How to Plant a Hedge
Whether you want to install a border, or a habitat to attract wildlife, planting a hedge is a DIY project well within your grasp if you have a couple of hours and the interest.
- Excerpted from Garden Design
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An informal mixed hedge of native species will provide a rich habitat for wildlife, as well as attractive flowers and fruits. The best time to plant a bare-root hedge is in the fall, when plants first become available.
A few weeks before planting, remove weeds and dig the area over, working in organic matter. At planting time, weed the area again, tread the ground until firm, and rake level (image 1).
Mark the planting line with pegs and string (image 2). If you have space, put in a double row of plants for extra screening, and to cover up gaps if plants die. Set the rows 16 inches apart.
- tape measure
- string and canes
- pruning shears
Planting the Hedges
Set the plants 32 inches apart. Spacing is critical for hedging, so use a tape measure rather than guessing. Dig holes large enough to accommodate the roots comfortably (image 1).
Plant the bare-root hedging plants at the same depth as they were growing in their containers; the dark soil stain on the stem will tell you how deep to plant them. Plant roses slightly deeper for stability. Firm plants in with your hands (image 2).
Stagger the plants on the second row to maximize coverage (image 3). Position the first plant 16 inches in from the edge of the front row. Keep bare-root plants wrapped until planted to prevent their roots from drying out.
Watering the Hedges
Check that the soil around the plants is firmed in, and then water each plant thoroughly. Prune back the tips of any tall or leggy shrubs to encourage new, bushy growth from the base of the plant.
Excerpted from Garden Design
©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009
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