Expert Advice >
A hedge is a row of woody plants grown close together in one or two rows and trimmed so that they reach the size you want and stay there.
A hedging plant is simply a young tree or bush. For example, a beech hedging plant can come from the same batch of seed as a massive beech tree in a park, the only difference is that you buy it when it is still young enough for you to train it into a hedge shape. Any hedging plant will grow into a full sized tree or shrub if it is left untrimmed.
Hedge Spacing: With few exceptions, hedging is planted at 3 plants per metre, 33 cms apart. Read more about hedge spacing distances here.
When to Plant: You can plant a hedge at almost anytime of year. The ideal time is in winter, because you can buy bare-root plants: these are really the same as pot-grown plants, just much cheaper!
Choosing a Hedge: Choosing the right hedge plant for your garden is easy, just use the filter options on the left hand side of our list of hedging plants. If you have well drained soil that isn't particularly acidic or alkaline and a decent amount of sun, you can take your pick of any of them.
Preparation: It is always better to prepare the soil well in advance of planting by killing the weeds, digging the soil over to remove stones etc and adding in some well rotted manure / compost. If you do nothing else, make an effort to destroy all weeds & remove the grass in a metre wide strip.
When your hedging arrives, check to make sure that you have received what you ordered and that you are satisfied with its quality. Contact us if there is anything wrong and we will sort it out.
We recommend that you plant your hedging as soon as possible, but if there is going to be a delay, please read our advice on storing your plants.
Planting your hedge: The standard spacing for almost all hedge plants is 3 plants per metre (i.e. 33 cms apart). A few plants need wider spacing: these exceptions will be noted on the plant's page. For extra secure or stock proof hedges, you can also plant in a double row at 5 plants per metre in staggered rows. Our planting videos on country hedges and formal hedges will explain everything.
After Care: All establishing plants must be watered during dry weather for at least one year after you plant them. During winter, the rain will normally take care of this for you, but give special attention to evergreen plants. Evergreens are active and using some water even in mid-winter, so if there is unseasonal dry weather for a month, give them one good soaking.