How to Maintain Hedges: HOW TO PLANT A NEW HEDGE

Our next series of posts takes a methodical look at all aspects of planting and maintaining a hedge.

HOW TO PREPARE THE GROUND
Preparing the ground properly is essential and a little extra time and care will pay dividends – but never plant when the ground is frozen…
1. Dig a hole with a garden fork to twice the depth of the fork, removing all weeds, rhizomes and any large stones or other detritus. (Keep small stones as these are good for drainage)
2. Fill the furrow with water and allow it to drain (unless planting in mid-winter)
3. Plunge the hedging plants into a bucket of water for a short while to drive out the air or place the bare root in a bucket of water for a couple of minutes only
4. Add organic matter, such as garden compost, and rake in a general-purpose fertilizer in the spring or early summer only
5. Place your hedging plants into the furrow with the top of the pot (or collar of the bare root plant) at soil level, back fill and firm with your heel to ensure good contact between the soil and roots
6. How near to a fence or wall can I plant a hedge? As a general rule allow an absolute minimum of 45cm though, to be on the safe side, 60cm would be advisable – and wider if you are planning on letting your new hedge grow to a height of two metres plus.

Pictures: Top: Box. Bottom: Lonicera