Help with our privit hedge please

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Novice22, Nov 10, 2020.

  1. Novice22

    Novice22 Apprentice Gardener

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    Thankyou for the warm welcome. I'm a novice but spent a lot of time in the garden during furlough. We live in the country, fields all around. We've got a problem with our privit hedge it's been there for just over 50yrs, north facing, clay soil, the leaves are turning yellow then black. Because of all the weeds we get through the hedge I decided to put membrane down but wrapped it around the base of the hedge as well as about a foot either side then put gravel on top which isn't very deep. Normally we cut the hedge right down but this year we've left it to encourage the birds which it's definitely done. I'm wondering if I'm rotting the roots with putting membrane down or is it because we've not cut the hedge so draining more life out of ot, any advice would be grateful received because its about 30m long and the same all across it. I've planted some cuttings I took to fill in the gaps about Sept which aren't looking very well either.20201110_120006.jpg20201110_115916.jpg20201110_115947.jpg20201110_115931.jpg Thanks again H
     
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    • Sheal

      Sheal Total Gardener

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      Welcome Novice22. :) I think having laid the membrane and stones that the hedge could be lacking water. Membrane is supposed to be porous but will let very little water through.
       
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      • Novice22

        Novice22 Apprentice Gardener

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        Thankyou for your reply I'll water it tomorrow. I was keeping everything crossed you didn't say I'd be better taking the membrane up I've got some miracle grow granuals that you dilute, do you think that would help?
        Thanks again H
         
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        • Sheal

          Sheal Total Gardener

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          If it was my hedge I would take it up - sorry. :) I can't see it making a full recovery unless it's removed. It's the wrong time of year for feeding most plants, even evergreens need a dormancy period over Winter. Feed it in Spring but abandon the Miracle-grow granules, they're not ideal. I feed all my plants in the ground with blood, fish and bone which can be picked up fairly cheaply from places like Wilko's, B&M and B&Q. The Miracle-grow granules can be used up in outside potted plants. I also feed all my potted plants outside with tomato food. It's a good general fertiliser as is blood, fish and bone.
           
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          • Novice22

            Novice22 Apprentice Gardener

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            OH NO can't go back to all them weeds the hedge was fine through the summer, even had flowers, can't I just water it? speaking of which it's been raining here for a while now
             
          • Mike Allen

            Mike Allen Total Gardener

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            Hello Novice 22. Having read your posts and Sheals. Please forgive me in advance but my contribution may seem very harsh.

            Firstly. You say the hedge is some 50yrs old. To be honest. IMO its has been badly managed. I am inclined to think that your attention to the hedge is more cosmetic than practical. In reality very few weeds will grow and survive beneath a privet. Look at the hedge as it is now. Truthfully, it resembles a hedgerow. The height appears to be unrestricted. Yes, I think you said it has been neglected over time. Most of the stems at the base are naked. Have a go at cutting out some of the leaders close to the ground. This hopefully will encourage new bottom growth. Get rid of the matting or whatever it's called. Botanically. The weeds that you are most likely to come upon, will be annuals. Such weeds tend to spread via airborne seeds. so basically will be shallow rooted. Regarding watering and feeding. Privets are very hardy, consider front garden hedges close to pavements. Due to the intense foliage mass, most hedges gain their water supply from the top down. I do hope this advice helps and dosent offend. Best wishes .
             
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            • Novice22

              Novice22 Apprentice Gardener

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              Hi Mike thankyou for taking the time to help me. I appreciate any advice because I know I'm loosing the hedge. Grandad used to look after the garden because he lived next door but since then we've made the property into one and live on nearly half an acre of land. Its taken us years to empty the 3 big greenhouses he left us along with a lot of other treasures Me and bro just want easy care because we both (under normal circumstances) work full time and look after our 80yr old parents. I agree the hedge has been neglected I took 13 bags of dead branches out of it in the summer you said about cutting some of the leaders at the bottom of the hedge, could you explain please? Why have you advised me to take up the membrane? Unfortunately the border goes from virtually nothing at one end to over a metre at the other and slopes down to the dyke which mum and dad covered years ago. That's why I've put the grey bricks on top of the kerbstones to try and keep the gravel on. Thanks again H
               
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              • Sheal

                Sheal Total Gardener

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                Both Mike and I have given you advice Novice22 and we've both agreed that the membrane should be removed. As a compromise regarding saving the hedge and keeping weeds down, perhaps you might consider removing the membrane and relaying the gravel. As an old hedge, if you don't give it a chance you will lose it anyway.
                 
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