New to Planting hedges

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by Dmistry, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. Dmistry

    Dmistry Apprentice Gardener

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    Hello

    Hope everyone is keeping well. I'm Looking for some advice, tips, links to resources for planting a Laurel hedge. The plan is to plant a Laurel hedge along the perimeter of my fence (approx 100ft) and wanted to understand a few things as online resources suggest it's quite straight forward however I anticipate there's things you can get wrong. I was looking to understand:

    - How deep a trench should I be digging ?
    - How far from the fence (wrought iron) should I be planting ?
    - What type of soil condition is best or what should I purchase ?
    - Any treatment that is needed once planted ?
    - I want the hedge to be quite dense for privacy so should I be planting 2-3ft apart ?

    No doubt there's other considerations I may have missed.

    Any help is greatly appreciated ?

    Many Thanks
     
  2. landimad

    landimad Odd job man

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    Let me get my rant over with first.
    Why would you plant a laurel hedge? when there are so many types that would benefit the wildlife out there. I have a Hornbeam to the front, a Quickthorn and Buckthorn to the side and a Pyracantha to the rear. All of these will benefit the wildlife.
    It is like putting in a conifer where a deciduous should be.

    Now that over with, Plant size will determine the depth of trench.
    It should grow through the fence, if on your land then right up close.
    Enrich the soil first, I have seen to many hedges going straight into the ground and no feed or drainage to help those roots and young growth in the early stages.
    Other than that you got it covered.
    Sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour. Water and feed are the only things to do.
     
  3. NigelJ

    NigelJ Total Gardener

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    As above: but you might want to consider putting either drip irrigation or a porous pipe system in to make watering easier over the summer as 100ft is quite a length to water even with a hose pipe and don't forget may need watering next year if it's dry and hot like this year.
    Do any maintenance, painting of fence before planting hedge.
    Laurel has some good points it is evergreen, grows rapidly and thickly so good for privacy and noise reduction. Thorny hedges alongside a pavement might not be appreciated. Yew also makes a good hedge.
    When cutting your laurel hedge hedge trimmers tend to tear the large leaves which can look a mess, pruning with secateurs is slower but does a neater job.
     
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    • Dmistry

      Dmistry Apprentice Gardener

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      Thanks, looking online my main objective was privacy as the property itself is Grade 2 listed and the current iron wrought fence has to remain however isn't in good shape, offers little privacy and costs a fortune to repair. Also next t the sense is unfortunately a public footpath hence the privacy need. Looking online Laurel seemed to be mentioned frequently for offering privacy and fast-growing. This gives me a good starter for the environment needed, although a 100ft trench sounds a challenge. The drip irrigation sounds a good option as nearest water supply is about 150ft away from end of fencing. Many thanks for the tips, great help.
       
    • Macraignil

      Macraignil Gardener

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      I think planting without a trench can work better as there is less soil disturbance. Can you stick a spade straight in and open up a individual planting hole for each hedge plant? It can be easier to do if the vegetation is killed off first.
      If you are allowing it to grow through the fence then it could be planted fairly close.
      I would not buy in soil specially for a hedge but if you get a good material to put in as a mulch once it is planted it will help keep the weeds down and retain moisture in the soil.
      Keeping the hedge free of competing vegetation is good for the hedge plants particularly when they are young. This is made easier with some mulch and it is important not to damage the hedge when removing weeds.
      A double row is more reliable at getting a dense hedge as any failures will not be missed too much. A staggered pattern between the two rows works best with each plant in one row corresponding to the gap between plants in the next row.

      This is the worst time of year to plant with the dry ground and long hot days so it might be better to wait until autumn when a lot of your watering will be handled by nature through rain. There are also bare root hedge plants available between November and March and these are cheaper to buy. Posted a video of planting a laurel hedge recently here and since then just clipped the weeds back around it although It probably would be a bit greener if I watered it a few times.
       
    • Dmistry

      Dmistry Apprentice Gardener

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      That's great. Wasn't aware of using mulch, I have plenty of chopped trees that can be turned to bark and plenty of leaves that can probably be cut to size, would this be an option or is it best to buy mulch in ?

      Also if I was to plant 2 rows of hedges would these again need to be 2-3 ft apart, I don't mind them growing through the fence however not keen on putting too much weight on the fence itself. For context i've attached a few images (1st showing where a 15ft holly has grown over time and the remainder are pics of where i'm looking for coverage amongst existing vegetation).

      Learning more by the day :)
       

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    • Macraignil

      Macraignil Gardener

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      Good idea to post those photos as your situation looks a lot different than I had pictured. It looks to me like there is not enough space there for two rows of laurel and even one might get too wide. Laurel has big leaves and I think works best where it has room to get fairly big. The existing growth there is also going to make getting anything established more difficult so I think you are going to have to use something more shade tolerant. The competition from the roots of the existing plants is going to make a new plant slow to establish and more likely to fail. Maybe something like Ebbing's silverberry might be useful in filling gaps under the existing vegetation. Only started growing a couple of these this year so not a whole lot of experience with them but what I have read suggests they are more shade tolerant and having smaller leaves they could be kept trimmed to the dimensions you want more easily.
       
    • Dmistry

      Dmistry Apprentice Gardener

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      That's great to know and probably saves me the effort and cost of planting the right type of hedge. Reading up on Ebbing's Silverberry it looks fairly straight forward to plant although I may need to consider a catch basin for watering due to the distance to the nearest water source. Again privacy is one of my key objectives and looking at the density of the plant it looks more than adequate.
       
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