How To Care For Your Hedges In Winter

It’s that time of year again: the nights are long and the temperatures have plummeted. Bearing the brunt of the winter months, gardens require specialist and attentive care at this time of year. One aspect of your garden which needs special winter treatment in order to survive is your hedges.

In this blog post, the team at Lawnmowers Direct share their top tips for caring for your hedge over winter. Read on, follow all the tips and watch your hedge continue to thrive through the cold spell from the warmth of your house.

Can your hedges grow in winter time?

It may not seem like you see much progress in the garden over winter, but generally speaking deciduous hedges grow rapidly in the early part of each year, which happens to be in the peak of winter.

Cutting these species of hedge back in winter is a necessity to ensure they don’t become out of control, but be mindful not to cut them back too much to avoid them becoming sparse.

Is it too cold to do hedge cutting?

The answer to this question cannot be straightforward due to the various different hedge types which tend to be grown in domestic gardens. But as a general rule, it’s fine to cut back deciduous hedges, but not evergreen trees, which should only be cut back in the spring.

Most other plants are dormant during the winter, which is typically the best time to make any adjustments to their shape. You want to prune hard at the end of winter or very early spring before any new growth starts and after the really cold temperatures.

Plant deciduous hedges in mid-autumn to late winter

You can go ahead to design your dream hedge row and plant beech, hawthorn and hornbeam any time from leaf fall.

In all cases, planting is best delayed until the soil can be worked easily, especially if the ground is frozen or waterlogged. Just imagine the nightmare of having bought the ideal plant and not being able to even dig a hole in your frozen yard to house it!

If a cold winter takes you by surprise and disrupts your plans to plant new hedges, keep the plants in a frost-free shed and cover their roots with moist straw, paper or potting compost and plastic sheet. This will prevent them from drying out, until the weather warms enough to plant them. Alternatively, they can be temporarily planted very close together in a trench, with their roots covered for protection from the frost…

Some final advice

Bear in mind that one of the most effective ways to protect your favorite hedges in harsh winter conditions is to cover them and shrubs that are at risk in protective wrapping.

This can range from different materials such as fleece, bracken, straw, and polystyrene. You can also apply a thick layer of mulch at the base of your hedges as a finishing touch to add further protection against the sub-zero temperatures.

Lawnmowers Direct is an online and in-store garden and horticulture machinery trader in Norfolk and Suffolk who’ve been providing local gardeners with equipment and related maintenance since 1972.