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Planting a new hedge

Hi 👋 I've been wanting to plant a hedge for a while now but I'm finally getting around to doing it now. It's going near a fence so i was wondering how far from the 6ft fence it could be planted. I've dug a foot down to add compost to the soil in advance. I dug a width of about a foot. Do I need to do more than this? Do I need to clear the grass from more than this area? The plants will be hawthorn, hornbeam, blackthorn and dog rose or bird cherry. 


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,456
    Bumping this up for any hedging experts  :)
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,782
    A foot isn't ideal, but - if the ground's well enough prepped, and you water well until established, it should be fine. Some parts will thrive better than others though.
     You'll have to bear in mind that the lee of a fence can be dry, so that's very important. If it faces the direction of the prevailing weather, that will help, as will regular mulching to retain moisture.
    Blackthorn suckers though, so you'll have it coming up through your lawn on a regular basis. I'm taking most of mine out because it's become a nuisance rather than an asset. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • A foot away from a fence is not a good idea as the hedge will widen as well as grow upwards.  It will develop into a thicket very quickly. It will be difficult to maintain the rear of the hedge which will eventually push between the planks of the fence as well as push the fence over. I would guesstimate a width of 3ft from the fence minimum for a wild hedge such as you want. I have a short length of wild hedge at the bottom of my garden which consists of hawthorn, blackthorn, wild willow and privet. It has grown along the top of a bank between my garden and a field. 
    The tree surgeon has just arrived to give it its bi-annual haircut. It grows quickly to 8/12 ft tall and almost as much across in a couple of years. The birds like to sit in it but so far I have never found a nest. I have asked the tree surgeon to cut down a seedling Buddleia which appeared a couple of years ago and is now over 12ft tall, also a sycamore tree as they self-seed themselves all over my garden. I am hoping to treat the sycamore later in the year to kill it as it has developed into a multi-stemmed clump growing on the sun side of my veg. garden. 
    I do not like killing trees but there is a limit to how many trees you can allow in the garden before you have a wood with no ground available for fruit and veg. I have planted several fruit and ornamental trees so far and lots of shrubs so my garden is not void of trees that the birds use for cover, perching and roosting, plus bird nesting boxes on the fence down the other side of the garden.
    The birds are going to have a shock as I have also asked for a large hawthorn to be cut back to vertical growth. It has grown out sideways towards the field and if left much longer the weight will pull it over sideways into the field, ripping out my bank. The birds use it as a launchpad when they come onto my feeding station. They will soon adjust, their stomachs will see to that.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,782
    If you have a good fence it's no problem. Mine is absolutely fine - it's good quality timber.  :)
    Of course, a solid fence is slightly different, but again, a good quality fence won't just give way. If the fence is solid and good quality, that side of the hedge simply won't grow much. 
    Ideally, you'd have a fence with gaps between the timbers, so that the hedge grows through, and can be trimmed from the other side as well. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • The tree surgeons have left and I have logs for the fire, light, air and space in the garden and the birds are confused! There is on chaffinch which seems totally unable to land on the feeding station. It keeps coming in, hovering frantically before flying away. I haven't seen it settle yet.
    It is amazing what a difference it makes. Lovely. A neatly trimmed hedge, wood smoke spiraling and a pile of freshly cut logs. All is well in the world.
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