Garden hedges fulfil many functions in our gardens; providing boundaries, sound barriers and privacy, and they are also fantastic places for wildlife.
Hedges are easy to create and require less maintenance than fencing. They also make great wind breaks, diffusing the wind rather than deflecting it around the garden.
Autumn is the perfect time to plant a new garden hedge and, if planted correctly, they will last for many years.
Add a hedge to your garden and you’ll benefit from birds seeking shelter, feeding and nesting sites, as well as providing homes and safe ‘corridors’ for numerous small mammals and insects. And the choice of plants you can use is practically endless; evergreen, deciduous, native, flowering, fruiting, or a combination! The choice is yours, but whatever you decide, follow our step-by-step guide to make your hedge a success!
1. Digging your trench
First mark out where you want to plant your hedge – remember that if you’re planting next to a boundary, then be sure to leave enough room for your hedge plants to grow towards neighbouring properties without being a nuisance.
Your trench will need to be one spade in depth, and two spade widths wide – and make sure you dig along the length of your trench as Marcus is demonstrating. If you dig straight down the sides, you’ll end up with your trench sides looking as they do in the centre image below – and this smears the side of the trench, making it act like a pond liner which could be detrimental to your plants.
2. Preparing your trench
Once you’ve finished digging, prepare your trench by adding a generous layer of compost or manure – this will provide food and nutrients for your plants, as well as helping to retain moisture.
3. Planting your hedge
Once your trench is prepared, it’s time to start planting! Remove your plants from their pots and remember to tease out the roots so that they are encouraged to find food and water in their new surroundings. Place your plants at 18″ (45cm) intervals along your trench, and make sure that the original compost level in the pot will be at ground level once planted.
4. Finishing the job
Once all of your plants are in, it’s time to back-fill with the soil you removed earlier. Heel your plants in at the base to remove air pockets and ensure that they are firmly anchored – followed by a good watering – then sit back and watch your new hedge develop!
Decided that you’d like to plant a hedge?
You can use mature potted shrubs as we have, or if you’re looking for a more cost-effective solution, you can use bare-root plants which are available between November and March.
Whatever you need, you can guarantee we have it in store today – so why not pop along and check out our huge range of potted shrubs and bare-root plants, together with all the compost and tools you’ll need to complete the job – and if you’re not sure quite what you need, then just ask one of our expert staff!