Tips for Installing a Privacy Hedge

Are you sick of running into your overly chatty neighbor every time you shuffle groggily down the driveway to retrieve your morning paper? If you don’t like talking to people before coffee, it may be time to “up” the privacy factor for your abode.

A privacy hedge is a great way to section off your home when you live in an area without much breathing room between houses, and you can choose from quite a few plant options to create the buffer. Most are easily installable, and with the right tools and knowledge, you will finally be reading the business section in blissful solitude right in your own front yard.

Figure Out Logistics

Before you decide what kind of plant to choose, work out some key logistical factors. First, decide how high you want to let the barrier grow. A good way to decide on a height is to grab a ladder and place it where your hedge will go. Climb up and gauge what you can and cannot see in order to render a verdict.

Next, nail down the amount of space with which you have to work. If you have ample space, two or three rows of hedges may be just the ticket – a thicker barrier will block more light and sound from traveling between your neighbor’s home and your own.

Finally, decide how long you need your privacy hedge to be. Measure the yard space carefully before deciding on a plant. That way, you can take the measurements of a fully-grown hedge into consideration with your existing yard space in mind.

Time to Pick a Plant

So you’ve figured out the measurements. Great job! You’re halfway there – now it’s time to choose a plant. If you opt for some of the more popular evergreen, tall tree hedges, shoot for one of two popular varieties. First, the Green Giant Arborvitae grows rapidly and it can reach heights of five feet or more. The American Arborvitae is also widely used for living privacy fences, but it does not grow as tall as the former hedge – it averages somewhere between three and five feet tall.

If you want a shorter privacy hedge, opt instead for bush-like plants such as the Rose of Sharon. It’s a shorter hedge with great flowing potential. Another good option is the North Privet – and this one grows very quickly.

Planting Your Hedge

How you plant your hedge will ultimately depend upon the amount of space available in your yard. When you calculate the room between rows, base your measurements upon the width of the plant’s crown. At a minimum, keep a foot or two between each plant to allow room for future root expansion.

Once your plants fully mature, prune and decide if you want to plant additional rows for greater privacy. Unlike fences, privacy hedges add aesthetic value to both your neighbor’s property and your own, and you will finally enjoy the free reign of outdoor living space you have been craving.