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Hope someone can provide advice - i have just bought a load of laurel plants to block of a rather ugly new railway fence, i would like these to grow into a nice healthy dense 8 ft hedge (already 5-6ft) -any advice on how to form the best dense hedge apprecited (do i need to form or train them, do i keep short until bottom is bushy etc etc.
Any help/advise appreciated
I'd snip out the growing tips of all the branches, that will thicken it up. I've got quite a bit of laurel and the best and thickest are the ones I've treated this way.
The ones I cut back hard died back more
Thanks ever so much for the response - i'm new to this gardening thing, i guess the growing tips mean the top of each stem? how low should i cut them?
many thanks for your time it is greatly appreciated
Cut to just above a pair of leaves, precise amounts not important, I'd stay in the new green wood though, not the brown. Going into the brown has not worked well for me. Do the sides as well as the top.
ok many thanks
Nut's advice is perfect Matthew. The problem with buying these as bigger plants is that, although you get an instant effect, they can take a bit longer to establish than a smaller plant. I'd cut the turf away from in front of them to make a proper border edge. Make sure they don't go short of water over the summer and keep any competing grass and weeds away. A mulch of compost or bark would help retain moisture and keep weeds down as well. Once they're well established and have new growth, they should be fine.
Yes - they'll be more than fine, they'll be rampant. Trim the hedge regularly, and cut it to a bit less than the height you want it. Otherwise it'll grow lke Topsy and you'll end up with a monster that steals light, water and nutrients from all around. But kept in check it'll do the job.
(btw, once it gets properly established I should ditch the secateurs and use shears or a hedge trimmer otherwise you won't have time to do anything else!)
On a closely related subject, my friend in Belgium (climate same as SE England) on sandy soil is trying to grow stuff next to her neighbour's laurel hedge - without much success. It's the sunny side of the garden and she's added compost to the soil but it still doesn't produce much. I'm sure the hedge is to blame but it can't be removed. Any ideas?
thanks guys, all advice taken on, i'll revisit this post in a few years to show results good or bad!