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Jan

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May

Privet can be cut now to keep it looking at its best. Forsythia and currants can be clipped once the flowers have died off. These should only be cut once a year, or the flowers for next spring will be lost. Hedges can be cut informally or trimmed so that they have a broad base and narrower top; in cross-section they would look like a triangle. Hedges trimmed in this way are less likely to be damaged by wind and will stay greener from top to bottom as the bottom of the hedge is not shaded from the sun by the top. Laying an old sheet or some plastic on the ground, will catch the clippings and save time clearing them up. New hedges will need to be watered to ensure they get established. Don't forget to weed under your hedges!

Buy hedging at Crocus.

June

Give hedges their first trim. Using a sheet or polythene laid at the foot of the hedge will save you time when clearing away the cuttings. Two boards approximately 2ft x 1ft can be useful in picking up prickly cuttings. If you cut back escallonia now, you will be rewarded with flowers during the Autumn. Keep the base of hedges weeded. Early June is also the time to give topiary a trim.

July

Continue to weed or hoe hedge bottoms where perennial weeds can gather unnoticed and send their seed forth to the rest of your garden. Pests can live on hedges without doing any apparent damage – aphids and whitefly for instance but these insects can then spread to other more delicate plants in your garden with more serious results. If you are out spraying roses and other flowering plants have a look at any nearby hedges and give them a blast as well if you see any pests.

August

Fast growing hedges will be making significant growth and should be trimmed as appropriate – continue to weed hedge bottoms to prevent the spread of nasty weeds to the rest of your garden.

Buy hedging at Crocus.

September

Hedges that don't flower in Spring should have their last clip this month. Keep the bottom of hedges weed free. New evergreen hedges can be planted mid-September to mid-October.

October

There is still time to prepare the ground for a new hedge to be planted during the early part of the month. When planting ensure regular spacing by cutting a stick to the desired length between plants and use this to measure as you go. Unless you have bought larger plants a trowel should suffice for digging the holes - make them big enough to take the roots when spread out and deep enough to plant to the same depth as before - you should be able to see the soil mark on the stems. Cover the roots with soil, firm in with your hands and heel of your boots before watering in thoroughly.

November

Hedge sites should be prepared by digging a strip at least 18 inches wide. Remove any turf and place upside down in the bottom of the trench, removing and destroying perennial weeds. New hedges should be planted by mid-October. If the site isn't ready when the hedging arrives, separate the roots of the plants and laying them at an angle to give wind protection, plant in a shallow trench.

Buy hedging at Crocus.

December

If weather permits complete the planting of hedges. If the ground is frozen, plants can be stored for a short period in a frost-free shed with some straw around the roots.

January

Hedges can still be planted if the ground is not waterlogged. If your hedging arrives and cannot be planted out due to the weather, store in a frost free shed, providing some protection to the roots until it is possible to plant them out.

February

It is possible to plant new deciduous hedges during mild, dry weather this month, particularly if you have well drained soil. If your hedging plants do arrive when the ground is frozen or waterlogged they can be kept in a frost free shed with straw or fleece wrapped around the roots but plant them out as soon as possible. Look to prune overgrown hedges this month or early in March to encourage new shoots which should survive any late frosts now.

Buy hedging at Crocus.

March

All hedges, except broad-leaved evergreens can be planted this month. Plant evenly in a straight line. Weed along the bottom of hedges, removing any unwanted tree seedlings. Hard prune old hedges.

April

Evergreen hedges should be planted this month. Keep the base of hedges free from weeds. Check newly planted hedges haven't been loosened by frost or wind and gently firm in if necessary.

Gardening information, hints and tips on how to get the best from the hedges in your garden throughout the gardening year including planting, trimming, pest control and general care advice.