Planting New Hedges

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Planting Distances

To establish a thick hedge, plant two rows approximately 30cms (12”) apart. Planting should be staggered in these rows with the plants about 40cms (15”) apart in the rows. This will mean that you will be planting 5 plants per metre (although under some grant schemes you may be asked to plant at closer spacings than this)

Preparing the ground

The plants will grow 3 times faster in clean fertile ground so it is important to remove all existing weeds or grass from your proposed new hedge line before you start planting your new hedge. In early autumn the hedge line needs to be marked out and sprayed with a suitable broad spectrum herbicide to kill any existing weeds/grass. If you would rather not Conservation Hedge Pack use herbicides, then the hedge line needs to be either hand weeded or rotovated before planting.

Normally it is not necessary to add fertilizer to the soil, but if it is poor or very heavy ground, then well-rotted farmyard manure or garden compost can be added to the soil. If manure is unavailable, then bone meal or a non-organic fertilizer can be used.

Planting your Trees & Shrubs
The plants we will supply you with are bare-rooted and are available to plant when dormant from late October until late March/early April (depending on the season), although it is important not to plant when the ground is waterlogged or frozen. The plants can be “notch” planted at the same depth as they were on the nursery – i.e. the depth of the root collar. The plants should then be firmed in to ensure the roots have good contact with the soil to prevent them ‘rocking’ in the wind.

You could consider laying a roll of polypropylene to act as a mulch as this will encourage root growth and suppress weeds. The plants can then be planted through slits in this which are then closed up using pea gravel or something similar. This is very effective at suppressing weeds, but is quite time consuming to use. Alternatively, you could mulch the newly planted hedge line with a thick layer of well rotted manure, composted bark, sheep fleece or some other sort of well rotted compost, which would all help to encourage growth of the hedging plants, but suppress weed re-growth.

The new hedge will need to be protected against damage by livestock, so fencing the hedge line is well worth considering if livestock are nearby. They will also need to be protected against damage from rabbits (and hares). If the fence line is to be fenced on both sides, then it would be worthwhile fixing rabbit fencing to the fencing stakes which would protect the new hedge within the fencing.

If the new hedge line is not going to be fenced and there are rabbits in the area, then you will have to consider protecting the individual plants using a suitable spiral shelter supported by a bamboo cane. We are able to supply suitable spirals to protect them, so please ask for our advice and prices.
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