Hedges are a great way to give your garden some natural definition and extra privacy. If you're planning on growing a hedge, there are a few simple things you can do to make sure you get the right one for your garden and that it grows well.
Choosing the Right Hedge
There are a number of different plants you can use to grow into a hedge. Before you buy hedge plants, think about: Making sure the hedge will grow to the size that you want. Check it will grow in your soil and climate. Find out how quickly the hedge will grow. Fast growing hedges need more pruning. Ask how many years the hedge plant will last.
When to Plant Your Hedge
The best time to plant a hedge is after the heaviest months of rain. Before planting, make sure you prepare the soil by digging the garden bed to aerate it, add manure, compost and then water it in.
How to Make it Straight
Digging a trench, rather than separate holes, makes it easier to line up your plants so they're straight. A trench also helps provide uniform growth in the plants and makes it easier to correctly space them.
The best way to dig a straight trench is to use a string line and spray paint to mark where the plants will go.
Spacing Out Your Plants
The rule of thumb for average sized hedge plants is to have them one metre apart. The lower you want the hedge to grow, the closer you plant them, the taller
you want the hedge to grow, the further you space the plants apart.
The two end plants should be placed half a metre from the end of the garden bed.
Cut it into Shape
Start trimming your hedge before it reaches the height you want it to. Start with a light trim, so that it thickens up at the base. Let the hedge get a bit taller after each time you've trimmed it, until it reaches the right height.
Use the Right Cutting Tools
There are a number of tools that can be used to trim a hedge. Manual hedge trimmers are good for regular trimming and allow you to shape the hedge. Petrol power hedge trimmers suit large, fast growing hedges with big stems. Electric hedge trimmers are light and easy to use but be careful with the blade near the power cord. Rechargeable hedge trimmers, with a long battery life work well on small hedges.
Grow Some Spare Hedge
If you have the room, buy at least one extra plant for every 20 in your hedge. Plant them somewhere else in garden, ready to use if you need to replace a section of your hedge.