Planting a hedge - top tips please ?

(12 Posts)
didireallysaythat Sat 16-Nov-13 22:45:42

I'm planning to plant a 15m hornbeam hedge next weekend. I'm more excited about this than Christmas ! The current privet/elder mess is being dug out so I'm hoping the soil will be fairly easy to dig. I'm now trying to get everything I need together - what have I forgotten ?

1. Whips 60-80cm from ebay unless the local nursery has low prices, or if someone has a suggestion. I'm going to do a double row, planting ever 45cm, so I think around 5 plants a metre. I'll get enough for an extra metre or all, which I'll pot up as replacements for any that don't take
2. Windbreak netting. The hedge will separate the garden from an open field. We're in the SE and the wind comes from Syberia so it will be quite exposed. Some posts to attach the netting to.
3. Weedproof membrane ? Not sure this is necessary, but perhaps it would help suppress weeds and retain moisture ? Does this need to be covered in mulch ?
4. Some of those wrap around things you put around young trees to stop rabbits and deer eating them
5. Fertiliser/soil improver for the soil. I have some garden compost but maybe not enough. Chicken manure ? Something else ?
6. Rootgrow - that microbial stuff to help root formation

I think I'll spent next week sorting out the soil and the netting, and plant the weekend after. If I can contain myself that is..

All advice gratefully received

Merel Sat 16-Nov-13 23:14:39

Sorry have no advice, as I have no experience. Just going to mark my place here as I intend to plant a hedge next year, but have no experience of this and am still undecided about what to plant. Was thinking of a mixed hedgerow to look more interesting and encourage more species of insects. Didn't know hornbeam would work as a hedge, just thought it was a tree, suppose it doesn't matter if you keep it pruned though?

purplewithred Sat 16-Nov-13 23:18:41

rhs advice

I'd say lots of bulky soil improver, not just fertiliser, and more to use as a mulch on top too.

Nothing particularly helpful to add except I wish whoever planted our hedge had put membrane down as they planted. Ours is Hawthorne, so v scratchy when you are trying to weed around it. I like to put chipped bark down for mulch as it keeps the weeds down, looks pretty and smells lovely (in summer anyway).

dizhin79 Mon 25-Nov-13 19:48:45

hi I used to work selling bareroot plants.

If ur protecting against deer go for bigger /older plants and get proper protectors 120cm tall. If u r netting and it is strong enough to keep the deer out u may not need the taller shields.

You can usually get the plants predipped in the root grow, saves u a job.

Get an extra metre or 2 and plant them in their bundles roughly to replace any that don't take.
Finally get them planted ASAP, in the spring feed with blood fish and bone to encourage good growth and water water water! grin

dizhin79 Mon 25-Nov-13 19:51:29

sorry meant to say weed membrane is a good idea and yes cover if u don't want to look at it smile

didireallysaythat Mon 25-Nov-13 23:31:41

Thanks for the advice. Slight delay in that they are having to come back with a digger to remove yhr roots of the old hedge (glad we didn't try and do this). I've got 15m of netting and weed matting, 75 protectors with poles, and a bag of thr dipping stuff. The whips are going to come from the nursery down the road - that way I'll only buy when I'm ready to plant. The horse manure I picked up isn't well enough rotted but there's an older compost heap I can use, along with blood and bone.

I'm not sure we will protect against deer but they are not as common around here because its exposed I guess.

Do I need to trim the whips after planting ?

Rhubarbgarden Wed 27-Nov-13 19:25:18

I would avoid weed membrane. It always ends up coming to the surface and looking awful. Weeds will still get through it eventually and you'll be left with a plasticky mess that will never rot away and you won't be able to dig it up without disturbing your lovely new hedge. I absolutely loathe the stuff. Just mulch deeply with bark chippings and that will do the job.

bumperella Thu 05-Dec-13 20:32:01

I agree with Rhubarbgarden re: weed fabric. When you dig for the hedge remove all the perennial roots etc and keep the area weeded and mulched.
Dig in lots and lots of bulky organic stuff and make sure you dig/manure/feed evenly along the whole stretch of hedge.

didireallysaythat Thu 05-Dec-13 22:41:17

Thanks Rhubarb and bump. I ditched the weed fabric (how would I feed through the membrane, and I'm fairly cack-handed so I didn't face getting roots completely covered while posting the whips through holes in the membrane). The windbreak netting is up and we (ok, royal we, DH) has dug the rotted compost pile in. I'm not sure it's enough bulky organic material though, but I don't have anything else to put in there. I think I've got a tub of growmore and one of pelleted chicken manure, but I think the latter is probably too strong for use when planting this time of year.

I won't be planting this weekend - I've still got 2 cubic metres of ivy roots to burn, added to the 15 metres of privet/elder to dispose of. We may be able to chip some of the privet for mulching though.

I'm STILL more excited about this than Xmas. But last weekend was nice and sunny. I suspect I'm not going to enjoy gardening so much this weekend !

Many thanks for all your advice.

One last question (as if) - once I plant the whips, so I prune them back at all ? They will be 30-50cm or so..

mineofuselessinformation Thu 05-Dec-13 23:02:33

Are you planting a double row? It will thicken more quickly but will of course result in a wider hedge (you could plant staggered rows). Yes, do trim in about a year once established to encourage it to bush out unless you want a quite thin hedge. Don't be afraid to trim it once it's established to make it the overall shape that you want... It's much harder to try to go back later and change it. Generally speaking, frequent trims are better for getting an overall shape than a once a year 'hack'.

didireallysaythat Thu 05-Dec-13 23:08:05

mine I was planning a double staggered row, and from surfing (I garden via the internet too much) I'm thinking 45 cm between plants, 45 cm between rows (maybe that's too much) - so around 5 plants a metre. Does that sound about right ? But not pruning as soon as I've planted ?

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