You can create a lasting impression for your property with hedgerow planting. But you also need to exert effort to avoid making your garden plants look leggy, yellowish, and unsightly. Hedge maintenance usually includes leveling the hedge height, trimming shrubs on the front or rear sides, and removing overgrown branches. Find out below how you can maintain the natural beauty of your plant borders without compromising privacy. We have some good tips below on Hedgerwo Management, enjoy!
Leveling the height of your bushes
- You need to examine the appearance of the blooming native shrubs to determine if your overgrown hedges need to be pruned. Consider trimming during autumn or winter while they are dormant to prevent thwarting their flower growth. For non-flowering shrubs, you can trim them at any time except in late autumn, especially if the overgrown branches are already apparent. But avoid extensive trimming as it can damage the plants and make their growth uneven.
To easily clean the surroundings after trimming, place a reusable tarp below the hedges. The tarp will help catch fallen branches and leaves. You can also use a typical broomstick if you prefer to clean up after the trimming job.
- You can use a leveling tool and some stakes to establish the shrub’s height you want. Place two stakes at the far end side of the hedges and tie those using strings. Once the strings on the leveling guide have been fixed, use a hedge trimmer or hand pruner to cut the undesirable hedges at the top. After you cut them, step away from the hedges and examine your trimming work. If there are still excess branches, continue to trim them until the desired look is achieved.
- It is advisable to make the top portion of the hedge narrower than the base. The base of the plant should be wider to encourage proper growth. If the top of the hedges looks thick, use shears or hedge trimmers to make it thinner. Retain the strings attached to the stakes as a reference guide to your desired height until the job is done. All part of hedgerow management tasks.
Trimming shrubs adjacent to structures
- If you have shrubs planted near the walls of any part of your house, measure 6 to 12 inches from the walls as your clear distance. Overgrown shrubs can cause wall damage like paint scratch, or rot. Also, consider keeping a 6 to 12 inches clear distance to avoid water contact when watering shrubs. Splashing water can cause wall streaks or moss growth.
- Start trimming the shrubs from the bottom and work your way up to the top of the hedge. Make sure the base of the plants is wider every time you cut the shrubs to keep their growth balanced. Use the clear distance set as the boundary of the shrubs from any adjacent structure.
- Cut the hedge at a slight angle to make sure the top portion remains narrower. The important thing here is that sunlight should penetrate down to the lower branches and receive enough ventilation and nutrients. This will also maintain the beautiful green color of the shrubs.
- Just make a shallow trim, about 1 to three inches from the bottom, and then go up. Avoid deep trimming as it can break the form of your hedges. Always examine the cutting job if the clear distance from the walls and the target height are cautiously followed. Continue to cut overgrown branches or those that are extending outward to smoothen out the side. Whenever possible, retain the natural appearance of shrubs to help them grow healthily.
Hedge Management- Removing hedge debris
- You should not ignore the removal of dead leaves, diseased and overgrown branches as they interfere with the proper growth of shrubs, plant species, and other tree species (hedgerow trees). First, remove the overgrown branches from the base using a hedge trimmer or garden shears. This will help prevent overgrown branches from sticking out, thus encouraging proper side growth of young hedges.
- Cut the limbs near the center of the plant and then gradually cut other overgrown branches elsewhere. However, try to retain the natural shape of the hedges and keep its bottom portion wide enough to achieve optimum growth. Whenever possible, don’t overdo the hedges. Only cut 1/3 of the shrub. If you remove more than 1/3 of their size, your shrubs may become vulnerable to plant diseases, pest infestation, and early rotting.
- Trimming (Annual cutting) is encouraged in the center of the shrubs to help sunlight get through the lower branches. However, avoid trimming too many overgrown branches at the center as this may affect the overall health of your new hedgerows. In addition, carefully inspect the shrubs for any signs of broken or diseased branches. If you see any, cut them away but only remove the rotting areas of the branches. You do not need to remove the entire length of the branches. Instead, only cut away up to a certain length where the damage is visible.
Hedgerow Management- Taking care of your lovely hedges
- Water your hedges at least once a week to maintain water saturation in the soil. You can utilize a watering can or any typical garden hose to water the plants. Increase the frequency of watering during drought season. Also, water the soil, especially in the root zone, to help your shrubs absorb nutrients from the soil, water, and sunlight properly.
- You can run a drip irrigation system underneath your hedges if you want to use a garden hose. You can also irritate other areas of your garden with a sprinkler system.
- You need to regularly inspect your hedges for any signs of diseases, pests, soil erosion, ground-nesting birds and other wildlife, and fungal growth (Dutch Elm Disease). Look for areas with bites, holes, and scaly leaves because they are visible signs of infestation. If pests are apparent, spray commercial-grade plant insecticides to eliminate them. Typical garden pests you may encounter include spider mites and scale insects. Meanwhile, if you spot any yellowish leaves and dead branches, cut them off to prevent the spread of diseases like blight and bacterial canker. But if the problem is still recurring, it is better to seek help from a gardening expert in your local area.
Hedgerow management and planting is an exciting way to define a border around your property. You can enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of your outdoor spaces if you have hedges, in addition to being able to provide shelter and food to some wildlife species. Like other home maintenance practices, however, your hedges need regular watering to keep them attractive and healthy for a long time.