After a long wet autumn and Winter the recent good weather gives us all a chance to return to the garden with gusto. Jobs that were left on the long finger can finally be taken care of as we give our garden that long overdue spring clean.
If you are thinking of planting a hedge then there is no time for delay. March is the last month that you can plant bare-root hedging. Container grown hedging can be planted all year round. There are a number of factors to consider when planting a hedge.
Always buy your hedge off of a reputable garden centre/nursery or landscaper. These are the people who can best advice you on your needs and who have access to the best and most reliable plants.
Prepair your ground well. This is done only once so it is worth doing really well. Is you soil Alkaline or Acidic? Do you need to add anything to the soil to improve it? Does your soil need to be drained? How high do you want your hedge to grow?
Decide if you want an evergreen or deciduous hedge. For the midlands Laurel, Holly, Box, Yew and Photinia are best varieties while most deciduous hedges grow perfidy well in our area. Beech needs well-drained soil while Hornbeam grows well on heavy soil. White thorn makes a quick dense hedge and is excellent as a barrier for livestock. It also berries well and is a firm favourite with wildlife.
Check the root system of the plants before you purchase. A large plant with small roots will not establish well. Bare-root plants need to have a lot of small fibrous roots to absorb moisture and nutrients so as to grow quickly and establish well
Do not plant too deep but make sure roots are well covered. Planting distance between plants will vary depending on the hedge you choose and this will also determine whether you plant a single or double row.
Firm in well after planting and water in thoroughly so as to move the soil around the roots. Do not underestamate how important this is. If the plants need a stake/Bamboo to stop wind rock apply now.
Some hedges benefit from being cut back at planting. (Hawthorn, Field Maple, Blackthorn) while others are best left to establish for a f ew years.
Further Details Available from Dunnes Garden Centre, Durrow, Co Laois, Tel:057 8736277