Tips on Planting Hedges

Hedges can be a great way of introducing some more colour and texture into your garden, and they can also be useful for giving yourself a little more privacy in your outside space. However, unless you’ve planted hedges before knowing when to plant, what to do before you plant and how to go about planting them can be a little confusing. This guide should help guide you through the process!

When Should I Plant What?

When to plant hedges depends on their type and growing habits. In the case of evergreen or semi-evergreen hedges, you can plant them at any point between early autumn and late winter. However for box, privet or yew hedging plants will grow best if planted during the early autumn. On the other hand, deciduous hedges, such as beech hawthorn and hornbeam can be planted anytime after leaves begin to fall, which is usually from mid- autumn to late winter. For all types of hedging plants, the most important thing is that the soil is easy to work with, you should always avoid planting in frozen or waterlogged soil.

Top tip: Should your hedging plants arrive before you’re ready to plant them, you should cover their roots with moist straw to keep moisture in and store them in a frost-free shed.

How do I Prepare for Planting?

  • You should ideally try to prepare the ground space before the winter planting season, when the weather and soil is still warm.
  • Dig a strip in the ground that’s about 60-90cm wide and one spade blade deep.
  • Clear the ground of any weeds
  • Spread either garden compost or a proprietary shrub planting mix over the ground and mix it with the top 25 cm of soil.
  • If your soil is susceptible to becoming waterlogged in the winter, you should prepare a drainage system for the area. Alternatively, you could simply ensure that you create a ridge of soil, around 20cm high and 60cm wide to plant the hedges in.

How do I Plant the Hedges?

  • Consider how large your hedges will eventually grow when deciding how far away to plant them from each other, but usually 30 to 60 cm is about right. However, if your hedges are expected to grow any thicker than 90cm, you should stagger the planting with a double row, with 45cm between the two rows and 90cm between the plants.
  • You should also trim back any of the hedges’ roots that are damaged in transport or storage, then spreading the roots out to ensure that the planting depth is correct.
  • Work the soil into the roots of the plant, and ensure that the plants are firmly pushed into the soil in order that the two are in close contact- make sure the soil is wet.
  • After planting, mulch the soil to a depth of 8cm in order to prevent any weeds in the area.

What Should I do after planting?

  • Regularly water the area for at least the first two years after planting.
  • Use a fertiliser each year to encourage healthy growth.
  • Keep the area in which the hedges are planting free of weeds.

Do you have any tips on how to go about planting hedges? Share your advice in the comments below!

[Photo Credit: Theen ... ]