Monday, 11 June 2007


The picture below shows the problem very clearly; 'Spot the Hedge?'
In amongst this lush early June growth is a double-row hawthorn hedge planted in early March 2006 on The Manston Road. The hedge was planted with spiral guards and supporting canes. The thick grasses and weeds not only compete for water but also prevent light getting into the smaller hawthorns. Another problem is the thick growth provides an ideal habitat for snails which seem to think that a new hawthorn leaf is the best item on their menu! The kit needed is quite simple: petrol strimmer and face and ear guard; old roll mat for aching knees; wellies and socks; gardening gloves; flask of hot coffee and big rubbish bag.
Both sides of the hedge are strimmed out to 2ft and on the road side, this entails strimming the whole verge for cosmetic reasons. Then its simply a case of get down on knees and pull everything out around and between the plants and lay detritus back between the rows to act as a natural mulch.

This section is now clear. Light can get into the plants; water competition is reduced and mulch helps retain moisture. Snails don't find it such an attractive habitat! Experience has shown that if the hedge is left overgrown, casualty rates of young plants rises dramatically.
The outcome is excellent but the job itself seems un-ending and is akin to painting The Forth Road Bridge!; no sooner do you get to the end ................. .

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