A quick guide to planting your Living Walls instant hedge into the ground, where root growth isn't restricted, is below.
If you are employing a landscape contractor to install your hedge, please forward this guide to them.
Please check measurements before planting as all quoted measurements are approximate.
You may also like to view our How To video
1. Dig your trench. The trench should be the same depth and at least the same width as the hedge bag. See Instant hedge specifications for the minimum measurements recommended. Keep aside a reasonable amount of soil for backfilling. Break up any hard pans at the bottom of the trench to aid root penetration. A tidy, well-prepared trench will help the establishment of your hedge and subsequent health and performance.
Ideally, prepare your site before the arrival of your Living Walls instant hedge, so that planting happens soon after. For new builds, if practical, it's a great idea to have the trenches prepared while machinery is onsite.
2. Resolve any drainage issues at this stage. The planting site must be well-drained, as plants may not thrive, and may even fail in saturated soils. Check the drainage at several places along the intended hedge site, and at the lowest points especially. Most plants prefer well-drained soil. NZ natives, in particular, do not like 'wet feet'. The importance of air or more specifically oxygen, to plant roots cannot be over-emphasised. When the oxygen supply to roots is cut off, as in a compacted or poorly drained waterlogged soil, plant roots will die or be severely damaged.
To test if you need drainage, try adding water to the trench and observe for a couple of hours. If the water has not drained away, you may need to address your drainage.
We do not recommend amendments such as scoria, compost/sheep pellets, water crystals, or fertiliser in your trench. Scoria does not improve drainage; compost breaks down, which causes plantings to sink; and fertiliser should be top-dressed only (sprinkled on the surface).
3. Place out then remove hedge bag. Place hedges near your trench with logos facing the same way. If we have numbered your hedge bags, then place the bags in numerical order left to right. Cut out the two square ends of the bag and lift the hedge into the trench. You may like to use the bag as a sling. Avoid kicking or roughly handling the rootball, as this will weaken your hedge.
4. Lift instant hedges into your trench. Place the hedge rootballs approx 10cm apart for one unit per metre. The foliage will be touching, but not the rootball (see diagram below). Remember, the rootballs are approx 900mm long, and the foliage covers the full metre. Please check measurements before planting as all quoted measurements are approximate. The hedge bag handle is one metre long if you need a guide. Only cut the rootball if necessary, e.g. when a part metre is required. Cut between the plants leaving a much of the rootball intact as possible. Use a saw rather than a spade as this will reduce potential rootball damage.
5. Backfill. Before backfilling, settle all of the units into place to your liking. Backfill halfway with some of the loosened soil, that you kept aside, packing it firmly between and around the rootball, but do not overly compact the soil. Water between and around the rootball to help settle the backfill. Complete the backfilling. Water in well immediately after planting by applying 10-20 litres of water per metre of instant hedge, depending on size. See here for ongoing watering requirements.
6. Trim. If required, lightly trim your new hedge to shape. See here for ongoing trimming requirements.
8. Enjoy. Now stand back and enjoy your new hedge.
Refer to Caring for your instant hedge for ongoing care and maintenance requirements.