Hedges can be an attractive substitute for a fence. Green and lush, neatly trimmed, they can be a real asset to the outdoor aesthetic of your home. But when they are not well-cared for, hedges shift from advantage to eyesore. Prickly, uneven, overgrown, with bare spots or yellowed portions—they'll take your outdoor space from lovely to unsightly in a second. Discover some ways to improve the health of your hedges so you can have beautiful borders for your property.
Prune, Don't Shear
Blindly shearing the hedges into shape can actually be more hurtful than helpful. Simply cutting off growth from the outside will cause the hedge to grow inward, becoming thicker and thicker until sunlight can't penetrate inside—and then you'll end up with dead spots inside it. Instead, carefully prune by hand and create small spaces throughout the hedge so light and air can saturate it thoroughly.
Time Your Pruning Correctly
Don't prune right after the plant has already created a lot of new growth buds. If you do that, you're just wasting all the healthy energy the hedges have already expended. Instead, try to prune right before the optimal growing time for the type of hedge bushes you have. When you prune early in the season, you're more likely to get growth where you want it.
Fertilize the Soil
It's also important to fertilize your hedges occasionally, adding extra nourishment to the soil for them. In some cases you may need to add fresh, rich soil, which you can obtain through the Kurtz Bros. website.
Water Your Hedges
Since hedges almost act like fences, you might be tempted to overlook them when you're considering the water needs of your outdoor space. But like any plant, these bushes need moisture to survive. Without enough of it, they'll become dry and brittle. To improve water retention, add a couple inches of mulch around the base of the hedge. The mulch will also serve to protect roots and discourage pests.
Protect Hedges During Winter
If you have really cold winters and hedges that are more sensitive to extreme weather, you may need to take special care of them during the winter. Some hedges or bushes need to be covered and tied to prevent breakage from wind or snow.
Clean Out Debris
Some hedges can act like a net, trapping debris, trash, or even small dead animals. It's important to check through your hedges regularly, perhaps once a week or more, and ensure that they are clear of such material. Remove dead plant life, trash that the wind has blown in, and other debris, to ensure that your plants can thrive.
If you have other questions about your hedges or the health of your outdoor space, feel free to contact Kurtz Bros., Inc. and our landscaping experts will be happy to advise you. We also provide a broad range of landscaping tools and supplies on our website, so take time to browse and stock up on everything you need for the year-round care of your yard and your plants.