All about hedges, plant selection, pruning, care
Some dacha owners believe that a hedge on the plot is needed only as an alternative to the fence. But in fact the function of a hedge is much wider than people think.
Advantages and disadvantages of hedges on the site
A hedge is an undeservedly forgotten classic of landscape design that helps solve many problems. Like many other phenomena, it has not only advantages, but also certain disadvantages. However, good is good over all.
Advantages of a hedge:
- Reliably protects against wind and dust, yet does not interfere with fresh air circulation.
- Looks presentable on both sides.
- Allows you to delineate the functional areas of the site without the use of fences and barriers.
- Blends seamlessly into the design of any style garden.
- Helps not to decorate too picturesquely what is open on one side of the site.
- Allows you to legally solve the problem of “transparency” of the fence between the sites.
- Does not require regular touch-ups and preventive maintenance.
- Repels beneficial insects and birds.
Disadvantages of hedges:
- Requires constant attention. However, if you correctly select the right plants for it, the care of protection is minimized.
- To achieve the desired effect, you have to wait several years.
- It attracts not only beneficial but also harmful insects and birds.
- If not properly cared for, it can become a spreader of disease.
- Takes up more “usable area” of the site than conventional fences.
So, they have decided that everything is in order, and concluded that they are ready to grow a hedge on their site. What should you pay attention to when choosing plants?
The function of the hedge
The volume of the future hedge depends largely on the goals pursued. This is a factor worth familiarizing yourself with before proceeding to the selection of particular plants.
A tall hedge (2-4m). As a rule, it is used when the gardener has the task of fencing the territory of the plot from the outside world or to decorate the already established high fence.
To organize a high hedge are suitable trees and shrubs, such as graves, thuja, cypress, bentgrass, vesicle or hawthorn.
A hedge of medicinal plants (1-2 m). Medium-sized hedges are properly spaced and help to securely cover certain areas of the garden and vegetable garden, so that the hedge is not conspicuous. In addition, medium-sized hedges come to the rescue in situations where you need to protect plants sensitive to the structure from strong gusts of wind.
For medium-sized hedges, willow-leaved, cranberry-leaved and gray spirea, snowberry, turf, forsythia, tansy, dereza, privet, etc. are suitable.
Low hedges (up to 1 m). Low limbs should emphasize the beauty of the garden, so they are most often used to decorate garden paths or individual landscape compositions.
Hypothetically, almost any plant, including herbaceous plants, can be used for a low hedge. The only question is how often you have to cut. Therefore for low hedges it is common to use slow-growing shrubs with compact crowns (cotoneaster, Lawson’s cypress, Canadian spruce, etc.), which practically do not require pruning.
- Low-growing plants for hedges and borders Accentuate the beauty of the landscape with a low hedge up to 1 m.
Once you’ve decided on the functions a hedge should perform on your property, you can start choosing plants.
Evergreen hedges. A classic solution for creating a hedge for any purpose. Depending on the planting scheme you can make the hedge tall and impenetrable (protective function) or visually symbolic (decorative function). The choice of “candidates” is wide: thuja western, boxwood, cypress, spruce, juniper. The main advantage of such hedges is the year-round ornamental value.
- Conifers in the garden – what you need to consider when planting and growing For a conifer to become a real decoration of your garden, it is important not only to buy a beautiful tree, but also to find suitable neighbors for it.
Decorative deciduous hedge. It will decorate your plot almost all year round. If you want a hedge to look beautiful all year round, but conifers do not appeal to you, pay attention to shrubs that change the color of the branches to a lighter color by winter, such as B. peat (white, red, offshoots) or hazelnut.
- 11 Trees and shrubs with beautiful bark that decorate the winter gardenPlants that continue to bring joy even after they shed their leaves.
Berry hedges are not only practical and picturesque, but also productive! To protect the site from uninvited guests, hawthorn, wild rose, barberry and buckthorn will do. In all other cases it makes sense to opt for oregano, honeysuckle and blueberry.
How often should you cut your hedge?
Since the most important activity in hedge trimming is pruning, it is very important to determine right away how much time you can devote to this process. Let’s look at some general guidelines for how often to trim a hedge, depending on the size of the hedge.
high fence. The sides of such a hedge should be trimmed twice a year, cutting the tops for better tillering – until the plants reach the necessary height and grow into a single tier on the sides.
The hedge is of medium height. The width of the green “fence” – up to 1 m. The scheme of planting, as a rule, two-row, the distance between the seedlings – 0,3-0,5 m. Once a month or even more often it is necessary to cut a medium-high hedge.
low hedge. Practically does not need to be shaped, but requires a more careful attitude to hygienic measures.
- Conifers for a small plot Do you want to decorate the plot with a spruce or pine, but are afraid that you will not find space for it? The problem can be solved with the help of miniature forms of conifers.
It is important to understand that many ornamental trees and shrubs have both fast-growing and slow-growing varieties. Therefore, before buying seedlings, it is very important to carefully study the information about how quickly the plants you choose will build up green mass.
A free-growing hedge. If you do not want to burden yourself with too frequent pruning, pay attention to crops that do not require compulsory formation: rosseria, tilessa, dereza, mackerel-UP, lilac (Hungarian or Amur), hydrangea, hawthorn, honshita.
formed hedge. Suitable for experimental gardeners, as well as for those who like proper geometric shapes. If you are a beginner, pay attention to currant (alpine or golden), bramble (common and Thunberg), hawthorn, bladderwort.
Hedge planting scheme
The scheme of planting a hedge depends not only on the expected size of plants, but also on the specific objectives. When the task is to grow an impenetrable green hedge, the seedlings are placed rather densely. To create a visually symbolic hedge, plants are planted at noticeable intervals.
Hedges with a planting spacing of less than 1 m are planted in a trench. The width of the trench for a two-row hedge is equal to the distance between the rows plus 10-30 cm (depending on the size of the seedlings’ root system). Up to 20% plant soil should be added to the bottom of the trench. If the planting spacing is 1 m or more, it is advisable to dig holes for each seedling.
Taking care of hedges
With the right plants, taking care of a hedge does not take as long as it first appears.
Pruning. A mandatory activity that will help your plants stay healthy for years to come. Pruning the hedge is usually done in spring or summer, when damaged branches are most visible. Formative pruning of curly hedges is done as needed.
- Pruning the garden – what tools are needed? You can’t take words out of thin air – you do need a reliable tool for garden work. We will help you make the right choice.
Top dressing. It is carried out three times a year – in spring, summer and autumn. The amount and composition of top dressing is largely determined by the type of plant, as ornamental and berry shrubs have their own schemes of top dressing.
- How to feed the garden in the spring, summer and autumn, learn about the plants in the garden and timely application of the necessary fertilizers. Our calendar and useful tips will help you!
Disease and pest control. Conducted simultaneously with the treatment of the entire garden. Learn more about this in a special article.
- Garden treatment calendar for diseases and pests, wait for diseases and pests to take over your garden – act ahead of time!
winter protection. Despite the fact that in the first 2-3 years after planting you usually pick frost-resistant plants, which usually tolerate the green hedge without covering, young plants can suffer from sunburn and frostbite. This is especially true for conifers, which often suffer from the scorching spring sun.
- How can I help conifers survive the winter? Before winter arrives, protect conifers from strong gusts of wind, freezing rain, and wet, sticky snow.
As you can see, caring for a green hedge is not that difficult. If you plant properly and take good care of the plants, you won’t have any trouble with a green hedge.
9 important rules of growing a hedge
Good afternoon, dear readers. The end of July is a great time to cut hedges. Let’s talk today about how to create a hedge of plants.
To make the hedge dense and strong, it should be planted in light. Under such conditions, many new shoots and leaves form on the shrub, and the hedge becomes dense and impenetrable.
In shady places, such as V. by a wall, near a high fence, or under a large tree, the hedge will not be as dense, unless shade-tolerant plants are brought out.
On my site, several vines seedlings are planted in a hole, from which I want to create a topiary shape – a ball. But I planted it wrong: On one side the bush is thick and dense because it gets enough light, but on the other side the bush stands in the shade of a lime tree and looks barren with bare spots that do not grow in any way.
Choosing healthy seedlings
Hedge seedlings should always be young and covered with diligent discs from top to bottom. Long-legged seedlings, that is, those in which the lower part is bald and stem-like, are not suitable for creating a hedge: on the stem may not sprout growth buds, and the bush below will forever remain bare.
The smaller the seedling, the more likely it is that it will develop many side shoots, and the hedge from them will have leaves from top to bottom.
Plants for hedges are not planted in separate holes, but in a common trench, and the size of the trench should be different for different plants. If you plant large trees, say, linden or thuja, the depth of the trench should be at least 60 cm, and the width – 50-60 cm. For medium-sized shrubs, such as a lime tree, dig a trench with a depth and width of 40-50 cm, and a trench for Japanese spirea with a depth and width of about 30 cm.
If you want to plant a dense two-row hedge, make a trench twice as deep as the usual depth for your plant, and plant the plants in a staggered pattern.
The dug trench should be filled with a loose fertile mixture, so that the seedlings will more easily take root and develop better. For an even hedge, string a cord in front of the plant along the trench and plant the seedlings along it.
Shape the hedge only after the seedlings have put down roots. Usually this happens the next year, maximum in two years, when fresh growth appears on the shoots.
It is most convenient to cut with large garden shears, and depending on whether they are cutting level or trying to give the bush a convex shape, the shears can be held with an upward or downward bend.
It’s a good idea to wipe the leaves of the scissors with an alcohol solution before pruning each plant. And do not forget to sharpen the tool regularly.
A good tool
When the number of hedges on my construction site has increased and they have grown, I came to the conclusion that I need a more productive helper, and bought an electric free scissors from our Ukrainian company “Dnepr-M”. The products of this brand are distinguished by the optimal price-quality ratio.
The model is called DHT 200 Dual. The length of the cutting part – 51 cm, the maximum diameter of the branch, which cuts this cutter – 24 mm, the weight of the tool – 4.5 kg with two lithium-ion batteries. The batteries provide at least half an hour of continuous operation. The cutting part can be fixed at different angles, which is an additional and important convenience.
The tool has a well-designed locking system: a button turns the motor on and off, there is a lock key and a start key: until you press all three buttons simultaneously, the locked tool cannot be turned on.
Order of mowing shrubs
But even having such a good helper, you should definitely know the rules of hedge trimming. First you need to cut the bushes from the sides and only then trim the horizontal surface. If you have no skills, it is better to pull the rope to create a perfectly flat surface.
While working, lubricate the cutter every hour with light machine oil: Apply a few drops to each cutting element or use spray lubricant. Wipe the cutter thoroughly with a cloth after finishing work.
The top level of the hedge should be narrower than the base, i.e. the bushes should be formed. If the base is narrower than the top edge, the lack of light will leave no discs and leaves on it, producing bare spots and gaps.
When to cut a hedge
It is necessary to cut the hedge when the growth of vertical shoots reaches a height of 15-20 cm, it is necessary to shorten the growth by a third or half of its length.
The purpose of shortening the shoots is to stimulate the bush to produce more side shoots, which will gain volume and become thicker. After pruning, shoot growth slows down, meaning the bush doesn’t grow as fast but spreads out to the sides.
Choosing plants for hedges
Plants for a hedge should be very decorative, well-maintained, and then quickly regenerate, that is, form many new buds. Evergreens, conifers and shrubs with light-colored or colorful leaves are good for this purpose.
I grow linden hedges, lawns that are attractive all year round, and ligue is the perfect shrub for this purpose. You can make a hedge of spirea and berberia, great hedges are made of spruce, life tree and juniper.
Suggest frost-resistant plants – covering an entire hedge for the winter is no easy task every year.
Frequent pruning of the hedge leads to a permanent loss of leaf apparatus, so shrubs should be regularly fed and watered.
Another important point: if you plant a long hedge from plants of the same species, such as thuja, it will look monotonous and boring. Designers recommend to diversify such plantings of one kind with some light plants.
You can plant a variety with yellow needles in a green thuja hedge or visually divide a long row of identical plants by bushes with contrasting leaves into segments. This will look more cheerful and much more attractive.