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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Shrubs in Ireland ... Hedging in Ireland

Windproof Hedge to surround raised vegetable beds


 
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tailspin
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:40 pm    Post subject: Windproof Hedge to surround raised vegetable beds Reply with quote

Hi All

I've started making raised beds to grow vegetables. The location is sunny but very windy as we're on the top of a hill with very little shelter.

My plan was to surround the raised with windproof netting originally and grow a box hedge inside this to provide a more aesthetically pleasing windbreak in years to come, but when looking for a price for hedging I saw box described as 'not suitable for windy sites'.

Will box be alright if it is protected for the first few years until well established? Or should I look at an alternative - this would need to be something that could be kept as a formal hedge 3-4 foot high. I'd imagine any higher would block the sun from the vegetables.

As usual all help or advice gratefully appreciated,

Tailspin.
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Sive
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am trying to grow a Rosemary hedge in a fairly windy spot, and it seems to be doing OK so far......that might be a possibility for you.
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tailspin
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Sive. That isn't something I had considered, and its a good idea - something different, but I've just looked at the sticky post that lists hedging plants and it says that Rosemary requires free draining soil to survive, and our garden has a fairly heavy clay soil. Its definitely not free draining unfortunately.

Any other suggestions or am I OK with the box?
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Sive
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi tailspin, your post got me thinking about hedges and I was browsing the internet when I came across this website :
http://www.hedgesdirect.co.uk/
It seems to have a lot of information about all sorts of hedges, and I thought it may be of help to you.
We are doing exactly the same as you around our vegetable garden, and planted an escallonia hedge as we didn't want too formal a look.
Unfortunately the wet summers have encouraged a virus to attack all escallonias and it causes them to yellow and drop their leaves by late summer. We're giving it a couple more years to see if it does better in a good summer.
I know there is a box virus going around which is giving problems too, so maybe do some research on that before you plant your hedge.
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breezyacre
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a few suggestions. I planted a beech and whitethorn hedge 12 years ago in my garden. It is trouble free except for the trimming twice a year. I like the look of it in winter and summer. One thing I would say tailspin is that I wouldn't plant the hedge in the raised beds as they will rob water and light from your plants. If they could be planted nearby thus keeping the wind off but allowing light and water in they would be most effective.
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tailspin
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Guys

Thanks again for the helpful replies.

Sive - I did consider Escalonia - I think they look nice, but I wasn't sure if you could keep them cut to 3-4 foot. I've only seen them as bigger hedges.
That site looks good - unfortunately it says that box don't like windy locations!

BreezyAcre - I'm also a fan of Beech and Hawthorn and was considering Hornbeam too, but again I wasn't sure if they would be happy clipped short. I'm not planning on putting the hedge actually in the raised beds: the beds would be surrounded by a gravel path 1 metre wide, and the hedge would start at the edge of the path, so there would be 1 metre between hedge and raised beds. Hopefully this would provide the shelter without blocking the sun.

Does anyone know what happens if you keep a hedge like beech or Hawthorn cut short to about 3-4 feet?

Regards,

Tailspin
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Protein
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both a suggestion and a question, what about Blackcurrant, Redcurrant and Whitecurrant bushes as a hedge?

I was pondering what hedge to plant around the veg patch, which is semi-protected, and someone suggest these currant bushes...? anyone have any thoughts on this?

me

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Sive
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure about hawthorn being kept so short, maybe that could work OK but I imagine both beech and hornbeam, being trees, would not be such a good idea for a short hedge. You'd be better off growing shrubs rather than trees.
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tailspin
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sive

That's what I figured too. I haven't seen any examples of 'tree' hedges kept that short so I figured it wasn't the thing to do.

Regards,

Tailspin.
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breezyacre
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think there would be a problem keeping the hedges short. Mine are kept at about 6 ft. I have since cut one to 3 ft. with no problem. Yes the trunk will get larger but not too large. Also these two suggestions will handle any weather this climate has to throw at them. Some escallonias died in the extreme frost of this year. The currant bushes sound like good solutions too.
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tailspin
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've since dug up my 'The Tree and Shrub Expert' and it has the following to say about box:

'Exposed sites are not a problem'

so I think I will persevere with this. I hope I'm not hit by the virus mentioned - I have a few box in pots that seem fine.

Thanks everyone for all the help and advice.

Regards,

Tailspin.
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