Hedges can provide background to an area, fence in an area, protect property from trespassers, or serve as a divider, screen, or windbreak. There are many flowering and non-flowering shrubs that are suitable for hedging. Cotoneaster is Calgary’s most popular hedging plant because it is affordable, hardy and dense, takes on a pleasing colour in the fall, establishes quickly, and it is easily maintained with pruning shears. Hedges should be allowed to grow for 2-3 seasons and become established before they are pruned.
- Transplant fertilizer (10-52-10 formula)
- Measuring tape
- Measure the area and plan the spacing of each shrub plant so that it is in accordance with plant growth requirements.
(For example, Cotoneasters should be spaced 12-15 inches apart, depending on how full you want the hedge to be, so a 20 foot section of Cotoneasters will contain 16-20 plants.
- Dig a trench that will accommodate the root ball of each plant (approximately 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep).
- Mix a 2-3 inch layer of compost or manure into the trench.
- Insert plants into the trench and fill with backfill, lightly firming the soil.
- When the trench is half full, thoroughly water plants with transplant fertilizer to remove air pockets in the soil. Water again once the trench is completely filled.
- Spread mulch around the base of the plants and water the plants well to keep the soil moist during the establishment period.