Preparation is the key to a wildlife-friendly boundary
As the owner of a hedge that was long established before I moved into my house, I have not had the pleasure of planting my own but here’s some great advice from Cobra on how to make sure your new plants survive and thrive.
One tip from me – don’t plant fast-growing, spiny plants like hawthorn on the pavement side. I regularly want to throttle the former owner of my house who did just that.
New hedges have the best chances of survival if planted in autumn, giving them time to become established.
Begin the groundwork early to allow the removal of weeds and for the ground to settle.
When planting, rather than digging individual holes, prepare one long trench.
Dig a long strip in a single row and mark out the site first, then add organic matter.
Dig the trench one spade’s depth and 1m (3ft) wide, remove all weeds and loosen the soil.
When spacing the plants, try not to plant too closely to allow room to spread and develop.
Place each plant slightly proud of the soil and fill in around the roots then firm in well.
During the first year, add mulch to keep the roots moist and the soil temperature regulated and water regularly.
Evergreen hedges generally grow faster than deciduous (apart from hawthorn) so they will need trimming at least once a year – preferably twice.
Hedge cutting key points
- It is illegal to disturb nesting birds so leave pruning until autumn and check the hedge thoroughly for wildlife before cutting.
- Safety first: never use hedge trimmers in wet conditions.
- Keep cords untangled and out the way to avoid tripping.
- Wear safety goggles and sturdy gloves.
Cobra hedge cutting tools
Cobra has a range of electric, petrol and battery hedge trimmers to choose from.
Cobra has two electric models in its range, one with a 55cm blade (H55E, £64.99) and 60cm (H60E £79.99).
For more awkward jobs, there is a long-reach hedge trimmer, which has an articulating head and maximum length of 185cm (LRH40E, £109.99).
If petrol models are your favourite option, try the 62cm model (HT62C, £179.99).
The long-reach model comes with the choice of a Cobra (LRH26C £219.99) or Kawasaki engine (LRH270K, £449.99).
The latest additions to the range are lithium-ion powered for extra cordless convenience. There’s a 50cm 24v model (H5024V, £79.99) or a 55cm 40v (H5540VZ, £99.99).
The batteries on these are interchangeable with other Cobra products too.
For more information about Cobra, visit www.cobragarden.co.uk.