Planting a hedge in the backyard adds privacy to the area without having to install a fence. Good hedges also make good neighbors! It also helps to define a space and as the hedge grows, an attractive natural border forms. Planting shrubs for hedging purposes is not difficult and requires only a few simple materials. This project can transform any backyard on a budget.
You will need:
Step 1: Select the proper type of shrub. Base the decision on location, hardiness zone, soil, light conditions, and budget. Plants that grow quickly provide the best privacy and protection from noise. However, pruning will also be needed more frequently to retain shape. Evergreens grow slowly but offer privacy and color all year. Deciduous plants grow quicker but shed their leaves in the fall.
To get a formal look, the same type of shrub should be selected. If going more casual, mix different plants in different sizes. Arborvitae, holly, boxwoods, lilac, blue spruce, rhododendrons, azaleas, and hydrangeas are popular choices. Plant shrubs during winter or fall when they are dormant.
Step 2: Use the string and stakes to mark the location for the hedge. If planting holes are staggered on both sides of this line, a denser look will be created quickly. Planting in a straight line makes maintenance like watering and planting easier.
To plant in a straight line, use the shovel to dig a trench along the line. It should be deep enough to hold shrub root balls and about twice as wide. To plant a staggered hedge, mark each plant’s location and dig each hole deep enough for the root ball and twice as wide. Remember to consider how large the shrubs will grow when determining space between each one.
Step 3: Shrubs can be purchases in burlap balled, bare root, or container grown forms. Bare root shrubs do not require any preparation before placing them into planting holes. Once they are in the holes, spread out the plant roots. Remove the burlap from a burlap-balled plant before planting it. Shrubs should be removed from their containers before planting. Take care not to lift a shrub by its trunk. This can loosen the root ball, causing it to fall apart. When moving a shrub from place to place, the roots should always be supported.
Step 4: Backfill planting holes or the trench halfway with compost and displaced soil. Water the plants and fill the hole to the top of the root ball, using the remaining soil. Add a mulch layer.