Sallymander's blog: Hedge

Posted on Jul 26, 2019 2:31 PM

While we have planted plenty of hedges for other people, we've never had to plant a hedge for ourselves, either because one wasn't necessary, or because the hedges already existed. On the one hand, it is really nice to not have to plant a hedge and wait for it to grow, and on the other... it would have been fun to plant the hedge the way I would plant it, with the plants I would prefer to have.

The industry standard for planting hedges has long mystified me. It is so obviously wrong, I can't figure out how it got started, let alone, allowed to continue. Being the daughter of a Yank, I think I'll blame the Brits. The Brits had those huge gardens with their huge hedges that were probably inspired by the French. We, of course, couldn't let the Brits nor the French out do us, so we followed suit and upped the ante so to speak. If the Brits planted five feet on center, we'd plant three! Ha! Touche! We have more plants than you. Nanny nanny, nah, nah. Crowd those babies in. Or maybe, someone wanted to sell a lot of plants fast and made the standard up and everyone went along because they didn't know better. Those are my best guesses, but really, it's time to grow up and stop competing, and start making sense. Give your hedge some room to grow!

If you're thinking of planting a hedge, think about a few things, especially if you are in the 'burbs with not a lot of space. First, think small. Hedges are not fun to prune. Climbing on a ladder is precarious. So plant plants that will fill in the space at their mature height so you don't have to prune. Second, do not over plant with the idea you'll remove some once they start to fill in. Nobody ever does that, and even if they did, it's disruptive to the grow of the other plants to have one removed and have the roots stump ground. Space the plants the distance they should be at their mature height. The more space you give them at planting time, the healthier and faster they will grow. Plant annuals in between to fill the space while you're waiting for them to fill in.

End Hedge Abuse

Thank you for listening. I hope to live to rant another day!


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