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Hedges
 
The hedge is an essential part of a garden as it serves to fence off the property, acts as a windbreak, a separation or decoration. To ensure it always looks well-kept and develops a good branch system, it needs to be trimmed regularly

Planting

Method:
  • dig a trench large enough to the take the roots
  • put some fertiliser in the bottom and cover with a thin layer of soil
  • take the plant out of the pot and place the ball nice and straight in the bottom of the hole
  • cover with fine soil mixed with compost
  • tamp down and water
 
Taille de haies
Remember to space the plants at least 60 to 80 cm apart, or even more depending on the type of hedge.

Good neighbours:

Remember to respect the distances required by the regulations. You are obliged by law to plant your hedge:
  • 50 cm away from the fence or boundary of your property if the hedge is no more than 2 m high
  • at least 2 metres from the boundary for tall or curtain hedges

This law applies in the absence of any particular regulations. As municipal by-laws may vary, you should enquire at your town hall.
 
Pruning
 
The aim is to densify the leaves by generating new shoots.
  • Young hedges: pruning should not be too severe. Simply shorten the shoots. When the hedge has reached the required height, cut off new shoots completely.

  • Hedges that have become too bushy: prune severely (cut back between one and two thirds of the height of the hedge depending on how "healthy" it is); deciduous hedges can be cut back to 20 cm above ground..
When to prune hedges?
  • at least once a year in September for severe pruning.
  • in March and June to obtain a regular hedge.

Shaping
  • start at the top
  • mark out the centre using a plumb line suspended from a string and first work on one side
  • then reproduce the same pattern on the other side

A trapezoid shape is one of the most common. It guarantees that the hedge will get sufficient light and air, and it avoids yellowing at the bottom of the hedge.
The basic rule for this shape is: 10 cm slope for 1 m of height.