs and trees with heavy or sandy clay soils.
- Work the soil between those roots. Make sure that the soil remains in close contact with those roots. You can water the soil if it is dry.
- After planting, you can mulch to a depth of three inches to prevent any weeds.
Following are the steps for aftercare:
- Make sure to water your plants well for the next couple of years, especially during dry spells.
- You have to top-dress your plants annually with a general fertilizer at around two ounces per square yard. Then, you can re-apply mulch if needed.
- Keep your hedge and 18 inches on either side, free from any weeds. If you like your hedges tall, you might want to check out these long-reach hedge trimmers.
When will my hedge reach its proper size?
Hedges take some time to grow. They can take anywhere between three to seven years to attain their correct size. You can go for semi-mature hedge plants that can give you an instant hedge. However, they are costly and need more care when planting or watering.
Do I need to provide shelter to my hedges?
In the initial years, you might have to shelter your hedges. It is especially the case if they are exposed to external elements and harsh weather conditions.
What should I do if my ground is waterlogged?
If your ground is waterlogged or frozen, you will have to wait until the soil becomes easy to work with. It can take around two to three weeks in some cases.
Choosing the correct types of greens is mandatory for your hedge planting. Moreover, you have to time the planting in the right way to make sure that your hedge grows just like you want it to.
However, preparing the ground is more critical than anything else because it lays the platform for your plants to grow throughout the year. Make sure to get rid of any weeds or use a quality weed killer.