Garden Guides on Hedges

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HEDGES THAT CAN TAKE IT!

Seemingly, many home gardeners fail to appreciate the value and proper use of pruning shears, plant food, and mulches in the care of hedges. It doesn't take a lot of time or effort to grow beautiful hedges, and hedge plants are not especially exacting in their requirements, but a few conditions must be met.

SELECT THE RIGHT PLANTS
Whether for a border, screen, or fence, selection of suitable plants is important. Several factors must be considered, such as size, shape, and foliage habits of mature plants and their requirements for the best growth. Too, they must be plants that will blend harmoniously with other plantings and the general landscape. Your local nurseryman can be of valuable assistance in plant selection.

PLANT CORRECTLY
Plant in an ample trench in soil enriched with complete plant food (also humus in tight soil) under the planting depth. Use 1 pound of Fertilizer for each 25 feet of hedge row. Water the plant immediately after planting ... soak the soil so it will be close around the roots. Mulch.

After planting, most plants should be pruned to within 6 to 12 inches from the ground. Clip the plant back in the early summer and give it a chance to branch out and grow stems and foliage close to the ground. Don't fail to mulch the first year . . . mulching is hedge, insurances.

PRUNING FOR BEAUTY AND SHAPE
The most common mistake in pruning is not cutting the plant back far enough or cutting too narrow at the base. This is especially true in young growing plants. This condition becomes worse as the top grows and shades the lower portions. Cutting back is the only solution.

FEED FOR GROWTH AND BEAUTY
Too often hedges are expected to grow in poor soil and subsoil clay dug up during house construction. Many hedges are close to or underneath trees ... their feeding roots take the plant food before hedge plants have a chance to feed. All hedges should be fed at least once a year, preferably in the early spring. Use 1 pound of Fertilizer per 25 feet of row, scattering along both sides and working into the soil.

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