Hawthorn Hedging - Tip No 4

We are having a nice warm autumn with just a few cold nights. If you are thinking about planting a hawthorn hedge this winter, now is a really good time to strike a blow for the good guys and go after a few weeds. Perennial weeds like bindweed, docks, thistles, dandelions, ground elder and the rest behave just like any other deciduous plant as they head towards winter and dormancy (which is the plant equivalent of hibernation). They build up their food reserves to see them through the winter and to fuel the surge for growth that happens in Spring.

A well planted hawthorn  hedge can take care of itself, once it is established and it will shade out almost all weeds.  But newly planted hawthorn is a completely different matter - the combination of a weed infestation and a dry spring can decimate Britain's most durable native hedging plant. So now really is the time to get out your systemic weedkiller (any one containing glyphosate is fine) and, following the instructions, water or spray it on the area where you intend to plant your hedge.  We would always recommend using a watering can with a fine rose as you can control exactly where the weedkiller goes.  It will be taken by your weeds,  from the surface of their leaves, deep into their root systems as sap fall and leaves die. And it will kill them. This is probably the best time of year to go after deep rooted perennial weeds.

Do it in haste or repent at leisure.

3 thoughts on “Hawthorn Hedging - Tip No 4”

  • David Beaulieu

    You write, "Perennial weeds like bindweed, docks, thistles, dandelions, ground elder and the rest behave just like any other deciduous plant...."

    I have all these in my area except for the ground elder. Can you tell me more about it?

    Reply
  • David Beaulieu

    I have bindweed, docks, thistles, dandelions as weeds in my area. Can you tell me about ground elder?

    Reply
  • Edward

    Hi David, funnily enough I was just over on about.com looking for info on building a bund - your department, I believe.

    What is it in particular you want to know about Ground Elder? It is a tough one to kill - it has roots that can ressurect from a tiny scrap, just like nettles, and really needs a herbicide to be cleared effectively.

    Reply
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