Growing hedges and screens


One of the best ways to create privacy in the garden is by growing a hedge of living plants. This makes a much more attractive screen than a fence and, with good plant selection and care, can last for generations.

Hedge and screen plants are usually planted relatively closely together, so take the opportunity to prepare the soil as thoroughly as possible beforehand. Start by checking the drainage. If the soil is heavy and is likely to remain waterlogged in wet periods, build raised mounds that run the full length of the proposed hedge. Mixing Yates Garden Lime into clay soil can help improve drainage. A layer of gravel or coarse sand below the root level will also carry away excess water.

Dig plenty of old organic matter and some gentle, slow release Dynamic Lifter pellets into the soil. The latter will provide non-burning nutrients that promote root growth.

Choose your hedge plants carefully. Drive around and see what does well in your area and, if possible, talk to hedge owners to get their opinions. Look for missing ‘teeth’ – the holes that appear when one plant in a line has died and has left a gap. It’s often better to go with a common variety that you know will work, rather than to select something unusual that may cause problems.

Here are some of the most popular hedge choices:

Good watering and feeding of your hedge are both critically important. Fertilise two or three times during the growing season with some Dynamic Lifter pellets or Nutricote, and mulch over the root area with an organic layer.

Begin trimming a formal hedge well before it reaches the ultimate desired height.


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