The Content Of The Article:
- Choose fast-growing hedge plants
- Buy big hedge plants
- The optimal planting time
- Do not miss the pruning
- Do not be frugal with water and nutrients
Hedges are the most popular privacy screen for the garden. Compared with the most common structural alternative - a wooden screen - they have many advantages: They are relatively inexpensive, easy to apply, have a very long life and require little care except for the regular shape cut. However, they have a disadvantage: While the wooden wall immediately shields strangers, you have to wait a few years for hedges, depending on the size of the purchased plants, to reach eye level.
Many gardening fans are wondering how to keep the waiting time for effective screen protection at hedges as short as possible - and here are some options.
Choose fast-growing hedge plants
The vigor of hedges varies greatly depending on the species. While the annual shoots of slow-growing species such as yew (Taxus) or holly (Ilex) are rarely longer than 15 centimeters, especially the deciduous deciduous shrubs in a year increase significantly more: hornbeam (Carpinus) and red beech (Fagus) and the field maple (Acer campestre) grow in a season under favorable conditions around 40 to 50 centimeters. If you want a semi-evergreen or evergreen hedge, you should opt for Privet (Ligustrum) or Tree of Life (Thuja). Both species grow around 30 centimeters per year. Strong and upright growing cherry laurel varieties such as 'Herbergii' (Prunus laurocerasus) produce in climatically favorable regions about 25 centimeters per year.
The wild species of the aforementioned hedge plants usually show the strongest growth. There are large variety-related differences, for example, in the tree of life: The breeding 'emerald' brings it only to about 15 centimeters increase per year. The cherry laurel, which is not available at all as a wild species, also has some weak-growing varieties.
For a robust, fast-growing screen, the Field Maple (Acer campestre) is a suitable candidate. Free-growing trees reach 15 meters in height. As a hedge, field maple can also be trimmed permanently to two to four meters
However, what you can not ignore in fast-growing hedges is the higher cutting effort. Species such as the hornbeam and the field maple need two shape cuts per year, while yew trees and holly trees get along with one.
Buy big hedge plants
A popular sales size for hedge plants such as hornbeam is 100 to 125 centimeters. These are usually two times transplanted, root-bare specimens, which, depending on the provider, are available at a unit price of around two to three euros. Here, however, you have to allow for a waiting period of four to five years, until these plants have created a two-meter high, opaque hedge. If you do not want to buy this waiting time, you should plant larger specimens, which of course are also considerably more expensive. For example, hornbeams with bales 175 to 200 centimeters high, already cut several times, cost between 20 and 30 euros each, depending on the source of the purchase. In addition, there are quite high shipping costs, because the plants are delivered by truck. The high price is put into perspective again, as larger hedge plants do not need to be set up so densely and you usually need only two plants per meter instead of four. In addition, hornbeams as bale plants have the advantage that they do not need a long growing phase, while root-bare hornbeams hardly grow in the first year after transplanting.
The optimal planting time
The best planting season for deciduous hedge plants is autumn. But even in winter you can easily create a hedge, as long as the ground is not frozen. Basically, the sooner the plants get into the soil before budding, the more time they have for rooting and the more they grow in the first year. On the other hand, you should prefer to plant evergreen species such as the cherry laurel only when no longer stable frosts are to be expected because poorly rooted plants are susceptible to frost damage. But even here a planting in February is cheaper than a later planting in the spring.
If you plant big hornbeams, the hedge is opaque within a few years
Do not miss the pruning
Some hobby gardeners are under the misconception that a hedge offers faster privacy if you do not cut them - but the opposite is the case: Uncut plants branch out only weak and form no opaque crown. Therefore, immediately after planting a pruning is important in which you shortened all longer unbranched shoots including the central drive with the hedge trimmer vigorously. This so-called planting should also be done as early as possible so that the remaining shoot buds are activated by the plant until spring and can drive out at the beginning of the season.
The regular hedge trimming is also made right from the planting year, whereby one can do without a second shape cut in late summer in the first one to two years for fast growing hedge plants. This is only necessary when the plants have reached their full vigor.
Do not be frugal with water and nutrients
As with all plants, it is possible to further accelerate growth with fertilizer even in fast-growing hedges. Pour the new hedge well and then distribute per meter a mixture of three liters of ripe compost and a heaped handful of horn meal in the root area. If it was dry for a few days, you should also water the hedge in time during the first two years, as a steady supply of water is the most important factor for good growth.