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Garden with a Winner!™

Do you desire privacy or a little extra security “fencing”? Growing a hedge could be your solution.

Generally, evergreen and deciduous shrubs are used but the possibilities are pretty endless to create a “living wall”. By planting the correct varieties you can have a fast growing, low maintenance, hardy hedge in no time.

Tips and Tools

  • Shrubs should be placed 12 to 18 inches apart because they need room to grow, tree specimens should be spaced further apart (Need a calculator?)
  • Tools you may need include hedge shears, pruning shears, or a hedge trimmer
    • keep tools sharp and lubricated
  • Hedge shears are good for small hedges but for a large hedge electric hedge trimmers should do the trick
  • Hedge trimmer tip:
    • Use wide, sweeping motions and work from the bottom up so the cut foliage falls away
    • Cutting straight edges with the naked eye is difficult so stakes and a level string can be a guide for vertical lines
    • Shaping? Cut a template from cardboard or plywood and cut following the line of the template

Types of Hedges

Formal Hedge

  • Adds unique designs to a garden
  • Cut back all stems by one-third after planting (repeat the same time the following year)
  • Need regular clipping and pruning, potentially every 6-8 weeks (May-September), to maintain the desired shape
  • Trim side branches and allow it to taper toward the top
  • Used to create boundaries, structure, division, and edges

*formative pruning: the process of shaping a tree when it is young*

Informal Hedge

  • Provide privacy, block unwanted views, and divide spaces
  • Low maintenance
  • Pruning required to restrict height and width
  • Can provide fruit and flower
  • Prune flowering hedges once in spring, as they will still be able to produce flowers that year

Note: Do not trim conifer hedges after August it can encourage bare patches to develop.