Hedge Planting and Aftercare Guidance
Thank you for choosing your hedging from Hedging Plants Direct. Here are a few pointers to help you get the best from your plants.
As soon as your bare root plants arrive
Before they left the nursery, your plants were dipped in a solution of Potassium Phosphite to improve disease resistance and help support the roots while they are dormant. However it is important that you store your plants correctly and plant them as soon as possible.
As soon as your plants arrive, please remove them from the cardboard packaging and the white bag. Keep them in the clear bag and store them in a dark, cool but frost free place. A shed or a garage is ideal.
If planting is going to be delayed by more than 2 days, heel the plants in. Simply dig a narrow trench approximately 30cm deep and with one side sloping at about 45 degrees. Remove your plants from all of the packaging and plunge the roots into a bucket of water for a couple of hours. Keeping them in their bundles, gently place your hedge plants in the trench with the stems at leaning against the side of the trench and the roots in the soil. Carefully backfill the trench with soil and firm it down. Water the plants to settle the soil.
1: Preparing the soil.
Remove all existing vegetation and dig down to a depth of at least 30 cm to loosen the soil. As you work, discard any large stones and the roots of pernicious weeds. You can do this well in advance of your plants arriving.
2: Mark out the planting area
If you are planting a double row of hedging plants (recommended), start by marking the position of the back row using a line strung between two poles or a line of dried sand. Use canes or sand to mark the position of each plant. Plants should be 40cm apart.
3: Dig planting holes
For each planting station, dig a hole approximately one spade wide x one spade deep. Alternatively, dig a trench approximately 30 cm wide and 25cm deep. Prick the bottom of each hole (or trench) with a garden fork to improve drainage and encourage a deeper root run. Add a handful of compost to each planting station.
4: Planting your bare root hedging plants
Avoid exposing roots to the air for longer than 10 minutes (less than that if it’s a windy day). Have some damp newspaper or a bucket of water handy to keep roots moist while you work.
Prepare your Rootgrow by following the instructions on the packet. Rootgrow is an optional treatment that will get your new hedge off to a flying start.
Remove your plants from the packaging and cut through the string around each bundle. For mixed hedging packs, loosely re-tie each bundle so that you can keep species separate.
Gather together your first twenty hedge plants. If you have a mixed species pack, try to avoid long runs of the same species. Random planting will give you a more natural look.
Dip the roots of one plant into the Rootgrow (or a bucket of water) and place into the planting hole. You may need to gently manoeuvre the roots to get them to fit but make sure that no roots are sticking out above the soil line. Pop a handful of compost on top of the roots, and then, holding the top of the plant to keep it upright, back fill the hole and firm down the soil.
Continue in this fashion until the whole row is complete. Add canes and guards before starting on the second row of plants.
Hint: Make sure the guards are applied before nightfall. There’s nothing worse than waking up in the morning to discover that all of your hard work was devoured by wildlife while you were asleep.
Your second row of hedge plants should be approximately 30cm in front of the first with the plants 40cm apart and staggered in a brickwork pattern. That way your hedge will grow to become nice and dense. Plant in exactly the same way as previously, being careful not to poke yourself with the standing plants or canes.
Water the plants well to settle the soil and apply a mulch of woodchips or compost to help suppress any weeds.
Caring for your new hedge
Do not let the soil dry out at all in the first 12 months. Even if the plants appear dormant, the roots will be starting to grow under the ground. It is better to soak the soil twice a week than it is to sprinkle it with water every day. The water needs to sink as far as possible into the ground to encourage deep rooting. To make life easier, ask about our automated irrigation systems.
Keep the base of your hedge free of weeds for the first 2-3 years. After that time, the hedge plants will be able to outcompete any other vegetation. A deep mulch of compost of woodchip will help to suppress weeds and reduce your workload.
Your hedge will establish faster and better if you apply a proprietary feed such as Growmore or Q4 in spring and autumn. Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you have any worries or questions about planting your new hedge, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’re here to help.