Establish a bare-root box hedge

Plant it correctly now for a lush feature next year

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Bare-roots are cheaper and, generally, much stronger plants than container-grown – so it’s a no-brainer to use this time of year when they’re available, and when you have fewer jobs around the garden, to get planting. It’s often around now you’ll be planning for new features for next year, too – perhaps you’re intending getting a new hedge established or upping the shrub count in your borders. Well, there’s just a few things to take note of when you get down to it.

To prepare your planting site, dig over the soil so it’s airy and easily workable and ensure the area is well-drained and weed-free.

Bonemeal and a helping of compost will help the plants and the soil, but mix it all in well to evenly dilute and distribute all the goodness.

Try to plant straight away, with a trench slightly wider than the roots and level to the top of the root system. Tease the roots out a bit and hold the plant in place while backfilling the hole with soil. Firm down, water and, for extra protection, apply a bark mulch to help prevent frost, weeds and moisture loss.

Bare-roots are robust, and will thrive, as long as you water them in dry spells and ensure the new plants aren’t competing with grass or weeds too closely. Box (buxus) hedging is stalwart, amenable to lots of clipping and shaping, as well as hard pruning, but can be prone to blight.