How to grow hedges (Selection and Cultivation of hedge)
Selection of plants for hedge
Usually, different shrubs are used to making a desirable hedge. The plants for hedge making are selected according to their height and spread, growth rate, suitability to soil and climate, and response to pruning or clipping operation. For selecting the plants for a hedge, the following characteristics should be kept in mind-
1.The plant should be bushy, thick textured, and quick growing in the habit.
2.It should withstand pruning to maintain shape.
3.The plants should be easily propagated through stem cutting or seeds.
4.It should withstand drought or any other adverse condition.
5.It should not be liked by the cattle.
6.It should not attract reptile animals in any case.
Cultivation of hedge
For successful cultivation of hedges, different types of works are to be undertaken stage wise.It includes land preparation, planting, manuring, watering, pruning and other intercultural operation etc. mentioned here under-
1.Preparation of land:
Hedges grow in different kinds of soil, but for better growth and development the soil should be fairly deep, fertile and well-drained. The land should be ploughed up to the depth of 45cm. For making a good growth of ornamental hedge a trench of about 60-70cm deep and 45-60cm wide should be dug up and left open under sun for 15 days in order to kill or destroy the harmful diseases and pests by the heat of scorching sunlight. Then, the trench should be refilled with treated soil and organic manure like well decomposed cowdung or FYM.
2.Time of planting:
The best time for planting of hedge is rainy season. During July-August. When there is sufficient rainfall and high atmospheric humidity planting can be done easily. Planting can also be done during February-March if there is good water supply.
3.Method of planting:
Rooted cuttings or the seeds are used as planting materials. The hedge should be planted at a spacing of 75-90cm. whereas for dwarf hedges the spacing should be 20-30cm. The trees should be planted 2-3m apart. To make a good dense hedge, planting should be done by triangular system. For hedge planting, 9 plants per meter should be kept in row, if planted singly 10cm apart and 12 plants in double row if planted 15cm apart.
Usually the hedges receive little attention till they remain thin. Then they are pruned heavily in the rainy season. Thereafter manuring is needed. The following doses of manures and fertilizer are applied-
Ammonium sulphate50g per 2m after 4-6 months
Water requirement depends on the type of soil, season of growth, etc. During rainy season usually no irrigation is required. But during hot and dry weather the water requirement is high. During winter hedges should be watered once in 10-15 days interval and during summer it would be at seven days interval. In light soil the water requirement is more frequent than the heavy soils.
Weeds are very harmful as they compete with the hedge plants for nutrients, water space, light etc. Hence the weeds should not be allowed to grow. They should be removed from the field whenever noticed.
When the hedge plants attain the height of about 15cm they should be topped back to 10cm height with the help of garden shears. This will encourage the production of several side shoots on each plant. If such topping is not done and the plants are kept untouched, hedges will not be dense and compact topping is continued till the plants achieve the desired height and shape. In rainy season frequent pruning is required because the plants make faster growth than in other season.
How to grow hedges
The majority of the hedges are propagated by cuttings but where seed can be obtained the cost of raising a large number of plants is considerably reduced.
Sowing of hedge seed should be done in a nursery whenever possible. For sowing of hedge seeds, the following rates are used according to the plant categories-
Name of plantsSeed rate
1. Duranta 1kg/ 100m
2. Inga dulcis 1kg/ 100m
3. Jaint (Sesbania) 150gm/ 100m
4. Mehdi(Lawsonia) 250 gm/ 100m
5. Dodonea(Sanatta) 250gm/ 100m