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Whether you just find them pleasing to look at, or you just want a bit more privacy from those nosey neighbours, hedges can be a great addition to your garden.

And unlike many dubious investment portfolios, funds invested into hedges are rarely squandered. In fact, provided you take care of them you'll find that they steadily grow without too much intervention, and they'll even benefit when you start to trim a bit of the edges.

 

Buying and Selecting

Before buying your plants it's important that you think about what type of hedge you want. Do you want something low growing and formal, or would you prefer something a bit taller? Do you need something quick or are you prepared to wait?

Larger grade hedging is available if you need something now, but if your planting a large hedge that can potentially become expensive.

How many plants you will need also depends on what type of hedge you are planting. For more info on possible hedging plants scroll to the end of this article.

 

Planting

Before planting make sure that the soil is well prepared by digging in Kings Organic Compost to improve soil structure. This can be done by, digging individual holes for each plant or digging the compost into a trench.

In heavier clay soils adding a handful of Gypsum ever 1m2 or so, will further improve the structure. In really heavy soils you can plant into a slight mound to help with drainage.

When planting look at how the plant is already growing. Plant the bushier sides facing across from the next plant, as this will ensure your hedge fills in quicker. Fertilise using Kings 24+ or for an organic option try Aquaticus Supernatural.

Water the plant deeply and mulch with Living Earth More than Mulch to reduce competition for nutrients form weeds.

 

Care

Watering is essential. Especially in the first year, and it can even increase the growth speed of the hedge by 3-4 times. By keeping plants less water stressed through summer you also make your plants less likely to suffer from pests and diseases.

Another good trick is to use fertilisers that increase soil fertility and improve the life in the soil such as Kings Ocean Grow. For if you create a humus rich soil full of beneficial microorganisms it will hold more moisture, make them more drought resistant, and reduce the likelihood of root diseases.

 

Pruning

Regular pruning is essential if you want to create a dense, well-structured hedge. This is particularly important during the first few years. We recommend pruning back hedges by around a third at least once a year to ensure that hedges become bushy. You should do this even if you want a tall hedge as helps it stops gaps forming.

Use pruning loppers to cut any larger branches, or hedge shears to get a nice finish and to trim the hedge back when it has reached your desired height.

To see our range of pruning tools click here

 

A Quick Guide to What's Available

 

Short Hedges – Less than 1.5m high

Box Hedging – Buxus Sempervirens

Traditionally used in formal gardens to define the edges of garden beds or to line paths and walkways. Best in full sun.

Foliage: Dark Green, 15mm long and very dense.

Speed of growth: Slow Medium

Height: 0.2-1.5m

Planting distance: 20-30cm

 

Lonicera Nitida

In a rush? Lonicera Nitida is an attractive option if you need a small dense hedge quickly. Looks relatively similar to Box hedging and great as a formal hedge. Best in full sun.

Foliage: Mid Green, 5mm long, very dense.

Speed of Growth: Fast

Height: 0.2-1.5m

Planting Distance: 30cm

 

Corokia

There are several attractive, fairly different looking varieties to choose from. All the varieties commonly available are New Zealand natives, and the hedges generally look great. Can cope with full sun to shade.

Foliage: Range from bright green, silver, or chocolate coloured depending on the variety. 20mm-80mm long.

Speed of growth: Medium

Height: 0.3-2m

Planting Distance: 30-50cm

 

Other:

Choisya Tenata – Great semi-formal small hedge with beautifully scented blossoms that erupt in spring and again in autumn. Grows in sun or shade.

Coprosma – Loads of different varieties to choose from. Many varieties are native to New Zealand and the heaps of different colours and weirdly patterned leaves to choose from. Full Sun

Escallonia – Incredibly pretty flowering shrub with gorgeous flowers in spring/summer. Great for bees and other beneficial insects. Full sun to part shade.

 

Tall Hedges - Larger than 1.5m

Griselinia Broadway Mint

Griselinia

Attractive cultivar of the New Zealand native Kapuka (Griselinia Littoralis). Forms a dense hedge that is great for screening and providing privacy.

Foliage: Large rounded bright green glossy leaves, 80-100mm long.

Speed of growth: Medium

Height: 1-2.5m

Planting Distance: 0.75m

 

Eugenia Ventenatii

A new variety of 'Lilly Pilly' hedge. Incredibly fast growing, and forms dense hedges with interesting foliage.

Foliage: Oval/pointed leaves 50mm long. New foliage stars of crimson red and then fades to a dark green. Very dense.

Speed of growth: Very Fast

Height: 1.5-3m

Planting Distance: 0.75m

 

Pittosporum

An old favourite, there are lots of different varieties available, many are to NZ natives, and they generally produce a hardy and attractive hedge.

Foliage: Grey/Green/Variegated, 40-100mm long. Needs to be trimmed early and regularly to keep it dense.

Speed of growth: Medium - Fast

Height: 1-3m

Planting Distance: 0.75m

 

Camellia Hedges

Many Camellia can be used to create delightful hedges.

Camellia Sasanquas are fairly versatile, can be grown in full sun to part shade. Great varities for hedging include Setsugekka, Early Pearly, Mine No Yuki, and many other types.

Or for a smaller hedge you can grow Tea (Camellia Sinensis) into an attractive hedge. 

 

 

Edible Hedges

Chilean Guava

 

Can be grown to look like a box hedge. Though it will also produces masses of small tasty and tangy berries that taste a bit like cranberries (hence their other name, New Zealand Cranberries).

Foliage: Small elongated dark green leaves with bright red stems on the new growth.

Speed of growth: Slow growing

Height: 1.5m

Planting distance: 20-30cm

Harvest: Late Summer - Early Autumn

 

Feijoa Bambina

Grows into a small fairly neat and attractive hedge. Produces small delicious feijoas, that can be eaten skin and all.

Foliage: Attractive evergreen hedge with a nicely rounded canopy.

Speed of growth: Relatively slow growing

Height: 1.5m

Planting distance: 30-50cm

Harvest: April-May (considered a mid season feijoa) 

 

Feijoas 

Tall, hardy, attractive, and potentially productive. Feijoa plants won't be a productive in a hedge as if you keep it trimmed you will reduce the amount of fruit produced (fruit forms on the tips of last years growth). But if you can stagger pruning you may be able to keep it fairly productive.

Foliage: Attractive evergreen hedge with a nicely rounded canopy.

Speed of growth: Relatively slow growing

Height: 4m

Planting distance: 75cm

Harvest: Potentially will produce fruit sometime over April-june

 

For loads more ideas ask one of our experts in-store.