Why Plant Hedges in Winter

Why is winter planting so popular?

1. Cheaper

It’s a cheaper planting option as bare root and root ball plants are available in the winter months.

2. Resting time

Because winter is the time when plants are resting – they are not experiencing the physical stress of having to produce new spring growth. This gives them a chance to establish their roots. Even in winter the soil deep down is warm enough for root development, before the hullabaloo of spring.

3. Wildlife Interest

Many species of birds, insects and small mammals use hedges to provide shelter, safety from predators and food via the flowering and fruiting varieties. Hedges encourage wildlife and bio-diversity, helping to conserve our native wildlife species, of which the most important species have declined by around 60% since 1970. Today, a quarter of UK mammals and almost half the birds recently assessed, are now at risk of extinction due to loss of habitat and pollution. Hedges popoular with birds are Hawthorn with luscious red haws in Autumn, or the berries on a LaurelPyracantha or Holly. Insects beneficial to the garden love Lavender and Oleaster. Always check that fledglings have left their nest before clipping your hedge. The occupied nests of all wild birds are protected by law.

Hedging Frost Care

When there is a frost, roots are unable to take up water from frozen soil and the water in the plant cells can freeze causing damage to the cell walls. Both of these situations can cause limpness brown leaves or even complete failure of the plant.

When the water in the soil freezes, it expands, and when it thaws, it can leave behind an air pocket. Plant roots are therefore not stable in the soil, and frost can penetrate the air pockets causing further damage to roots. This can be fixed by regularly firming in the soil and watering well – so that the water carries soil to the air pockets.

If you have any question about what to do with your plants in the current frosty conditions, or have any information to add to this, please do contact us. Find us on Facebook and Twitter, we would love to hear from you!

2 thoughts on “Why Plant Hedges in Winter

  1. I planted my Red Robin hedge with well rotted manure mixed with my clay soil. Together with bone meal and root grow. They are container grown. One or two of them are developing brown leaves although there seems to be plenty of new buds. . Is there anything more I can do to to keep them happy.

  2. Hi Dorothy,

    Thanks for contacting us. It does sound like a side effect of transplant shock, which is not unusual in the first growing season after specimens have been transplanted. When a plant has been recently transplanted it firstly concentrates on establishing the root system in its new environment, rather than concentrating on the plant above ground. New healthy leaves will emerge in spring along with new growth.

    I hope that this helps put your mind at rest. If there is anything else at all we can help with just let us know. 🙂

    Thanks, Alex

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