Hedging conifers are inextricably linked with formal hedging. Since most conifers are fast-growing hedge plants that respond very well to pruning, planting conifers has been an efficient way of decorating a garden and ensuring year-round screening for a long time. In addition, conifers have a very long lifespan if they are properly planted and maintained. While planting a hedging conifer may seem simple on the surface, it is essential to do it well, allowing your classic yew hedgerow, your vigorous leylandii hedge or your beautiful thuja hedge to thrive. The hedging conifers described on our website are not very demanding, but this makes it all the more important to meet their limited demands.
Preparing your Garden for Conifer Planting
The basic idea of planting any plant seems simple: you dig a ditch, put the plants in it and close it up again. However, there is more to planting conifers. Hedge plants in general do not like waterlogged soils and this is no different for conifers, although the dawn redwood can handle wet areas surprisingly well. Therefore, we advise you to perforate the ground (aeration) prior to actually planting your conifer hedge, allowing the water to drain. In addition, make sure to remove all the weeds that could feed on the nutrition that your new hedging conifers need in order to grow before planting. These preparations are best made immediately before planting your hedge, so that your conifers do not need to be out of the ground longer than they have to.
Planting a Conifer Hedge
Now that the soil in the ditch you have dug is ready for your new conifer hedge, it is time to put the plants in. This ditch should be about 10 centimetres deeper than the height of the clod or roots of the plants you have acquired. Before you put the plants in the ground, throw about 5 centimetres of soil back into the ditch, as this loose soil will give the roots the room they need to grow. Then put the plants on top of that and cover them up with the rest of the soil. Since you want your hedge to grow straight and neat – this is especially true for formal, evergreen hedge plants like most conifers – the plant needs to stand up straight in the middle of the ditch. Using a length of rope or twine to mark the centre can be helpful.
Hedging Conifers After Planting
While waterlogging should be avoided, young plants need a lot of water to establish, so make sure you sufficiently water them. Once they have become established, or if you have planted an instant hedge, you can lower the amount of water they get, but keep in mind that any plant will die if it does not get any water. Since most conifers are fast growers, frequent pruning is required. The frequency depends on the variety chosen. Yew is a slow grower that only needs to be pruned once a year to retain its elegant shape, but the fast-growing leylandii needs at least two pruning sessions a year.