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Top 5 Tips for Planting Healthy Hedges This Spring

Spring is the perfect time to breathe new life into your garden, and one of the best ways to do that is by planting hedges.


Hedges not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space but also provide privacy, reduce noise, and serve as a natural habitat for wildlife.


However, for your hedges to thrive, proper planting and care are essential. In this blog post, we'll share the top 5 tips for planting healthy hedges this spring.


1. Choose the Right Hedge Species

Selecting the right hedge species for your garden is the first crucial step in ensuring healthy growth. Different plants have varying requirements for sunlight, soil type, and climate.


Consider factors like the purpose of the hedge (privacy, windbreak, or purely ornamental), the local climate, and the space available when making your choice.


Common hedge species include Buxus, Pittosporum, Portuguese Laurel, Escallonia, Griselinea, Olearia, Choisya and Viburnum, but there are many others to explore as well.


2. Prepare the Soil Properly

Healthy hedges start with healthy soil. Before planting, it's essential to prepare the soil by removing weeds, rocks, and debris. Incorporate organic matter like compost to improve soil fertility and drainage.


A soil test can help you determine the pH and nutrient levels, allowing you to make any necessary adjustments. Well-prepared soil provides a strong foundation for your hedge's root system to establish itself. Furthermore, if you have heavy soil instead of digging individual holes for each plant, dig a trench. This gives the roots plenty of space to expand and will help prevent root rot.


I had a hedge at my place of Choisya and made the mistake of not digging a trench. Within 12 months we lost about 50% of the plants, and as I pulled each dead plant up after a week of dry weather the rootball was a soggy mess.


3. Plant at the Right Time


Timing is crucial when planting hedges. Spring, particularly early to mid-spring, is an ideal time because the soil is warming up, and plants are beginning to come out of their winter dormancy.


This allows your hedge to establish its roots before the heat of summer or the cold of winter arrives. Be sure to follow the planting guidelines specific to your chosen hedge species, including spacing recommendations.


4. Proper Watering and Mulching

Consistent watering is vital, especially during the first year of your hedge's growth. Water deeply and regularly to encourage root development. A soaker hose or drip irrigation system can be helpful in delivering water directly to the root zone.


Apply a layer of mulch around the base of your hedge to help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Mulch also contributes to the overall health and aesthetics of your hedge.



5. Pruning and Maintenance


Regular pruning and maintenance are essential to keep your hedge healthy and looking its best. Pruning not only shapes the hedge but also promotes bushier growth and encourages airflow, reducing the risk of disease.


The timing and frequency of pruning will depend on the specific hedge species you've chosen, so be sure to research the requirements. Sharp, clean pruning tools are essential to avoid damaging the hedge.


In conclusion, planting healthy hedges in the spring requires careful consideration of species selection, soil preparation, timing, and ongoing maintenance. By following these top 5 tips, you can create beautiful, thriving hedges that will enhance your garden's beauty and functionality for years to come. Remember that patience is key when it comes to hedge growth; with proper care, your hedges will provide enjoyment and benefits for both you and the environment.


Your Next Steps

Now that you’re aware of how to plant a healthy hedge, you can start browsing the options of what plants could be suitable for your site. Check out the Hedging range on our website, or email us at sales@nurseryman.co.nz to get some personal recommendations.

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