The Beginner’s Guide to Planting and Caring for Hedges

November 6, 2022

Hedges can be a beautiful addition to any garden and a great way to add privacy. If you are new to gardening or have never planted a hedge, this blog post is for you! In this post, we will discuss the basics of planting and caring for hedges. We will cover everything from choosing the right plants to watering and fertilizing your hedges. So read on for tips and advice on creating a stunning hedge garden!

What are hedges, and why are they so popular? 

Hedges are dense rows of shrubs, trees, or other plants that are used to form a barrier between two areas. They can be used for privacy, noise reduction, and wind protection. Hedges also provide a habitat for birds, insects, and small mammals. The popularity of hedges can be traced back to their versatility—they can be used to create a formal, manicured look or a natural, wild one.

How to choose the right plants for your hedge?

Choosing the right plants for your hedge is an important part of creating a successful garden. When selecting hedging plants, you should consider size and growth rate factors. Choose plants that will grow to the desired height, and avoid those that might become too large in a short time. Consider whether you want evergreen shrubs or deciduous ones, and consider how much sun and shade the area receives when picking out varieties. It is also important to understand the type of hedges you plan for when selecting the plants. In the broader sense, hedges can be differentiated into two types: 

Tall hedges: Tall hedges are often used as a border or to provide screening from neighboring properties. They can be planted in tight rows and trimmed regularly. Popular choices for tall hedges include laurel, yew, boxwood, and holly.

Informal Hedges: Informal hedges are usually more relaxed and less formal than tall hedges. They generally have an irregular shape and may consist of flowering shrubs, evergreens, or small trees. Examples of plants suitable for informal hedging include hawthorn, escallonia, and berberis.

How to plant your hedge? 

Once you have chosen the right plants for your hedge, it is time to get them into the ground. Start by digging a trench along the length of the hedge and fill it with compost or soil improver. Space each plant approximately two feet apart. When backfilling, make sure to firm the soil around each plant to ensure good contact between the root ball and the soil. Water your new hedge thoroughly after planting and mulch around the plants with well-rotted manure or garden compost. Here are a few more tips to help you with your plantation process:

Research About Hedges Beforehand: Make sure to read up on the different types of hedges, the best plants for your area and climate, and the necessary soil and light requirements.

Decide on the Height of the Hedge Before Planting It: Consider how tall you want the hedge to be and position the plants accordingly.

Fertilize and Water Your Hedge: Fertilizing your hedge regularly will help keep it healthy, so use a slow-release fertilizer as directed on the packaging. Ensure to water your hedge in dry periods, particularly when the plants are young.

Shear and Hand Prune: Shearing is the process of cutting the hedge back uniformly. This should be done every few months to keep the hedge neat and tidy. Hand pruning can also help maintain the natural shape of the hedge.

Prune Only During the Winter: Hedges should only be pruned during the winter when the plants are dormant. Pruning at other times of the year can do more harm than good to your hedge.

Maintain the Hedge's Form: Wide Bottom and Narrow Top

Wide Bottom and Narrow Top: To create a lush, natural look, ensure that your hedge is wider at the bottom and narrower at the top. This will help maintain a good shape as the hedge becomes taller.

How to care for a hedge? 

Planting a hedge is only half the job—now comes the work of keeping it looking its best! Here are some tips on how to care for and maintain your hedge:

Trim Regularly: Trimming your hedges will help shape them, encourage lush growth, and minimize pest or disease issues. Trimming should be done at least a few times during the growing season.

Mulch: Mulching your hedge with well-rotted manure or compost will help conserve soil moisture and reduce weeds.

Water During Dry Periods: Ensure to water your hedge in dry periods, particularly when the plants are young.

Fertilize: Fertilizing your hedge regularly will help keep it healthy and looking its best. Use a slow-release fertilizer as directed on the packaging.

Inspect for Pests & Disease: Inspect your hedges regularly for signs of pests or disease. If either is present, take steps to address the problem immediately.

When it comes to planting and caring for a hedge, there is nothing better than regular inspection and maintenance. With the right care, your hedge will grow beautifully and last for years. However, if you run into problems, it's always better to consult with a certified arborist.



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