How to Create a Privacy Hedge


A hedge is more than just a screen to hide an unwanted view. Hedges can create structure in a garden or separate outdoor garden rooms as well as filtering out noise. The most frequent use for hedges is to create a sense of privacy in a yard or garden. Hedges are typically made with rows of shrubs or trees that may only be a few feet tall, but may grow up to 15 feet high. Planting a hedgerow for privacy is simple.

Step 1

Test your soil before planting shrubs to determine how best to prepare soil. The USDA operates soil testing facilities in conjunction with land grant colleges in every state. Access these soil testing labs by contacting your local county extension office.

Step 2

Prepare the ground by removing sod and unwanted vegetation from your hedgerow with a sod cutter. Break up the soil with a rototiller to a depth of 8 inches. Spread your amendments 4 inches deep over the top of the hedgerow and then turn them into the soil with your rototiller.

Step 3

Space your shrubs according to the directions that come with them when you purchase them. Shrub spacing varies between plants, but shrubs should be spaced closer together for a hedgerow than they would when using them in planting beds.

Step 4

Dig a planting hole wider than the root ball, but no deeper. Place the shrub into the hole and fill in the sides with soil. Mulch around the base of the plant to hold in water and prevent weeds from becoming established in the soil. Water plants until the roots become established. Plants should remain as damp as a newly wrung-out sponge.

Step 5

Fertilize the shrubs each spring with a balanced (10-10-10) granulated fertilizer according to the package directions. Fertilizer instructions vary between brands.

Step 6

Clip your hedges to ensure that they grow densely. Hedges should not be allowed to grow wider at the top than at the bottom.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Peat moss
  • Manure
  • Lime
  • Sulfur
  • Sod cutter
  • Rototiller
  • Mulch
  • Balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer
  • Trimming shears


  • Plant Hedges for Privacy
  • University of Tennessee Extension Service: Evergreen Trees for Screens and Hedges in the Landscape
  • Texas A&M Extension: Texas Mountain Laurel--A True Texas Beauty

Who Can Help

  • University of Kentucky Extension: Guidelines for Choosing Hedges for Kentucky Yards
Keywords: planting privacy hedges, growing hedges, creating a hedge

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."