A quick guide to planting your Living Walls instant hedge into the ground, where root growth isn't restricted, is below.
The guide for container, raised planter, planter box, retaining wall planting, i.e. where root growth is restricted can be found here
If you are employing a landscape contractor to install your hedge, please forward this guide to them.
Please check actual rootball measurements before planting as all quoted measurements are approximate - you may need a bigger gap between rootballs! Remember - plant one hedge unit per metre! You may also like to view our How To video
1. Preparing 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. Using a spade, break up any hard pans at the bottom and sides of the trench to aid root penetration. A tidy, well-prepared trench will help the establishment of your hedge and subsequent health and performance.
If possible, prepare your site before the arrival of your Living Walls instant hedge. This will allow you to check for any below-ground obstructions, potential drainage issues, and confirm the length of hedge required. For new builds, it's a great idea to have the trenches prepared while machinery is on site.
Resolve any drainage issues at this stage. The planting site must be well-drained, as plants won't 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, don't like 'wet feet' - their roots in waterlogged soil. 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 hasn't drained away, you may need to address your drainage.
Don't add amendments into your trench such as scoria/drainage metal, compost/sheep pellets/manure, water crystals, or fertiliser. Contrary to popular belief, scoria doesn't improve drainage and can contribute to poor drainage; compost/manure breaks down, causing plantings to sink and can be too rich for delicate roots; and fertiliser should be top-dressed only (scattered on the surface).
2. Planting your hedge. You may wish to wear gardening gloves when carrying the hedge bags as the rods are made of fibreglass. Place hedges near your trench with each logo facing the same direction. 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 carefully lift the hedge into the trench. You may like to use the bag as a sling if that's easier. Avoid kicking or roughly handling the rootball as this will weaken it.
Place the hedge rootballs about 10cm apart so that you have one hedge per metre. The foliage should touch but not the rootballs (see diagram below). Remember, the rootballs are 900mm long (give or take), and the foliage covers the full metre. Please check actual rootball measurements as all quoted measurements are approximate - you may need a bigger (or smaller) gap between rootballs! The hedge bag handle is one metre long if you need a guide.
*NOTE Not all planting sites can cover whole metres exactly. Space the hedges to suit your trench length, maybe slightly closer or slightly further apart. For example, to fit 10 metres of hedge in a 9.7m trench, or 9 metres of hedge in a 9.3m metre trench, spread out to suit. Do this before backfilling!
Only cut the rootball if necessary, e.g. when a part metre is required to fill your space. Cut between the plants leaving as much of the rootball intact as possible. Use a saw rather than a spade for less rootball damage.
3. Backfilling and Watering. Before backfilling, settle all of the hedges into place to your liking, upright and evenly spaced. Backfill to around halfway with some of the loosened soil that you kept aside, packing it firmly between and around the rootballs, but don't 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 Water for ongoing watering requirements.
4. Trimming. Lightly trim the hedge to shape, if needed. See Trimming for ongoing trimming information.
6. Enjoy your hedge. Now stand back and enjoy your newly planted hedge! Remember to refer to CARING FOR YOUR INSTANT HEDGE for ongoing care and maintenance information.