Golden Privet Hedges - Knowledgebase Question

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Question by humdingers
September 16, 2010
We are in need of some help for our hedges. They
aren't growning or doing well.

My husband planted them with garden soil, he has
fertilized them and now
he has mulched them. We
have a big investment of
15 hedges.We aren't sure
how much to water them or
how often. Should we get
a tester and check the soil? Please help

Answer from NGA
September 16, 2010
Privets adapt to most soil types, as long as they drain well so I don't think there's any need to test your soil. And, since you loosened the garden soil to plant your shrubs, it should drain well enough to suit the roots of your privets. You didn't say how long ago you planted your shrubs. Newly planted landscape shrubs can go through a period of stress as they establish their root systems in their new homes and this stress can show up in wilted leaves and sometimes yellowing and dropping leaves. Once the roots adjust and begin to venture out into native soil the shrubs should perk up and show new growth. Now that the days are cooler, you may not see new growth until next spring but you should see some improvement in the overall appearance of your privets 2-3 weeks after planting. In general, landscape trees and shrubs need about an inch of water per week in order to grow and thrive. I think the easiest way to provide sufficient water is to make a watering well or watering basin beneath each plant and fill the basin with water, allow it to drain, then fill it a second time. Once a week should do it. By watering with this method you are concentrating the water directly over the root systems and it will slowly trickle down and wet the entire root mass. If you water this way the rest of the fall and again in the spring, you'll be providing adequate water to your privets. It's not usually a good idea to feed newly installed landscape plants. They are busy trying to get their roots established and fertilizer forces new top growth - not something you want to encourage at the end of the summer. The new growth may not have time to harden off before your first freeze. If this happens it will die back during the winter months. Not all will be lost, though. You can simply prune away the dead leaves and stems in the springtime and new growth will hide the pruning cuts. I hope this information is helpful!

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