A hawthorn hedge is a good choice if you want to make your garden wildlife-friendly. Here you can read about who benefits most from it and how to plant it.
The hawthorn, which blooms in brilliant white, is particularly robust and is therefore well suited as a hedge plant. In the garden it adapts to its environment and tolerates almost any soil. However, it should not be too acidic. Also make sure to allow it a sunny location – then you can look forward to a lush bloom from May to June.
By the way, hawthorn hedges are excellent for a wildlife-friendly, nature-oriented garden. They are a true paradise for birds: they can build their nests wonderfully between the branches. From August to October, they also feed on the hawthorn’s berries. In addition to birds, many different species of insects and small mammals also benefit from the plant.
Planting a hawthorn hedge: This is how it’s done
Planting a hawthorn hedge isn’t too complicated if you keep a few things in mind. One important tip first: it’s best to wear gloves when handling hawthorn. The thorns of the plant are very sharp.
- First, get as many hawthorn plants as you need. As a rule of thumb, you need about five plants per meter of hedge – depending on the size, of course. You can also get advice on this at a gardening store or nursery.
- Now it comes down to this: If your plants are in pots, you do not need to prepare them further. However, if their roots are exposed, you should moisten them well before planting. Place the plants in a bucket of water for 20 minutes.
- When you have chosen the place for the hedge, dig a trench about 60 centimeters deep and 40 centimeters wide. Tip: You can stretch a string between two stakes and dig along it so that the trench and the hedge are straight.
- Loosen the soil in the trench well and then place the hawthorn plants in it. It is advisable to work in pairs. Make sure to keep equal distances between the plants.
- Refill the trench with the previously dug soil and press it well, but carefully, with your feet. The plants should have a good footing.
- Lastly, water the plants generously so that they grow well.
Tip: It is best to plant hawthorn in early fall, for example in September.
The proper care of a hawthorn hedge
Hawthorn is a very robust, low-maintenance plant, as older shrubs can provide themselves with water and nutrients thanks to their long roots. However, freshly planted hawthorn hedges need some attention:
- Water the hawthorn hedge when the top few inches of surrounding soil have dried out. Don’t leave the plants too dry, or they will become more susceptible to disease and pests.
- You only need to fertilize hawthorn very little. A little compost in the spring should be the maximum. Tip: Before planting, you can add some horn shavings to the trench as fertilizer.
- You can harvest the berries from August to October and make jam or compote.
- You do not have to prune hawthorn, especially if you want the hedge to look very natural. However, if it overgrows other plants or becomes too large, it will still tolerate pruning well.
I have 30 years of experience and i started this website to see if i could try and share my knowledge to help you.
With a degree a Horticulture BSc (Hons)
I have worked as a horticulture specialist lead gardener, garden landscaper, and of course i am a hobby gardener at home in my own garden.
Please if you have any questions leave them on the article and i will get back to you personally.