The Q&A Archives: Privacy Hedge

Question: I have recently moved into a new subdivision and cannot put a fence up in my front yard. I would like to plant some hedges to separate my property line from my neighbors - something that doesn't require a lot of work. Any suggestions?

Answer: Plants used for hedges and screens need to be pruned occasionally to keep them in shape, but most of the commonly grown hedging plants are relatively carefree. Evergreen plants that make good hedges include Abelia grandiflora (Glossy Abelia) Berberis (Barberry), Buxus (Boxwood) Escallonia, Euonymus, Ligustrum (Privet), and Honeysuckle. Many of these plants blossom in the spring or summer. Be sure to prepare the soil before you plant by adding some organic matter and digging it in. Organic matter will improve the soil tilth, retain moisture, and release nutrients to the plant roots. Depending on the size of the plants you purchase, and their rate of growth, space them within 3-4 feet of one another for a quick fill-in. Plants will take about a year to become established, so provide water to your new hedge during the growing season to help the new plants get off to a good start. Once established, prune lightly to encourage new growth.

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