Once you have chosen and purchased your new hedge plants, the next step is to actually plant them. We strongly recommend doing so as quickly as possible after receiving them, as plants generally do not like to be removed from the ground for too long. The process of planting hedges itself is not very difficult, but there are several factors to consider, from the preparation of the soil your hedge will be planted in, to simply planting them properly in order to create a hedge that is as straight as possible – even before pruning. Planting shrubs and trees is more than just digging holes in the ground and then putting the plants in. And since hedgerows consist of multiple trees or shrubs, it is even more important to do it right.
Preparations for Hedge Planting
Before you plant your hedge plants, make sure that your garden is well-prepared. It is best to make these preparations on the day the plants are delivered (if you order them online) or right before you head to the garden centre, so you can plant them immediately when they arrive. Remove all weeds around the area you have reserved for your hedge, so they will not take away any of the nutrition in the soil that will help your plants grow healthy and strong. Then it is time to dig a ditch for your hedge plants. Before placing your plants in the ditch, make sure that the soil is well-drained. This is done by perforating the soil, a process known as aeration.
Planting your Hedge
Regardless of how deep and wide the ditch for your new hedge should be – this really depends on the type of plants you are using – make sure it is about 10 centimetres deeper than the height of the roots or clod. This way, you can first put 5 centimetres of loose soil in the ditch and fill up the top with another 5 centimetres of soil after putting the plants in. While it can be charming if a solitary shrub grows a little crooked, this is not the effect you want to achieve when planting a hedge, so make sure to place all the plants in the middle of the ditch. This part of the process greatly benefits from some help; one person could hold the plant up straight, while the other fills the planting hole with soil. It is also helpful to mark the centre of the ditch with a length of twine. Make sure to water your new hedge sufficiently, as many young plants need plenty of water to develop their roots.
Helping your Hedge Grow
Although planting a hedge is always done in more or less the same fashion, additional preparations may be necessary, depending on the soil type in your garden or the way the plants are transported. Bare-root plants, for instance, need their roots moistened before they go into the ground. Deciduous hedge plants are often transported this way, though there are also evergreen shrubs, such as cherry laurel, yew or box, that are available as bare-root plants. Heavy soils benefit from having a little sand mixed in with the soil you dig out. This will give the roots more room to develop.