Cedars are densely growing, evergreen plants that, when planted an appropriate distance apart, can create a fine living hedge. Cedar hedges can be planted as wind-breaks or living fences, creating a privacy screen that nothing else can quite mimic. When used as a fence, cedars should be planted in a location that will offer full sun, and preferably one that is also fairly level and even.
Decide where you are going to plant the cedar hedge. The site needs to be at least 3 to 4 feet away from any concrete, like driveways or walkways. Salt and lime from concrete can leech out and damage the foliage.
Measure the distance from beginning to end along the line where you want your cedar hedge. Push in a 12- to 14-inch-long planting stake to mark each planting location. Calculate how many cedars you will need to create the living hedge. Depending on what variety of cedar you are planting--for example, white or pyramidal--plan on planting one cedar every 12 to 18 inches.
Break up the soil along the marked and measured line. Use a shovel or, to save time, a rototilller. The soil should be loosened to a depth of between 18 and 20 inches.
Dig out a trench that is 16 inches deep and 16 inches wide along the cultivated line.
Mix into the removed soil 1 cubic foot of a soil amendment to every square yard of native garden soil. Use sphagnum peat moss, aged steer manure or weed-free compost for porous sandy soils. For heavier, clay-type soils, use coarse sand and well decomposed leaves. Use a garden fork or shovel to incorporate the amendment into the soil.
Remove the cedar trees from their planting pots one at a time. If you are planting cedars from 1-gallon pots, place your hand at the top of the root ball. Turn the planting pot upside down and wiggle the pot off the root ball. If you are planting from larger pots, such as 3 or 5 gallons, cut down along the sides of the pot until you can free it from the root ball.
Place a cedar into the trench. Measure the distance to where you will plant the next cedar, and try to keep each one spaced at the precise same distance apart; between 12 and 18 inches. After you have placed all the cedars down into the trench, make sure each is sitting vertical and even.
Scoop the native soil and organic matter mixture down into the trench and around each cedar to slowly fill it full of soil.
Mix together an appropriate amount of starter fertilizer with water as directed on the product's label. Water the cedars thoroughly, letting the water run slowly around each cedar to soak the soil.