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How to manage this leylandii - I want it to grow more!

John_bedfordJohn_bedford Posts: 3
edited April 2018 in Problem solving
Good morning.

Around the front of my property we have a leylandii hedge. We moved in mid-last year, and it doesn't seem to have grown much since. We have had other priorities but now have time to tend the garden. 

The hedge currently stands at approx 6ft, but is a little sparse in places. They're fairly shallow, they could really do with filling out so I can shape it all properly.

They're currently planted about 1m apart, are all staked and have a porous hose along the length.

Part of the problem is that the bed they're in is covered in weeds, and I'm a little unsure what the best process might be to simultaneously clear up the bed whilst giving the hedge a good health kick. The other side of the hedge is a public footpath - the hedge will not infringe on this. 

I don't want to plant anything in the bed, I'll probably just put bark around it. At the moment my plan of action is thus;

1. Weed the bed
2. Replace the porous hose (it's a bit knackered)
3. Lay down a load of compost
4. (Membrane? I don't know)
5. Cover in bark.

Any thoughts?

Also, I appreciate that many don't like leylandii. Right now it's my only option, it's a long hedge and I can't afford to lose the privacy or buy a large pre-grown hedge! It'll be kept to approx 7ft tall and a 3ish feet width.

Many thanks.


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Posts

  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,053
    There is nothing wrong with leylandii - it's the owners who are the problem!

    A metre apart is too big I think. I would be inclined to plant one inbetween. You should still be able to get bare root plants as the season is so late this year. They will soon grow up to blend with your existing ones. You could choose golden leylandii for the new ones to give you a 2 tone hedge. 
    Your plan to weed the ground and keep it weeded is the way to go. I would also lay down some feeding, either a general one like Growmore or Fish, Blood and Bone. Once a year at least. If you live in a particularly dry part of the country then the replace your porous hose.
    And remove the stakes! They should not need staking and neither should your new plants. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,054
    Whenever I've planted a hedge I put porous ground membrane down around the plants. And then mulched it for appearance's sake. It keeps the weeds down and saves you a lot of back-breaking work. Weeds will eventually seed into the mulch but they're relatively easy to remove. Just have to make sure to water well once a week until things are well established. I used a big watering-can of water per plant.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,460
    Are you sure its Leylandii, which is a fast grower. ? At that size I would expect a couple of foot of growth last year. It may be Lawsons Cypress, which looks similar bit is slower growing.  I would give it a light all over trim to give it shape. Wider at the bottom and narrower at the top.
  • John_bedfordJohn_bedford Posts: 3
    edited April 2018
    Below are a couple of closer photos. Hopefully this will aid in identification.

    Well at the moment perhaps my best option is to dig out the weeds, put down some feed then mulch over it all. i'm not sure about membrane, I feel like if I put down a good enough depth of mulch then I somewhat don't require it? I imagine that will inhibit weeds enough on it's own?

    The height isn't far off - it could do with just another 6 inches or so. Really I'd like it to bulk and fill out a bit.


  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,487
    Keep the top clipped, and then it will want to branch out lower down. With some sunshine and a good feed, it should then grow away quite fast. I would just mulch it with bark and not bother with membrane. P.S The legal limit for a  leyandi hedge  is 2 metres so 7ft is too high.
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,928
    edited April 2018
    Maybe a cross with Arborvitae?  Or as Fidget suggested, the Lawsons Cypress?
    Utah, USA.
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,053
    It doesn't look too weedy and not too sparse. Now that I have seen the photos! Forget I said plant inbetween. Trim a bit off the tops twice a year - it will soon bush out. And a feed. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,054
    Crush the foliage and see if smells of pineapples. If so, it might be Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata).
  • valerierobertsvalerieroberts Posts: 726
    edited April 2018
    Lizzy 27. hi, you say the legal limit for a leylandi hedge is 2 m. Does this limit apply to other types of hedges or just leylandi. I’m thinking of laurel or griselina. Thanks Valerie 
  • Dave HumbyDave Humby HampshirePosts: 1,142
    Lizzy 27. hi, you say the legal limit for a leylandi hedge is 2 m. Does this limit apply to other types of hedges or just leylandi. I’m thinking of laurel or griselina. Thanks Valerie 
    There isn't a legal height limit set Valerie but you cannot complain about a hedge height unless it is over 2m. Semantics I know but worth bearing in mind. Keep it below 2m and you are 'safe'. Any higher then someone can complain (for a fee c£500+). It is actually part of the Anti-Social Behaviour Order - ASBO - and applies to evergreen hedges, not specifically Leylandii but that is what drove the Act to be created. 

    Plenty of info on the web, such as 

    https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=408 
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