How to Plant a Hedge

Most hedges take years to establish, so plant as soon as you've decided on a type and design.

Private Outdoor Seating

Private Outdoor Seating

Photo by: DK - The Complete Gardener's Guide © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - The Complete Gardener's Guide , 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

From: DK Books - Learn to Garden
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Step 1: Prep the Soil

Ground Prep

Ground Prep

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Start preparing the ground at least six weeks before planting. Clear the site of perennial weeds, then dig a strip the length of the hedge and 3–4 ft (90–120 cm) wide. Fork plenty of bulky organic matter (such as garden compost or well-rotted manure) into the trench as you go.

Step 2: Dig a Trench

Trench Line

Trench Line

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Set out a line to mark the edge of the row(s) of plants. Dig a trench along it for bare-root plants; you can dig individual holes for containerized or root-balled plants after marking out their positions. Use canes and a ruler to mark out the planting intervals, either in a single row along one line, or in two staggered rows, laying canes 18–24 in (45–60 cm) apart as a guide.

Step 3: Measure Plant Depth

Planting Depth

Planting Depth

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Plant at the original planting depth—this will either be the top of the rootball, or to the soil mark on the stem of bare-root plants.

Step 4: Firm Soil

Firm Soil

Firm Soil

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Return the soil to the trench, and firm it well using your heel, at the same time creating a slight dip around the plants.

Step 5: Water the Roots

Down to the Root

Down to the Root

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Water the plants thoroughly; the dip around each plant will help direct water to the roots, where it is really needed to help the plants establish.

Step 6: Cover with Mulch

Thick Mulch Layer

Thick Mulch Layer

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Place a thick mulch of well-rotted manure or compost, or of shredded bark, around the plants, making sure it stays clear of the stems. Alternatively, lay landscape fabric in strips on each side and cover with bark chips.

Next Up

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