Hedges are essential components of almost every garden. They provide solitude and a quiet backdrop to your garden in cities and suburbs, blocking out neighbors, road noise, and ugly vistas.
They provide wind protection and a sense of enclosure in rural settings, which is often required when developing a garden within a wider area.
While hedges are commonly planted around the perimeter of a garden to define its overall form, they are also extremely useful as internal dividers, particularly in large gardens, where they can separate work areas from ornamental sections and enclose vegetables and fruit areas from lawns and play areas.
Many people believe that developing and maintaining a hedge is a difficult procedure, but actually, the process is rather simple and even quick. If you have ever planted and cared for a tree or a shrub, you’ll be able to establish a hedge quickly and easily. And unlike other types of fences, it is permanent, promotes natural diversity, and enhances the aesthetic of a property.
How Close To A Fence Or A Wall Can You Plant A Hedge?
Whatever the shape or function of your hedge, and whether you choose evergreen or deciduous plants, it is critical to space those plants adequately for your needs.
The distance between your fence and your new hedge is determined by the type of plant you chose to plant. You’ll need to figure out how big that species will be when it’s fully grown. Use that measurement as a guideline when laying out your hedge along the fence.
If you plant your hedge too close to a fence, it will rapidly become overrun, on the other hand, if they are too far apart, the smooth, flat surface you desire could be decades away.
But don’t fret, you can ensure that you plant your hedge appropriately by following a few simple steps.
Choose The Appropriate Location For The Hedge
A living fence erected in the improper location on a property might be damaged by humans and animals and become stunted, therefore selecting the perfect placement for the hedge is critical. Landscapers believe that the best spots are at the margins and borders.
You may select one of these sites, but you may also select any other location as long as it does not interfere with your movement or prevent you from carrying out chores such as drilling planting holes, placing plants, and trimming the fence.
Choose Your Species
There are numerous prominent plant species that are widely used in privacy hedges. In general, these plants are evergreens. The reason for this is because evergreens retain their leaves throughout the year. That means you’ll have your privacy even in the dead of winter.
Thorny species such as hawthorn and blackthorn can be used to create an impenetrable fence. Holly, pyracantha, jujube, black and honey locust, rugosa rose, and prickly ash are some other thorny species you could consider.
But if you want a multipurpose fence, you must use a variety of plants. A multifunctional hedge is composed of both high and low growing plants, such as shrubs or trees.
When considering the aforementioned factors, it is strongly advised to select plants that are bendable, easy and quick to propagate, and resistant to drought, pests, and diseases. Privet, beech, leylandii, hawthorn, and osage orange are some examples of these plants. The finest plant for forming a hedge is privet, however, it is fairly scarce.
You can also pick between evergreen and deciduous fencing plants. Evergreens reduce noise and snowfall while also adding aesthetic value to houses and businesses. Evergreen plants to consider are boxwoods, yews, junipers, and mahonia.
Deciduous plants also add a touch of beauty to properties, although not all year because they drop leaves in certain seasons. Hornbeam, Portuguese laurel, and western red cedar are some of the best deciduous shrubs for hedging.
Choose Between One Or Two Rows
For hedge planting, there are two fundamental layout patterns. The most popular and simple method is to utilize a single row of plants spaced evenly along a line. When doing this, keep in mind that the first and last plants should be half the distance apart from where you want the hedge to terminate, which could be in the open, with a clipped end, or up against a wall or fence. A common blunder is to plant the first tree at the very end, leaving no opportunity for foliage to flourish and form a smooth, green edge.
Always construct the line with a tight cord, and spacing out all the plants before you begin placing them in. In that manner, any little inaccuracies in your measurements can be corrected by shifting plants around until you are happy that they are all evenly spaced. If your spacing is pretty close, digging a trench for planting will make spacing much easier while also providing your new plants with a large area of dug soil to stretch out into.
A double row is the way to go if you want an extremely dense hedge with maximum sound buffering and wind resistance. The rows are staggered, which means that each plant in one row is in the gap between the plants in the other row, creating a zigzag pattern. Of course, more width is required, so this choice is rarely practical in a smaller garden, but for a large windbreak hedge, it will provide speedy results and a robust fill.
Single Row Spacing Distances
The spacing between your plants is determined by two factors: the final height and natural width of your chosen plant. Planting plants closer together is necessary for low hedges, and for something like a 12-inch boxwood hedge, planting as close as 8 inches apart is the norm.
You’ll need a supply of small plants for this, but most hedges may be successfully made out of larger material as well. As a general rule, the spacing between smaller plants and hedges under 5 feet tall should be around two-thirds of the anticipated finished height of your hedge.
So, if you want a 3-foot hedge, make sure the plants are no more than 2 feet apart. In addition, when planting low hedges, choose rounded or bushy types of the plant rather than slender upright varieties. This may seem counter-intuitive, but maintaining low hedges bushy all the way to the ground can be difficult, so choose plants that push shoots out laterally rather than straight up.
Consider the eventual height and growth rate of the plant you’re choosing. A plant that ordinarily grows to a height of no more than 3 feet will never form a 5-foot hedge. However, a plant that is stated as reaching 10 feet but only grows a few inches each year, such as some boxwoods, will take decades to achieve that 10 feet, which is rarely a practical period of time when planting hedges.
Double Row Spacing Distances
A double row isn’t merely two staggered single rows. That is excessively crowded, and the plants will grow tall and spindly as a result. Calculate the spacing for a single row and use it to determine the space between the two rows.
Add 50% to that single-row spacing to get the space between the plants in the row. If you do the arithmetic, you’ll find that the spacing on the diagonal is 25% greater than the spacing on a single row.
That provides us a nice alternate method for laying out the plants, which is to use a stick cut to the single row spacing plus a quarter of that spacing. Set it at a 45-degree angle to the path of your hedge.
Let Us Summarize
All of this may appear to be complicated, but it isn’t really. Start by determining the width and height of your chosen plant after 10 years of healthy growth.
Your hedge’s projected height should be no more than three-quarters of that height. A plant that will grow to reach 10 feet tall in 10 years is an excellent choice for a 6 to 7-foot hedge.
The distance between them should be half of the 10-year width, or a little more if you’re not in a hurry. If the width is 6 feet, then the plants should be spaced 3 feet apart.
For hedges under 5 feet tall, use a spacing that is two-thirds the ideal height. Plants should be spaced 2 feet apart for a 3-foot hedge.
The spacing on the diagonal for double rows is 25% greater than the spacing for a single row. If it’s 4 feet, the diagonal spacing should be 5 feet.
That was simple, wasn’t it?
Trimming Your Fencing Plants
Trimming your trees and shrubs is an excellent approach to attain desired heights and widths. It aids in the training of the plants and encourages the growth of lateral branches, making your fence bushier, thicker, and stronger.
You can use a pruner to cut back any thicker or longer branches and shear the entire fence into an attractive form. You can also inosculate your plants while they are being trimmed. Inosculation is the process of connecting two or more branches so that they develop as one.
What Is The Finest Tool For Hedge Trimming?
When it comes to choosing the correct trimming equipment for your shrubs or trees, there is one instrument that you should not be without, and that tool is none other than the pruning shear. With the help of this technology, you’ll keep your living fence looking smart, attractive, and alive.
Watering The Hedges
As most people are aware, watering is an important element of plant maintenance. When it comes to growing a hedge, the type of plant you have will determine your watering schedule.
In general, you should offer extra water immediately after planting. This aids the plant in recovering from the shock of the planting process. During dry spells, the same is true.
You can typically lessen the amount of water you feed a plant once it has established itself in its new location. The establishing process can take several seasons.
Plant growth is stimulated by fertilization. So, if you want your hedge to fill in as soon as possible, you should use some fertilizer. Different plant species require different types of fertilizer. Again, you must examine your plant’s individual growing requirements.
It is often preferable to fertilize your plant at the start of the growing season. This will start your plant on a course for rapid growth all year.
Keep Weeds, Pests, And Diseases Away From Your Hedge
Weeds fight for water and nutrients with fencing plants, so you must keep them at bay in your hedge. Pests and diseases, on the other hand, hinder plant growth and can even cause withering.
To control weeds, just eradicate them with the necessary weeding equipment. You can also uproot them or apply pesticides to get rid of them. nd to prevent the spread of any pest or disease, you can also cut or uproot the severely damaged plants.
It takes time for immature plants to reach full maturity. That means you’ll need to be patient after planting as your hedge grows. Even if you get rather large plants, it will most likely take several seasons for your hedge to fill in all the holes.
As you can see, swiftly growing a hedge and making it bushier, fuller, and thicker is not a difficult procedure. Growing a green fence is a good way to improve your property’s protection and privacy while also increasing its aesthetic value. However, if you don’t plan ahead of time, your hedge planting endeavor can quickly go wrong.
Just keep in mind that the type of plant you select will be the primary determinant of the distance required between your fence and your hedge. You may develop a lovely hedge that will thrive for years by respecting the demands of your plant.