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Another Newbie needing help from the elders - Privet Hedge

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by LukasRayzor, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. LukasRayzor

    LukasRayzor Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi Everybody!

    I'm Lukas, an autistic newbie gardener and beekeeper from Cheshire in the North West. Desperately in need of some growing tips regarding my privet hedge (I have tried searching the forum for the answers but really would appreciate some personalised help, :) pretty please!).

    So the neighbouring boundary in my back garden is a 9ft tall wire/concrete post fench... on my neighbours side they have a wooden fence which I don't want to see... On my side I currently have a rather pathetic looking 3ft high privet hedge. The hedge is well established as was planted 3 years ago. In that time it has reached the top of the 9ft wire fence which was what I wanted but obviously you profesionals know what I'm going to say next lol... I didn't know I was suppose to prune during this early growth and was left with a row of leggy (useless) privet.

    About 5 months ago I got the loppers and cut back to 3ft to try encourage abit of sideways thickening and every 2-3 weeks since I've pruned back to this height to try let it know who's boss(??). I'm finding though that where I originally cut it at it's main cental branch it's really flourishing to get going yet very little activity is happening lower down.

    I'm asking myself whether or not to cut back the hedge now further to perhaps 1ft and then prune hopefully a similar tuft of growth to my liking and basically start over (but I'm scared!). I will add the ground on which the hedge is planted is is a very claggy/clayish and to get it through the dry spells I have weaved a soaker hose to try to keep it happy! I would say the hedge does recieve partial sun during the day but not as much as I'd like due to the sheltering from my neighbours hedge and 2 horse chestnut trees (1 is 12ft tall and in the privet hedge row, the other is 1 meter away from the hedge in the lawn and fully grown).

    I think that's everything lol.... How should I go about growing my dream hedge? Is a harsh cut back a good idea despite poor lower leaf coverage? When would such a big cut back be most beneficial (Now or March/April next year)?? Should I keep pruning at 3ft til I see some lower progress? Do I experiment with things like mulch to feed the hedge in new ways? Do I look into perhaps letting more light in by removing the horse chestnut trees (I like the privacy they give the garden but they are blighted by damaged leaves covered in brown/red spots)?

    Any pearls of wisdom will be greatly appreciated folks, Thanks for reading :)

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    • Verdun

      Verdun Passionate gardener

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      I think you are doing just great LukasRayzor :)
      Trim the side shoots back to buds now
      I would, in future, prune in March or April. According to how much growth is made, another pruning in August.
      When you prune next time, cut the side stems not main ones. Cut back to buds and these will make extra side shoots, meaning thicker growth lower down.
      Loosen that soil.....lightly, dont damage the roots......and apply a granular fertiliser (fish blood and bone is excellent. Water it well then in a week or so apply a generous mulch....can you get mushroom compost? Or mix dried manure with compost. Dont put the mulch right up to stems.
      Get rid of the soaker hose for now......watering every day is not good.
      Patience though....it will work out. Once you get the side stems growing vigorously the height will come pretty fast :)
       
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      • Tetters

        Tetters Total Gardener

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        Hello @LukasRayzor, and welcome to to our forum - can`t really add to the advice you already have, but have faith - privet is pretty tough :)
         
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        • WeeTam

          WeeTam Total Gardener

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          If it were me i would seriously look into reducing the lower l
          Branches on that chestnut tree. Its badly reducing the light available to the privet hence the top growth as its looking for light. It could end up leggy if you dont get more light to it.
          I would give it a good feed in springtime,and do something about the low light levels then away it should go..
           
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