How To Choose The Best Tall-Growing Hedge For Your Garden (Zone 8)

Benefits of planting a tall hedge:

  • Privacy from neighbours and the street
  • Reduces winter winds and chilly summer breezes
  • Reduces the noise of busy streets
  • Looks beautiful and adds value to your property

Are you choosing a fast-growing hedge or a laurel hedge for your yard?

When choosing the right hedge, remember that you need to think about 4 things:

  1. Maintenance requirements of the hedging plants
  2. Your desired end goal for the hedge
  3. Time needed to reach your desired height
  4. Soil conditions in your garden and amount of sunlight in hours

Maintenance requirements of the hedge:

A number of fast-growing hedges require ongoing maintenance.   Most hedge plants require a trimming at least once a year with some fast growing hedges needing to be pruned two to three times in a growing season. It is common for homeowners to spend up to $1000 per year for professional hedge trimming services.

Your desired end goal for the hedge

Do you want privacy, or a barrier to block the wind? There are many valid reasons for growing a new hedge. It is also assumed that you want a beautiful hedge that is full and healthy looking. Ultimately, your choice of hedge will be determined by a combination of your reasons and the best hedge plant choice for conditions on your property. If you choose an unsuitable hedge plant for your yard you may be faced with a number of different problems ranging from disease, thinned-out branches or avoidable winter damage.

Time needed to reach your desired hedge height

If you know that you want a five to eight foot tall hedge it is possible to install new hedging plants that are at that height. Within a year or two your hedge will be full and beautiful. If you can wait several years for your growing hedge to mature you can save a ton of money. Having the hedge you envision in the time frame you want comes down to your budget.

Soil conditions in your garden and amount of sunlight in hours

As every gardener will tell you, it’s all about the soil.  The best move is to have your soil tested so that you know its structure (sandy loam or clay etc.), and its nutrient levels (deficient in nutrients? Add organic matter!). Different plants prefer different soils and nutrient levels.  You may just have the perfect conditions for a certain type of hedging material. As for sunlight, it’s important to know just how much you get. Some plants, like cedars, need lots and lots of light to be full. In fact, they perform best when planted along a north-south orientation. There are many excellent choices also available for part shade and shade locations as well. Get to know your yard, it will pay off in the form of a gorgeous hedge.

About Jessica Salvador

Jessica has spent over ten years in the landscaping industry in nursery production, landscape maintenance and garden centre sales. She graduated in 2002 from the highly recognized horticulture program at Capilano University as a Certified Landscape Horticulturist. Higher Ground Gardens, your West Side Vancouver gardening and landscaping professionals for hedge trimming, pruning, bark mulch delivery, yard clean up, and on going gardening and landscaping maintenance. Gardening Vancouver, The Garden Pro's to call from Spring through Fall.
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