The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Growing => Gardens => Topic started by: lord flynn on October 09, 2013, 05:53:55 pm

Title: hedge
Post by: lord flynn on October 09, 2013, 05:53:55 pm
we want to plant a hedge on our new property-only about 50ft long and the main purpose is to provide a windbreak for horses and poultry. So I was thinking of a hawthorn, dog rose and hazel mix. (blackthorn, cherry and anything evergreen not suitable for horses).

Can anyone advise on amount of plants/metre, how best to mix them, good suppliers etc please?On a tight budget so realise this is not going to be a substantial hedge quickly!
Title: Re: hedge
Post by: Carse Goodlifers on October 09, 2013, 07:40:29 pm
We're in the process (or at least I am) of trying to sort this out to for our garden (around 40m worth).

A single row hedge - 4 plants per meter.
A staggered double row - 6 plants per meter.
I'm going for the in-between - slightly staggered 1.5 row - 5 plants per meter.

I'd go for bare root plants - much cheaper and you can plant anytime over the winter.
I'll message you the name of the company I'm going to go to for the plants as I'm not sure if you can use company names on the forums (could someone clarify that for me please?).
This company also sells different sizes of plants too.
I've spoken to them on the phone and they were very helpful.

What about adding some Beech, Field Maple or Hornbeam.
Holly? Although its very slow to grow.

We're going for a pre made mix of hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel, field maple, dog rose and wild cherry.  Also adding in some beech and 1 or 2 holly's and maybe a couple of crab apples.
Overall it should give plenty for the birds and plenty sloes for our gin.

I haven't ordered yet but its on the cards to do it soon.
Title: Re: hedge
Post by: lord flynn on October 10, 2013, 09:25:49 am
thanks for your help  8) I wouldn't mind some sloes, would just have to plant them in a non-pony area (they cause the most awful abscesses when they stick their faces in them).
Title: Re: hedge
Post by: stufe35 on October 10, 2013, 10:36:16 am
Since moving to our place approx. 6 years ago we have planted some hedge rows every year and have learned from our experiences.  As follows

After much observation of other hedges we have settled on staggered double rows with the plants 0.5m apart,  giving 4 plants per metre. Rows also 0.5 m apart. Economical and effective.

Budget for canes and rabbit guards to protect from rabbits and hares.  We buy the black spiral guards and cut them in half to save money and have found that to be adequate--though we don't have any rabbits, just the odd hare. We buy long canes and saw them up to to save money-----we are in Yorkshire !

I would say plant a minimum of 700mm from your boundary, and when fencing in front again allow a miniumu of 700, depending on what fence and stock you have in your field.  We had a bad experience where we fenced a bit too close and the sheep could reach through and pulled them out !

When planting do not mix the spiecies as the stronger ones will smother the weaker ones,  plant say 10 hawthorn, 8 variety a, 8 variety b, 10 hawthorn , 7 variety c, 7 variety d,  and so on.   Its not rocket science just divide the numbers up according to what you've bought.  Plant a minimum of 5 of a variety at a time. (except holly where you can just stick the odd one here and there.

Plenty of web sites will give of percentages of each variety to buy,

We use Thorpe Trees near York after using them trying some one slightly cheaper then going back as their quality is spot on.

2 years ago we were buying less so bought the 2 year old plants  (I think branded as 60cm to 80cm  rather than 40cm to 60cm)  and have found the plants   to establish and flourish much quicker,  if you can afford the extra expence you will have a hedge probably 3 years earlier (based on our experience)

Also keeping the grass down during the first couple of years by regular spraying with round up helps enormously,  the rabbit guards make this job easier as well.

For fast effective planting,  use a large crow bar (ie a big long straight steel bar) to dibble holes, have a 12ft fence rail (or similar) marked at 500mm graduations,  go along row 1 making holes, then 2nd row can be done by sight dibbling in between to get your offset rows.  Go along dropping the plants in.  Get a wheel barrow of nice dry pourable soil from your green house or poly tunnel,  use a trowel to fill the holes with this soil, wiggle the plant a bit to settle it then go along with watering can or hose pipe and water each hole.....job done !,

November /December is the best time to plant (plenty of wet season left for the roots to establish in case of a dry spring) .   We usually have ours delivered so we can plant them through the xmas break.  We planted 300 plants last xmas eve !

Weve done about 100m every year for the past 5 seasons---its been a learning curve !

Hope this is of help

Title: Re: hedge
Post by: lord flynn on October 10, 2013, 08:43:11 pm
thankyou for the detailed responses  ;D  that is really helpful, thank you. There is a local nursery I want to check out beforehand-they are just shut until the 15th. If they can't help I will contact the online company recommended by Carse Goodlifers.
Title: Re: hedge
Post by: lord flynn on December 18, 2013, 09:50:35 am
hi-bumping this as I need further advice please. This is a very windy area-should I support the plants to stop them growing at an angle and if so how? will be going for 4ft plants in places as I need a hedge as soon as possible.
Title: Re: hedge
Post by: clydesdaleclopper on December 18, 2013, 01:44:57 pm
It's often better to plant smaller transplants as they will establish and grow away quicker than the bigger ones. 2-3ft is the best. It's difficult to stake every tree in a hedge so how about putting up some wind break netting for a year or so.
Title: Re: hedge
Post by: lord flynn on December 18, 2013, 02:03:06 pm
thanks for the tip re the size. I have a bad experience on windbreak netting tbh, it was responsible for acting like a sail and trashing one of my chicken pens (which wasn't so nearly exposed and staked out with fence poles) but will have a think about how to fix it up.
Title: Re: hedge
Post by: stufe35 on December 18, 2013, 02:05:19 pm
Either stake them individually, or big posts every so often with wire in between
Title: Re: hedge
Post by: lord flynn on December 18, 2013, 02:32:14 pm
thanks-ok more questions :)

the site for the windbreak hedge runs down the side of our driveway-its currently a rough grass verge. The other side is a sheep paddock (not ours). Are there any plants toxic to sheep that I should know about for later when the hedge is bigger?

I am having trouble choosing species (I am not much of a gardener!): I'd like it native, its on heavy soil and very exposed. Also have to factor in plants that are non-toxic to horses here. Need the best wind break affect at the top was was thinking beech/hornbeam up there and then a mix of hawthorn, hazel, dog rose, holly and probably more beech nearer the bottom.

In another site, I would like something that is thirsty and was thinking willow but think alder might be more robust? I didnt know you could hedge alder.
Title: Re: hedge
Post by: clydesdaleclopper on December 18, 2013, 06:02:30 pm
Avoid alder as it is poisonous to horses.

I am expecting my delivery of hedging plants tomorrow for a very exposed site on heavy clay  :D  I have a mix of hawthorn, beech, field maple, guelder rose, hazel, dog rose, dogwood and Wytch Elm. Mine is designed to be safe for horses, goats and sheep.
Title: Re: hedge
Post by: lord flynn on December 18, 2013, 07:13:41 pm
thanks-wasn't sure about alder so was going to look it up. there are ??? over field maples now due to atypical myopathy just fyi. didn't know about witch elm-would you mind PMing me your supplier if they're online please? sounds like we live in similar environments !
Title: Re: hedge
Post by: clydesdaleclopper on December 19, 2013, 06:15:52 pm
I used Christie Elite at Forres. I figure anything that grows in Forres should at least have a fighting chance up here. They have 2 websites - one for smaller orders and a bulk orders one for over 100 plants which is the one I used. I found them very competitive on price.

Regarding the field maples and horses - I understood it was sycamore (acer pseudoplatanus) that was the issue. I hadn't heard anything about field maple (acer campestre). Am now worried and off to google