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Hedge Planting methods

  • Bare root Hedging Available!

    Why Bare root?

    Plants can be bought either container grown, rootballed or bare root.  In late autumn deciduous plants lose their leaves and go into dormancy - they can be dug up and supplied in bundles without soil on the roots. This is an economical way of planting new hedges and woodlands.

    Mixed rural hedges are a traditional way of creating stock proof hedges, and can be enjoyed in gardens too, helping wildlife and creating an attractive division.

    Hawthorn is usually the backbone of the hedge, forming a good structure and providing flowers in spring and berries in autumn.

    Blackthorn is another prickly plant with white flowers and blue black berries - the 'Sloes' that can been used to make Sloe Gin!

    Hazel is quick growing and provides nuts in autumn, catkins in later winter.

    Field maple is another species that knits a hedge together well, it has lovely yellow autumn colour.

    Hornbeam is quick growing and does well in heavy clay soils; Beech prefers lighter soils and keeps it's leaves well throughout the winter when grown as a hedge.

    Spindle has bright pink and orange seeds and can tolerate very chalky soil. Guelder rose is a shrub that copes with wet soils, it has bright red berries and good autumn colour.

    Dog rose can scramble through a hedge providing attractive flowers in summer and rose hips in autumn.

    Planting a mixture of species ensures a range of flowering times for pollinating insects, different food sources for birds and mammals and a visually appealing hedge. We can supply bare root plants for mixed rural hedges as well as single species.

    Introducing some species that can be let to grow into trees in the hedge row can offer further benefits. Oak, Field Maple, Hawthorn, Rowan, Hornbeam and Wild cherry are all good examples and can also be bought as container grown trees.

    Of course all the native species used in hedges can be planted as trees or shrubs for woodland planting. Always make sure young plants are protected from rabbits, deer and farm animals - or they will get nibbled!

    If you need any advice about bare root plants, do ask us - telephone, email or visit. We can supply single or mixed species in a range of sizes.

  • Bare root plants for hedges

    We have listened to our customers most frequent questions about planting bare root plants for hedges and compiled our recommendations for you:

    How many will I need?

    New mixed hedges are usually planted at a spacing of 5 plants per metre (approximately 4 plants per yard). This allows for 2 rows with plants staggered – see diagram below:

    ----X------X------X------X------X------X------X------X------X----
    X------X------X------X------X------X------X------X------X------X

    Double row – typically 30cm (12”) between the rows with plants spaced at 40cm (16”) along each row.

    Will they need protection?

    Bare root hedge plants are vulnerable to rabbit and deer damage, particularly in rural areas. For protection from rabbits, spiral guards should be used with canes to support them. Alternatively, the entire hedge can be fenced off with chicken wire, with the base of the wire firmly buried in the soil. Deer fencing generally needs to be 1.8m high, see our website for planting accessories or ask for advice.

    How should I store them after purchase?

    You should be able to keep the plants in the bags they were supplied in for up to 10 days as long as they are frost free and the roots are kept moist but not sitting in water. Beyond 10 days “heel-in” the plants by digging a hole or small trench, removing the plants from the bags keeping them in their bundles, spread the roots out and cover the roots with soil, then firm gently.

    Care when planting

    At the planting site check the roots are not dry – if necessary dip them in a bucket of water (do not soak). To prevent the roots from drying out in the wind, leave the plants in the bag, taking them out only as you plant them, alternatively cover the roots with damp sacking. We highly recommend you dip plants in Mycorrhizae gel at this stage, or granules for small quantities – see our separate guide on How to use Rootgrow. Fertilisers, such as bonemeal, can be mixed in with the soil around the plant roots and, depending on the soil type, a 50/50 soil/compost mixture can be used to avoid large air spaces around the roots.

    Care after planting

    Weeds compete for water, nutrients and light so plant into soil free from perennial weeds (including grass) and keep them weed free in the first two years. Mulch mat rolls such as woven polypropylene and bark can be used as a weed suppressant. Water during the first spring and summer if logistically possible.

    Bad Weather?

    Don’t plant into waterlogged or frozen soil - wait until conditions improve. See our blogs in Cold weather Planting and Storage for more information.

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