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"Roses grow best on heavy clay soils with lots of organic matter helping to keep the surface roots moist and wet!"

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Hedge planting

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Possibly the first living structure to be created by man in his endeavors to control his environment. Hedges can take many forms and be created from a large number of plant species.

If you are considering planting any form of hedge you will undoubtedly have the requirement for it establish itself quickly to meet its given objective. The key to this is in the preparation and the time of planting.


As the GardenAdvice team have so often found time spent on soil preparation for hedges pays dividends year after year in solid and rapid growth. When preparing the soil for your new hedge imaging you are preparing for a English woodland that will last for a least 100 years because in effect that's what you are doing. Many of the most popular hedging plants such as beech and yew can be found in woodlands today with an age in excess of 100 years. Soil preparation should start by double digging a trench about 0.5 metre wide and two spits deep (a spit being the length of a spade blade). Whilst digging you should incorporate some good organic matter such as spent mushroom compost or well rooted farm yard manure, is has to be well rooted as fresh will burn the roots of the new hedging. Irrigation is another factor worth considering at this stage and is best achieved with a leaky hose or drip irrigation system. Finally nothing stops a hedge growing quicker than weed growing around the base especially couch or twich grass. The solution to this is once the soil has been prepare is to lay a stripe of ground sheeting to help stop the weeds. To plant through the sheeting you will need to cut crosses with a knife and then peel back the edges to expose the soil once this is done you will be able to plant the hedge plant and then apply a mulch to cover and hide the sheeting. One good tip is to use bark if your hedge is in a lawned area, as this will not damage the mower when it strays into the hedge bottom.

Setting out and planting

The spacing and the pattern of the hedge will depend on the purpose and type of hedge. For example if it is a boundary hedge it is possible to use a double row hedge with a fence in-between the rows to add security. Another possibility is to use a single row as a structural hedge in a garden or an outer boundary that does not have to be too solid.

Plants for hedge types

  1. low informal hedges
  2. general informal hedges
  3. mixed wildlife hedges
  4. small formal garden hedges
  5. large formal hedges
  6. wind barrier hedges
  7. hedges for shady areas
  8. hedges for wet areas
  9. hedges for wind swept seaside and very exposed areas
  10. hedges for knot gardens







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