PLANT A HEDGE

Garden Answers (UK) - - Easy Gardening -

A na­tive hedge is an at­trac­tive al­ter­na­tive to a fence, act­ing as a sound bar­rier and of­fer­ing shel­ter for wildlife. Spiny holly, black­thorn and hawthorn im­prove se­cu­rity, with bee-friendly flow­ers and berries that birds love. Add honey­suckle and ivy with nec­tar-rich flow­ers and berries, and you’ll give birds and bees a vi­tal life­line. Na­tive hedges are best es­tab­lished us­ing bare­root spec­i­mens, planted this month if the ground isn’t frozen or wa­ter­logged.

PRE­PARE THE SOIL 1

Al­low a strip of ground 50cm-1m (20in-3ft 3in) wide, de­pend­ing on whether the hedge is to be sin­gle or dou­ble thick­ness. Re­move weeds and large stones.

2 DIG A TRENCH

Ex­ca­vate the soil to a spade’s depth and width. Peg out a line of string, or wind the string around a brick as shown, to en­sure the trench re­mains straight as you dig.

3 WA­TER & WEED

Plant bare­root spec­i­mens into the trench and back fill. Firm in place and wa­ter well. Keep the soil moist and weed-free un­til the hedge is es­tab­lished.

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