Planting Hedge Plants
Preparing the Site for Planting Hedge Plants
- Plan and mark out the planting site for your hedge plants using wooden pegs and strings. A mature hedge will have a root run of 1m (3ft) or more in all directions and so a planting area of at least 1m (3ft) across should be well prepared.
- To mark out a curved site, insert a peg at the centre of the area and knot string around it. Make two guide knots 1m (3ft) apart corresponding to the position of the hedge. Pull the string taut and cut against the knots.
- Begin preparing a turfed site by digging out one spade’s depth of from one end. Pile this soil at the other end of the site — it will be used to fill in the last hole. Fork over the bottom of the hole.
- Skim off the turf from the next 30cm (1 ft) or so of the site, using a spade, and turn it upside-down into the bottom of the previous hole. If the soil is heavy, break it up slightly with a garden fork and remove any tough roots.
- Add a layer of well-rotted manure or compost, then turn in the soil from the newly exposed area. You have now another hole adjacent to the first. Fill it as before. Repeat the procedure until the site is complete.
- Keep the site weed-free until ready for planting. Shortly before planting, fork over the soil again, at the same time incorporating a complete fertilizer. If the site is very wet, raise the soil into a slight ridge.
Planting Your Hedge Plants
- Mark out the centre of the planting area using pegs and string. Keep the string in place througout the planting operation, making sure it remains taut — it’s essential to plant in a perfectly straight line.
- Use a length of wood with a notch cut at its centre to gauge the planting position when making a curved hedge. If the edges of the site are tidy and parallel, this method can be used also for straight plantings.
- Dig the first planting hole, making it slightly larger than the plant’s spread out roots. Bury roots to the same depth as they were in the nursery — the stem is darker at soil level.
- Having firmed in the first plant very securely with heel and toe, mark the position of the next one. Use a cane cut to the required length as a gauge. Plant as before.
- Trim the plants to a standard height. Insert canes and stretch string between at a height equal to that of the strongest growth on the shortest plant. Prune to string level.
- Water in well if the soil is dry and repeat daily as necessary. Give enough water to soak the soil thoroughly over the whole planting area — at least 10 litres (2 gallons) per plant.