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Planting and Aftercare of Bare Root Hedging Plants

Planting bare roots can be a daunting task for those new to hedging plants. But do not worry, here are a few tips from Hedges Direct for planting and maintaining your new hedging.

Planting
Firstly, preparation of your growing site is important. Even the smallest of plants must have a clear area ready for their new positioning. Forming a trench which is clear of weeds, slightly wider & deeper than the roots, has good drainage and includes soil that is easily workable, will create a perfect working site prior to your hedging plants arrival. We would recommend about half a foot depth for smaller plants and a foot depth for larger plants.

Planting your bare roots shortly after their arrival is recommended as it allows the exposed root systems to be concealed by the soil so they can begin their journey towards establishment. This also ensure that the roots are not allowed to dry out.

Bare roots can be planted throughout the winter months, between November and April, so long as the ground is free from excessive rainwater and frost, as this will cause the soil to become heavy and compact, limiting the roots ability to grow.

As we are in the UK, weather conditions do not always cooperate with the hedging plants’ arrival, but they can be stored in a garage or shed for a few days. Simply soak them in water for a couple of hours and then drain them before leaving to stand.

When it comes to planting, position your bare roots with sufficient space between them for the roots to spread and back fill your trench with the surrounding soil removed to create the growing site, or a high quality topsoil. Ensure the soil is firmly pressed around the plant by either pushing with your hands or heel of your foot. Depending on the thickness of the hedge you are looking to achieve you could either plant in a single or double row, with between 3 to 7 plants per metre according to their size.

Each hedging plant should be sufficiently watered when planted, we suggest 2-4 litres per plant, depending on its size. Continue to soak your plants, roughly twice a week applying water directly to the soil rather than the leaves.

Aftercare
Hedging plants compete for nutrients within the soil, so the addition of fertilizers is beneficial for speedier and more successful development. There is a slight failure rate of approximately 5% expected when planting bare roots, but the addition of feeds will help reduce this.

Pruning is very much species dependent as certain species should be pruned immediately after planting, whereas others should be left until later in the year. There are also certain species which should not be pruned until they have reached their desired height.

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