"instant" hedge

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adam2
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"instant" hedge

Post by adam2 »

Report from a neighbour, relying on my imperfect memory.

They have built nearly 100 meters of almost instant hedge. As follows.

1) With an excavating machine, dig a trench about half a meter deep and half a meter wide.
2) Drive wooden fence posts into the bottom of this trench.
3) Plant suitable bushes such as hawthorn, holly, pyracantha and the like.
4) backfill the trench with a mixture of manure, the material originally excavated, and slow release chemical fertiliser.
5) Attach barbed wire to the posts in the usual way.

The posts and barbed wire make a stock proof barrier from day one. No provision is needed for replacement, by the time the posts rot and the wire rusts through, the natural hedge will be established.

Returning the excavated material will make a significant mound, well above original ground level. This helps with plant growth and shelters wild life.
Any large stones found may be placed along the hedge line, or reserved for building.

About 100 meters took a weeks labour by one man and a small herd of children.
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BritDownUnder
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Re: "instant" hedge

Post by BritDownUnder »

I did something, not quite similar but on the same lines. I had some aluminium railings outside my house separating the garden from the street. Just after I moved into my house about 10 years ago during the night a passing drunk had tried to perform, quite successfully it turned out, a Bruce Lee karate kick on one of the panels bending it out of shape. I could not get the panel back into shape despite taking it off and standing on it to bend it back.

So I decided to grow a hedge around the railings as there was some soil not quite under the railing as they were concreted in but about 6 inches away. I chose box as the hedge plant which is very slow growing but now, about 8 years later it has completely covered the railings and looks very nice - getting better every year. I am not aware of much living in the hedge except for spiders maybe but it has made the front garden more private and has even, being self regenerating, stood up to the attention of the occasional passing drunk.
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Catweazle
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Re: "instant" hedge

Post by Catweazle »

Gooseberry makes a good barrier too, and don't forget roses.
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adam2
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Re: "instant" hedge

Post by adam2 »

More details.
For extra security against livestock escaping, or eating the hedge plants before they become established, wooden posts and barbed wire can be erected along BOTH sides of the trench. This doubles the cost of the wire and the posts, but may be justified.

At the location of the entrance gate, consider building a substantial block of stone or concrete each side of the opening. This will provide a secure and durable fixing for the gate. Gate posts are often a weak point, tending to rot or to pull away from the vertical.

And yes gooseberries or roses are well worth considering. Food for wildlife, and possibly humans. In time plants with berries will self seed as birds eat berries elsewhere and leave the seeds in their droppings.
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
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adam2
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Re: "instant" hedge

Post by adam2 »

As is well known, traditional hedges are important havens for wildlife.

What surprised me was just how quickly wildlife has discovered this new hedge. At least four pairs of songbirds have nested and numerous hedgehogs have been seen. Also "small things that run away" According to the kids ! Mice ? voles ? feral guinea pigs ?

The land is low lying but still rather exposed to high winds.

The next project is some effective barrier for the bottom fields, which I suspect are too wet for a hedge. Not that wet at present, but flood regularly in the winter.
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
dustiswhatweare
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Re: "instant" hedge

Post by dustiswhatweare »

The next project is some effective barrier for the bottom fields, which I suspect are too wet for a hedge. Not that wet at present, but flood regularly in the winter.


Goat willow is what you want then, fast growing, loves water, withstands heavy trimming, dense and like a cockroach - indestructible. Will grow to 30-40 ft if you let it.
Also the no.1 favourite of goats, so mine tell me.
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