Establishing a Laurel Hedge

How to water your newly planted Laurel hedge

Once you've planted your laurel hedging plants, you need to make sure they get enough water to keep them alive and growing well. Usually plants only need watering from March to October. During the winter months, they use less water and normally get enough from the rain.

Laurel Hedging planted from November to February

If you plant between November and February, you may not need to water your plants much as they will have had a chance to develop a root system before the soil dries out which is normally in March but can be in February or April.  Just keep an eye on them, it may be worth giving them a good soak once a week.

Laurel Hedging planted from March to October

If you plant between March and October, you will need to water your plants for the first growing season (usually up until the end of October).

When to water

Before you water, test the soil by digging into it with your hand or pushing your finger deep into the rootball (you need to make sure you're not just watering the surface but right down into the soil as well). If the soil is moist, then don't water. If the soil is starting to dry out, then water your plants. It sounds obvious, but often people water when their plants are already wet and this can result in waterlogging especially on clay soils.

Watering with a watering can or hose

If you are watering with a watering can or hose, you need to water the soil around the roots of the plant and when the water starts to run off, move to the next plant and let the water sink in. Return to each plant a water it again two or three times, each time letting the water sink in. This way you will make sure the water gets right down into the soil rather than just watering the top few inches of soil.W

Watering with a porous pipe

Porous pipe is a good method of watering your hedging plants. The water seeps out and sinks into the soil well. It can also be set on a timer and come on regularly.  However, it is very easy to over-water your plants with porous pipe so our advice is to check whether the soil is wet before turning it on. Do this by pushing your finger into the rootball of the plant or digging with your hand in the soil near the plant and seeing if the soil is wet enough. You want to keep the soil moist but not soggy at all times. Obviously, if the soil is already wet enough, then don't water your plants.

Drought symptoms of Laurel Hedging

The leaves of your laurel plants will quickly turn yellow and start to fall off if they are not watered enough (or if they are over-watered).  Even a hot weekend in the summer can cause them to dry out so it is best to keep an eye on them every few days.

How to prune a newly planted Laurel Hedge

It is worth taking a couple of inches (5cm) off all the shoots (new branches) on your laurel plants when you plant them.  Do this again in March and June until they reach the height you require.

This will ensure your plants grow bushy and not tall and thin.

Once they reach the height you require, prune them once a year to the width and height you require.

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