The key factors influencing the choice of winter weather hedges include frost; waterlogging and snow. You’ll find some useful tips on all three below.
Particularly Frost Hardy
If your garden is particularly prone to harder frosts, you can choose from the following varieties of hedging plants that are particularly hardy:
- Elaeagnus x ebbingei
- Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’
- Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’
- Photinia Red Robin
- Western Red Cedar
- Hornbeam (though the harsher the weather the more leaves it will lose)
The following are also hardy in all but the most extreme (and unlikely) winters:
- Common Box
If a hedge has been planted properly in an appropriate location,it should be capable of fending for itself once established. Newly planted hedges, though, can be protected against severe frosts by covering well with horticultural fleece and/or by a thick mulch that will help prevent the ground from freezing. Mulching established hedges will also have this preventative effect. You should also avoid applying nitrogen-rich fertiliser late in the growing season – it encourages leggy growth which is susceptible to early frosts. This effect can be counteracted by choosing a fertilizer containing potassium
Wet soil – not waterlogged
Three varieties are particularly suited:
- Cherry Laurel
- Western Red Cedar
Winter Weather Hedges: Snow
Snow is not, in itself, a threat to plants. Ideed, it acts as an insulator against the potentially far more damaging effects of frosts. However, a thick layer of snow is heavy and quite capable of disfiguring or breaking foliage and branches. Should you wake up to a sea of white (as a few tabloids have warned we will this winter- though with scant meteorological evidence), here are a few simple, remedial actions to take:
- Shake excess snow from the branches of large trees, shrubs and hedges
- Remove heavy deposits of snow from the roofs of greenhouses or cold frames to let in the light and prevent the structures from bending under the weight
- Use lengths of string to support the branches of evergreens to stop them being forced out of shape. Branches that move away from the main plant won’t spring back into place when the snow melts
It is worth remembering that snow is arguably at its most dangerous when it melts as it can then cause water-logging. So, be vigilant when the thaw sets in.
The native species in our Rural Hedging bundles have been carefully selected for their ability to withstand even the more extreme weather patterns we can now expect across England. Click HERE for more details.