2016 FAQs: Choosing the Right Hedging Plant (Part 2)

The 4 main conditions that should be considered when choosing the right hedging plant are water, sun, frost and wind. The first 2 being most important…

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Choosing the Right Hedging Plant: Water

By ‘water’ we really mean ‘drainage’ – for while waterlogging can be extremely damaging, the right amount of water is, well, essential!

The easiest and simplest way of checking the drainage in your garden is to dig a hole two spade lengths in every direction near to where you will be planting your hedge. Do this when there hasn’t been any rain for at least three days. Once dug, leave the hole for an hour and then check to see how much water has gathered in the bottom. In most cases, there will be little more than a shallow puddle – if that. But if it’s half-full or more, then, I’m afraid, you have a problem, most probably clay or a high water table.

Even if your garden has passed this first test, next fill the hole with water and monitor to see how long it takes to drain away. If it’s still around half full after an hour, you will need to take remedial action by digging in plenty of organic matter (compost, soil improver, bark etc.) before planting.

To find out how to improve clay soil in the garden, click HERE

For tips on choosing hedging plants for clay, click HERE

Choosing the Right Hedging Plant: Sun and Shade

Fortunately, many hedging plants will tolerate both a degree of sun and shade. To find out what individual varieties prefer, click HERE.

Choosing the Right Hedging Plant: Frost

All established hedging plants will tolerate the usual frosts thrown up by our climate. If your garden is also a frost pocket, it may be advisable to offer newly planted young plants the added protection provided by either mulching and/or a fleece. To find out more, click HERE.

Choosing the Right Hedging Plant: Wind

There is no single hedging plant that is inherently at risk from the wind. Any young plant could be snapped by an unusually strong gust (an extremely rare occurrence) or succumb to wind scorch. To learn more, click HERE

NB: Choosing the Right Hedging Plant for Coastal Gardens

If you garden on the coast, click HERE. This earlier post has links to two others and between them, you will find all the information you need to make an informed choice.