How to Grow Private Hedges

Overview

A privacy hedge is a beautiful addition to your yard or garden. You can plant either deciduous or evergreen privacy hedges. Remember, however, that deciduous hedges lose their leaves in the winter and therefore aren't as effective as a privacy barrier. The exact planting density and care can vary greatly depending on the species of tree you choose. It is a good idea to consult your nursery about planting density and special requirements for the particular plants you choose.

Step 1

Select a fast-growing plant for your hedge. Boxwood, privet or Leyland cyprus grow very quickly.

Step 2

Plan the layout of your hedge. Make allowances for walkways and driveways that may border your hedge. Although hedges can grow to a variety of sizes, plan for your hedges to reach their upper limits. Many hedges are 2 or 3 feet deep although you can grow them to be bigger, if desired.

Step 3

Remove any grass or sod, with a shovel, from where you are planting your hedge.

Step 4

Estimate the number of plants you need for your final hedge. Because different varieties of hedges require different planting distances, talk with your nursery or plant supplier for proper planting density.

Step 5

Prepare the soil either by roto-tilling or digging down 2 or 3 feet to loosen the soil. Break up large clumps and clods.

Step 6

Remove the plants from their containers and dig out an area larger than the root ball.

Step 7

Place the young tree in the hole and backfill the hole. Different types of hedges may do well with different types of fertilizer, however, adding a handful of fish meal or other natural organic fertilizer helps almost any hedge planting.

Step 8

Plant all of your trees at the recommended density for the variety you have selected. Make sure they are in a fairly straight line as it will take some time for your hedge to grow in. The exact amount of time will depend on the variety and your local growing conditions.

Step 9

Water your hedge for the first time, ensuring that the top several inches of soil are wet.

Step 10

Water the hedge with an inch or 2 of water each week for the first couple of weeks, then taper off as the root structure begins to grow.

Step 11

Prune the hedge to the desired shape once your hedge has started to grow in. At first, you can prune the hedge to a size smaller than your eventual desired size. However, this will slow the growth of your hedge. For fastest growth, consider letting the hedge get to its desired size before the first pruning.

Step 12

Prune your hedge lightly a few times a year to encourage thick growth. Single annual prunings don't encourage as much thick growth, which is desirable in a privacy hedge.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Hoe, rake or roto-tiller
  • Young hedge plants
  • Fish meal or other organic fertilizer
  • Hedge trimmers

References

  • Fast Growing Hedges for Privacy
  • Privacy Hedge

Who Can Help

  • Privacy Trees
Keywords: privacy hedges, garden design, hedge planting

About this Author

Although he grew up in Latin America, Mr. Ma is a writer based in Denver. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, AP, Boeing, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, RAHCO International, Umax Data Systems and other manufacturers in Taiwan. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, English and reads Spanish.