Planting Guide for Kingsdown Native Country Hedge Mix
Kingsdown Native Country Hedge Mix, when correctly planted and maintained will produce a colourful stock proof hedge with attractive flowers and berries.
Ground Maintenance: The hedge line should be sprayed with a suitable herbicide a few days before planting to kill grass and pernicious weeds.
Planting Timing: Planting should take place as soon as possible after delivery. Plants should be kept in their bags until just before planting. Do not set out long sections of hedge leaving plants exposed. If planting cannot be done within a week the bundles should be ‘heeled in’ to a trench.
Spacing: Plants are spaced at 5 per metre. This is a double staggered row. The rows should be 30cm apart and the plants 40cm apart within the rows.
Mix Ratio: To get a mix of species throughout the hedge use the following formula: – for every 4 metres of hedge use 12 Hawthorn, 2 Blackthorn and one of each of all the other species.
Planting Method: When planting through grass, first make a vertical cut into the turf. Then insert your spade to full depth at the base of the cut, lever back on the spade handle. The cut will now open up. Lift the spade blade slightly, put the plant behind the spade to the bottom of the hole. Slip it round to the centre of the cut, pull up slightly to the original soil level mark and tread in firmly, keeping the plant upright.
Trimming: The plants will grow bushy more quickly if a third of the growth is cut back when planting. This can be done while they are still in bundles. If planting where ground conditions become very dry or if planting late in the season plants can be trimmed harder to give a greater ‘root-to-shoot’ ratio.
After Care: It is very important that the hedge is kept free of weed competition by spraying or using mulching materials until it is well established. This will greatly increase survival rates and growth performance. When trimming the hedge as it matures keep it slightly wedge shaped (wider at the bottom.) This ensures that the light will reach the hedge all the way down and will prevent it becoming thin at the bottom.
Rabbit Protection: Spiral Rabbit Guards with canes to support them should be used if rabbits are present on the farm. The guard will also help protect the plant from spray drift when maintaining the hedge line.
Watering: This is not necessary unless periods of drought occur. During these periods water thoroughly. This however is often impractical in the country. The best policy is to plant early in the season and keep weed competition to a minimum. In dire situations where watering is impossible plants can sometimes be saved by further trimming to reduce transpiration.
For more general planting advice covering and trees and hedging etc. please visit the Kingsdown Planting Guide.