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How To Properly Maintain Your Hedges

Hedges have as much to offer as any landscape feature. They’ve been used to clearly mark property lines for thousands of years. They can give your yard natural privacy.  They can keep children and pets from going astray. And, like every part of your landscape, they add dynamic beauty to your home.

Except, if you don’t properly maintain your hedges, you may not get any of those benefits.

5 Tips to Properly Maintain Hedges

In a way, all you have to do to keep your hedges healthy is to properly feed and prune them. And here are just a few tips for doing that.

  1. Water & Fertilize – Like every plant in your yard, hedges need nutrients. While most hedge shrubs are hardy and can generally get along in average rainfall if you want to avoid the browning, falling leaves and slow growth that can happen in hot and dry weather, be sure to regularly water and fertilize your hedge. 
  2. Let the Light In – One of the most obvious symptoms of a poorly maintained hedge is foliage on top and bare branches below. This happens when not enough sunlight gets to the lower branches.  Use hand pruners to create spaces every few feet along the length of the hedge. Reach into the hedge and clip a couple of branches to let in air and light. 
  3. Prune Before Buds Appear –  One of the highlights of spring is when your hedge begins to bud. So it’s best to prune your hedge in mid-to-late winter, well before buds appear, so you don’t clip off healthy new growth later on. 
  4. Wider at the Bottom, Narrower at the Top – Another way to make sure lower parts of the hedge gets the sunlight they need is to trim your hedge so that it is wider at the base and narrower at the top. Even a slight difference in widths can make a big difference in hedge health. 
  5. Give Them Space – If you’re planting a hedge, make sure to space shrubs about a metre apart. This may seem like too much space when planting, but common hedge varieties are a metre in diameter, and properly spaced shrubs will have the room they need for healthy growth.

If you found this article helpful, you can find out how to keep your lawn greener too in our post “Lawn Maintenance Tips for a Healthy Landscape”.


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