A guide to growing your own beautiful hedge!
Hedges are great additions to your garden and they’ll give you form and structure throughout the year. Buying a ready-grown hedge is a bit on the expensive side and though you get a quick fix, you’ll have to pay for it. However, you can grow your own hedge from young plants too and whilst it may take a bit of time, it’s a lot cheaper.
Most shrubs and trees can be made into hedges with the right pruning. Deciduous plants, such as beech or hawthorn, can look glorious in the summer, but they’ll be bare and barren during the winter. Opting for an evergreen variety is often better and if you’re starting from scratch, choosing a fast growing shrub, such as privet or holly, might be a good choice.
Planting hedges is normally done in mid to late autumn, when plants have become dormant. Decide on the type of hedge you want and dig over the soil where your hedge is going to be planted so that you create an area about 60cm wide and 20cm deep. Add garden compost or a general shrub planting mix, remove weeds and rake in some general purpose granular fertiliser as you go. If the area easily becomes waterlogged, you can create a small ridge about 20cm high which the hedge can be planted into.
Before planting, trim broken roots back to healthy growth. Plants should be placed between 30cm and 60cm apart depending on their final size, and roots should be spread out in the soil before backfilling, taking care to fill compost tightly round the plan. After planting has finished, add a 7.5cm thick layer of mulch around all hedging to keep moisture locked into the ground.
For the following two years ensure that plants are kept watered and free from weeds.