Hedge Plants: Choosing the Right One for Your Yard

The most expensive plants aren't always the best. These tips will help you find the most appropriate hedge for your landscape without breaking the bank.
From: DK Books - Learn to Garden
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Manicured Hedges Need Regular Time Consuming Care

Manicured Hedges Need Regular Time Consuming Care

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

When using lawns and hedges in a landscaping design, bear in mind that those features can be time consuming and will need routine care and maintenance in order for them to remain trimmed and healthy.

Success with a new hedge depends on preparing the soil thoroughly before your plants arrive, and pampering them after planting and in the early years. Choose young plants rather than large specimens, since they will grow faster and soon overtake mature plants, giving you a much better hedge for a fraction of the cost. 

Nurseries specializing in hedging offer a wide choice of plants, and many do mail order. A good supplier will tell you how plants are packed for shipment, and offer planting and pruning advice. Find suppliers on the Internet or through ads in gardening magazines. 

Plants supplied by specialists are offered in three forms: bare-rooted transplants, root-balled, or in containers. Bare-rooted transplants are much cheaper than container-grown specimens; mixed native hedging is usually the most cost-effective option. Bare-root transplants are available from fall to spring, but you can order them at any time of the year and request a delivery date. Remember to ask for delivery in spring if you are buying evergreens or conifers and live in a cold, windy area, since this is the best planting time. Evergreens are also available root-balled, where the plant is lifted from the field with its roots and some soil, and then wrapped to reduce root disturbance. 

Always buy more plants than you need in case some of your hedging dies. Plant the surplus in a quiet area of the garden or in containers that are sufficiently large to allow the roots to grow. Keep these plants well watered until your hedge is established and you are sure none need to be replaced. 

Bare-rooted and root-balled hedging plants can be bought from fall to spring, but will not usually be lifted from the field in very severe weather, so let availability be your guide. If plants are on mail order, make sure you will be around to receive the delivery, and check your order when it arrives. In cold areas, conifer and evergreen hedges in particular will fare better if planted in spring, rather than winter. Pot-grown plants can be bought and planted all year, but it makes sense to plant in mild, moist fall or spring conditions. If you can’t plant as soon as you receive your hedging, keep plants moist in their packing, and store in a cool place. 

Next Up

Designing a Landscape with Hedges

When close-clipped and uniform, hedges create a sense of neat formality; when mixed and billowy, they are a garden in themselves.

How to Plant a Hedge

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

Pruning and Shaping Hedges

When close-clipped and uniform, hedges create a sense of neat formality; when mixed and billowy, they are a garden in themselves. Whichever look you prefer, hedges will often need to be trimmed, fertilized and shaped to promote healthy growth and maintain your landscape.

Planting Hedges as Screens

Whether you can wait years for the screen to grow in place, or need a screen right away, you have many options when planting hedges for screens. 

Pruning a Hedge

No matter what type of hedge you may have in your landscape, follow these steps to keep it healthy and shaped beautifully.

Making a Lavender Hedge

Attractive to look at and much loved by bees and butterflies, these aromatic features are easy to grow, requiring no feeding and little maintenance beyond an annual clip as the flowers begin to fade.

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