Edible Hedging

Hedging plants are looking good at present.

I know hedging is not really on topic, but one really has to look on the bright side.  In one of the worst summers on record there is precious little edible fruit around – commercial growers are expecting most fruit crops to be down by at least 50% and some soft fruit (strawberries spring to mind are almost non-existent).  By contrast, hedging loves being well watered and is looking lush and green in a month when most hedge plants usually begin to look browned off.

For future reference you could look at planting some mixed edible hedging.  Rather than “waste” space with more conventional hedging such as beech, hornbeam and yew, closely spaced fruiting plants will form a good barrier and feed you at the same time.

A good basic mix would be something like:

20% Hawthorn and 10% each of edible species chosen from Blackthorn, Juneberry, Hazel, Cherry Plum, Crab Apple, Blackberry, Oleaster, Elder, Dog Rose and Wild Pear

There are no hard and fast rules however. You can use domestic (thornless blackberries) while tayberries, boysenberries and loganberries are do well in a hedge (just one or two will provide masses of fruit). I have seen gooseberries in a hedge as well.

Just remember that it will be a bit shaggy.  For the plants to fruit they need to retain new wood – I would suggest clipping one side one year, and the other side the next year.  You will also need to go in and cut rambling scramblers like blackberries and boysenberries back every other year or so otherwise they will take over.

But edible hedging is fun, feeds you and looks good in weather like this.  You will get quicker and better results if you plant it with Rootgrow. Recommended by the RHS, Rootgrow really helps plants establish and grow away.

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