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How to Build a hedgerow

Hedgerows can bring the riches of flowers, scent, berries, rich autumn colours and wildlife to your field, school, garden or business.

Planting a hedge
Plant between November and March when the ground is not frozen or covered with snow.

Prepare the site
Dig over your selected site, removing all weeds and roots. Next, mix in plenty of well rotted manure or other organic matter to provide the new hedge with plenty of food. A soil with plenty of organic matter will also hold more moisture and aid drainage. This will help prevent soils becoming waterlogged in winter and will save you having to water the hedge so much in summer. If the soil is heavy clay, add some grit and sand to improve drainage further.

Planting the hedge
hedgeTo achieve a thick hedge, it is advisable to plant five plants per metre, in double staggered rows (see diagram). Place the plant in the hole ensuring the roots hang straight. The plant should be planted to the same depth as it was in the nursery. A slight change in colour will indicate the level, known as the root collar. Back fill with soil and gently firm in with the heel of your boot. Water well. If rabbits are present, protect each plant with a tree guard.

hedge-speciesTo create a mixed native hedge try to include three plants of the same species per metre with one each of two other species.

For a thick hedge, prune each side alternately, every 3 years between November and February. If possible, try to cut sections of hedge at different times, so there is always an undisturbed place for wildlife. A thick hedge is better for nesting and provides more shelter and food for wildlife.

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