Bare Root Planting Tips

Bare Root Planting Tips

Bare Root Hedging It's only for a starter sized hedge and when thinking on this option you should read all this section. There is a risk to bare root plants, can we repeat that again in case you skimmed over it?  There is a risk with bare root plants. You will lose some and if you are neglectful or unlucky you could lose most of them. If you follow these few tips on looking after your plants, the weather is kind to you and do your best - you might not lose any. You should buy at least 10% extra and plant them in a pot in the soil away from the hedge to replace any that fail. If you want to save a possible fortune on a hedge, then you ought to have a try with the bare root.  

Planting bare root: Get ready before you take delivery, you don't really want them hanging about un-planted for a long period. As soon as you have received your delivery it is important to get them planted as soon as possible. If they are not planted within a few days make sure the roots do not dry out so give them a good soaking at the base every day or earth over the roots for longer preservation.  You must cut back the top 1/3 of last year’s growth to compensate the fact that have likely lost at least the same amount of roots when they are dug for you from the field. Certain lines are easier than others to establish. 

The trickier ones are beech and yew. Treat them with particular care, neither like to sit in wet soil and can easily rot in the root. If your site lays very wet pick carpinus for beech and think again about yew.  Make sure the soil is free draining and well prepared - broken down and fertile. Don't plant too deep - if you look at the stem you can see the original soil level it was at before dug, that's your planting/ground level. Yew like a very well drained site, you can prepare this with added grit/gravel and plant them in a slightly raised planting bed, so water drains away better.

Bare root laurels are so temperamental we will not offer them for amateurs to try, so many people lose most it seems unfair to sell them, but if you feel confident with trying laurels from bare root, ask for a quote. For laurels you should go for rootballed plants to save over winter or use pot grown plants.

Once planted you should ensure the plant is not going to rock in the wind. Firm the soil around the plant to make sure the roots have good contact with your soil.  With taller bare root plants, they should be securely staked with a cane and a suitable tie. As with all new planting water in as soon as they are planted and keep them well watered in dry times for the first growing season. Come the spring and the plants are establishing themselves, you must keep away any unwanted grass and weed from the new plants as will compete for moisture and food. Don't let them dry out in dry weather during the first season after planting. 

 Fagus - Beech Is a traditional English hedger, it has lovely green or copper purple, oval foliage that changes to yellow and then a rich russet brown in Autumn. They do tend to keep hold of some of the leaves during the Winter months, but they are mainly a deciduous plant. The leaves then start to bud up round February / March time and the leaves open from April onwards depending on the weather. This can grow into a specimen sized tree, but we do recommend that you maintain it to the desired height Clipping Beech Hedging Beech hedging should be pruned once or twice a year depending on how quickly it grows. In the second year of being planted it will grow quicker as it becomes more established. We would suggest pruning the hedge with loppers or if you have the time using secateurs as it will leave the hedge looking tidier. Dislikes The beech hedging doesn't really have any dislikes other than it doesn't want to sit wet. If you do have a wet flower bed you would be best looking at hornbeam. Feeding Beech Hedge The best feed for beech hedging is bonemeal or fish blood and bone, this can be done throughout the growing season, normally in late Spring and again late Summer

Buxus sempervirens A true garden classic. Box hedging is a popular evergreen that provides much needed garden structure. As an architectural plant, Box hedging is the perfect border plant, withstanding frequent shaping and shearing. Box hedges look stunning planted around flower borders and vegetable gardens and can also be grown as a standalone feature plant. Buxus or box as it is commonly known is the ideal plant for formal hedges or hedging as well as being the topiary plant of choice at hundreds of stately homes and gardens. Buxus sempervirens has dense small round dark evergreen leaves. It is a slow growing plant achieving around 10 - 15cm in a season. Buxus Sempervirens should be trimmed in mid-summer. Clipping box hedging  Box hedging can be pruned easily and has the ability to grow from old wood. To maintain trimmed forms and hedges you need to prune them twice a year. The first time should be done around late May or mid-June, after the first growth spurt. Dislikes  Don’t trim box hedging too late in the season, any re growth needs time to ripen fully otherwise it will be vulnerable to frost damage that will allow fungal spores’ entry into your plants. Always water from below so that the foliage stays dry. Also don’t use a high nitrogen fertiliser on your box, excessive soft leafy growth will always favour blight, use a more balanced feed instead such as vitax box feed available from the plant food section on this website.

Box Catterpillars There is no stopping the march across the U.K. of these greedy little beasts. They are not the kiss of death you read about and they haven't made past the midlands yet, but you need to keep an eye out especially with the shaped box. We need a good hard winter to sort the little invaders. If you notice little cobweb-like areas developing on the outer tips of your bushes, have a poke about and see if they are in there(quite hard to see as they are green) you need to act quickly to kill the little nippers. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to sell you the researched cure in this country, but good old Amazon has the answer. The product made for this is called Topbuxus xentari. It's times like this when it's good the world is shrinking as they sell it and it comes from the jolly Germans with instructions in 50 languages except English. A quick google up on xentari will get you the answers. As soon as it gains the right certificates, we will have it available. Perhaps we ought to say that we can't tell you to do this and you should make your own choices. If you are worried spray them with any other caterpillar insecticide and lay it on thick. Call us if you are really concerned or email

Box Blight A nasty we could do without, but it's one of those things, like toad stalls, it just seems to happen if we get the right weather conditions. In the case of Buxus it's wet after warm like you often get in late summer. You should take precautions when you clip them, like dipping the shears in disinfectant if you suspect there may be a problem and you change plants to go and clip the next one or hedge. Our observations are that you don't get anything like the same problems if you only clip the plants or topiary when the next couple of days are going to be dry. It seems clipping when the bush it's wet, and stays wet and warm, seems to create the perfect conditions for blight. Keeping them fed helps, but with proper box feed. Don't be pilling on any old feed and shouting grow. You could kill them with kindness. Little and often is best and again on a dry day without broadcasting the food all over the foliage. We might be making this sound scary so let's stop there and simply say if you are concerned visit the top buxus website and buy yourself a few tubs of the cure.

Feeding and planting Box hedging  Buxus will thrive in shade and full sun alike but take care not to plant in standing water or very wet conditions. When purchasing box plants, we recommend also purchasing the vitax box food which is ideal to encourage the plant to grow healthy and also the TopBuxus health which keeps the plants looking green and helps fight box blight.

Carpinus - hornbeam A traditional English hedger a good alternative to beech. It has very attractive green foliage that changes to yellow in the Autumn and bears hop like fruit clusters in late Summer and Autumn. Unlike the beech hedging it likes the soggy - wood land sites that most hedges don't. Trimming Carpinus You only need to prune carpinus once a year and you are best doing it late Summer to encourage them to retain their foliage during the Winter months. Always start trimming the hedge at the top and working your way down. Dislikes Carpinus don't really have any dislikes they are very easy to grow and don't normally have any problems

Feeding Carpinus You can feed Carpinus with a general-purpose feed such as bonemeal or chicken pellets you can do this in Spring and again in Summer.

Yew Hedging There is nothing more stately and quintessentially British than a yew hedge. There are several forms of Taxus but only really Baccata are mass grown for evergreen hedging. They are a little slow growing, so buy as big as you can afford, but once established they make a perfect formal hedge. The foliage is a lovely dark green, very dense and the plant can be clipped to any shape of height. There is a flush of growth in spring and a second smaller flush in late summer. The new growth is much lighter green and matures to the darker green with age. In winter, and on the female bushes, the classic red, squidgy yew berries are an important winter feed for birds. These should be pointed out to small children as the seeds could make them ill if eaten.

Clipping Yew Yew can be kept in check with a pair of shears or a hedge cutter and is best done on a cool day in summer between the two growth flushes.

Dislikes They do not like being stood in wet soil, so if you have wet ground and want to establish a yew hedge, sort the drainage out first. Apart from that they are easy to get growing in all soils and situations. Feeding Yew hedging Give them plenty of organic fertilizer in early spring to get them to the height. Once they have reached your desired height a light feed of fish, blood and bone will keep them looking green. Any other general-purpose plant food is fine, but always read the label and under feed rather than over feed.

Hawthorn Hedging When you’re after a plant that can serve as a practical and natural screen hedge, while at the same time providing a striking aesthetic feature to your garden, our traditional English hawthorn hedge could be exactly what you’re looking for. This stunning garden planter makes for a beautiful yet prickly hedge that will not only enhance the look of any garden, but also provide the ideal intruder-deterrent for your outdoor space. Native to the UK, hawthorn hedge plants are synonymous with their glossy green leaves, cream fragrant flowers and dark red berries. If you are looking to attract wildlife to your garden, hawthorn is the ideal hedge planter. It’s common for wrens, robins and blue tits to nest inside hawthorn hedges, where they are protected by the plant’s prickly thorns and can feast on the small berries that provide them with a rich source of nourishment.  Although traditionally used on farms to prevent livestock from escaping, this deciduous plant is now a staple of gardens and landscapes up and down the country. Here at Grasslands, you’ll find great value hawthorn hedging plants for sale as part of our large hedging plants range. All of our hawthorn plants are professionally grown and nurtured at our 30 acre site in Cheshire, guaranteeing quality.

Planting your hawthorn Initially it’s worth using a rigid tree stake in order to fully support the young plant and protect it against strong winds. Once this is done, simply apply an all purpose granular feed such as chicken pellets and water well. When it comes to soil, hawthorn plants are not too particular and they thrive in most soil types including chalky and alkaline rich soil. Unlike many hedge plants, hawthorn actually prefers wet or moist conditions. These plants are very versatile and flourish when planted in full view of the sun or in partial shade, but they can also survive in sheltered and shady locations, making them suitable for all landscapes.

Looking after your hawthorn hedge Hawthorn, or quickthorn as it is commonly known, are very low maintenance plants which need little attention once they are established. While a fully grown hawthorn can reach heights of between four and eight metres, this can take up to 50 years. This means that usually, hawthorns only require cutting back once or twice a year, and only to remove dead growth or to thin out overly bushy areas. However, it’s important to remember, pruning a hawthorn too early in its development could stunt growth and damage the shrub. These plants should only be pruned once they have had time to fully mature and are at a height of at least 4ft. Also, this should only be done during the winter months when the hedge is dormant.

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