What to consider
A healthy good looking hedge takes time, you can cheat and stack plants in for an instant effect. But it's best to think for the long term, don't think of this year, consider the effect one or two years ahead.
When planting a hedge, good soil preparation beforehand is most important. Dig twice as deep and wide as the pot, remove clay or poor soil and dig in an organic mulch or compost for best results. Water well especially if the soil is dry, but beware you can over-water too.
Different species grow at different speeds. When established Leylandii will grow 60-75cm a year, but expect a lot less from other plants.
Depending on the final size of your hedge, the required planting distance will vary from 30 to 60cm (1 to 2 foot).
When planning a hedge that is to grow to 90cm (3ft) deep, consider positioning in two staggered rows. For example lets say 45cm (18in) apart, with each single row 90cm (3ft) apart.
Ensure plants are well watered during dry spells for the next two years, especially in the first 4 months you should consider watering every other day (from April onward if planted in the winter 'dormant' months from October to March), after that once a week for the next year or two.
Avoid trimming during hot or dry weather or in the autumn. Trim once or twice a year, in April to June and/or early August. Look out for bird nests especially early in the year as it is an offence under the Wildlife & Countryside Act to damage and destroy them.
First and second year cut back overlong side shoots, trim the sides lightly April to June, this will encourage growth. When your hedge is the required height you can start trimming the top. In the Spring, annually trim down 15cm (6 inches) below desired height. It best to slightly trim in towards the top of the plants, so the light can reach down and avoid brown or bare spots.
We recommend top dressing your plants every year with a general-purpose fertiliser or mulch. Keep the hedge weed free, remove competing vegetation within 30cm (1ft) each side.
Organic Mulches for top dressing
Bark mulches are best used around trees in beds where you won’t be doing a lot of digging. Woody mulches don’t mix well into the soil.
Compost and Composted Manure, it's important to use only when it is well composted and weed free. Use as a coating or to side dress your plants during the growing season. This will insulate and give a boost of slow released nutrients.
Newspaper as mulch is becoming more popular. Most black & white newspapers have switched over to organic dyes. Spread a layer of four to eight sheets of newspaper around the plants. Moisten the sheets to keep them in place, then cover with a thin layer layer of another organic mulch. This weed protection should last throughout the growing season.
Shredded Leaves are a natural source and have the added bonus of being free.
We sell a full range of plants including
Bamboo, Bay, Gold Leylandii, Green Leylandii, Italian Cypress, Macrocarpa Goldcrest, Photinia Red Robin, Cherry Laurel, Portugal Laurel, Holm Oak and Thuja. If you can’t find the plant you need, please contact us, as we stock a larger variety than we have on this site.