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Hedges - Planting Single or Double Row Hedge

How to plant a hedge



Planting and caring for a new hedge does take a few steps of good preparation.  It is similar planting a new tree or shrub.  Good soil preparation beforehand will make sure that your hedge will have the best start in life.Hedges can be formed of a single row of plants or a double staggered row. Many of the hawthorn enclosure hedges are planted as a single row and have proved their value. However hedge layers tend to prefer double row hedges to provide adequate protection. Double row hedges are more likely to be stock proof and provide more shelter than a single row although for an established hedge, the management regime is a more important factor that the original planting pattern. Wider hedges are of higher wildlife value because of the extra habitat they provide. 

Prepare the ground (area) by removing all weeds.  Make sure that the area for planting is free draining as waterlogging will cause a problem with the plants. The use of a herbicide (weed killer) works well, but if this is used than wait a week or so before planting.  Remove all the weeds, even if dead from the area.  Prepare the planting area by digging over a strip of about 2-3ft wide and about one spit (or spade blade) deep.


The recommended spacing for both single and double row single species stock proof hedging is dependent on the need for the hedging. Close spacing Is needed for single row planting so if any plants fail, adjacent plants will quickly grow to fill the gap.

For hedges that are to be laid in single row, the distance between the rows should be no more than 15'' (40cm) for single row planting. Recommended number of plants for single row hedge planting is about 3 per metre. Single row hedge planting is usually for areas that have limited space.  Planting your hedging plants in a double staggered row, or the shape of a W will give you a denser hedge when mature. Hedge plants should be about 18" (45cm) apart with the recommended number of plants about 5-7 per metre if bare root, or 4-5 if container grown.

​Mix some good garden compost or a good tree and shrub mix into the planting area, mixing well especially into the top 10inches of soil with a fork – good time to rake in a good fertiliser and we recommend rootgrow (follow instructions on package).  If the soil tends to be waterlogged, a ridge can be formed to plant the new hedge.

For a more detailed guide on bareroot planting, trees, and shrubs here is our guide see our Bareroot Tree and Planting Guide


Continuing Care

  • Make sure that plants are well watered during all dry spells for the next two years
  • Keep the hedge and 18 inches on each side free of weeds
  • Reapply mulch as necessary and fertilise as needed, but do not over feed.

​Information is a guide only