How to Plant an Instant Hedge or Hedge Bag

If you want a hedge but don’t want to wait for it to grow, instant hedges are the ideal solution.  They provide a gratifying hedge in just a few hours.

No more waiting years and pruning patiently to get the show garden standards.


instant hedge

Instant hedges are supplied as 1 metre units and will require two people to lift.

1.    Once you receive the instant hedge unit water it thoroughly, and leave for a few hours or overnight before planting, watering it again a few more times to ensure that it is thoroughly watered throughout the complete root system.

2.    Dig a trench roughly one and a quarter times as deep and wide as the instant hedging trough or bag. Loosen up the soil around the trench with a fork to ensure that it is free draining. Backfill with some well-rotted organic matter or multipurpose compost plus grit for drainage. Put enough of this mix into the trench so that when you place the hedge unit into the trench it is slightly proud of the surface. This is to avoid the top of the root system ending up below the surrounding soil after planting. This can result in the plant stem rot due to being in constant contact with damp soil.

3.    Remove the hedging unit from the hedge bag and rub some Rootgrow around the whole root system, following the recommended quantities found on the packet.

4.    Sprinkle Rootgrow on top of the backfill and lift the hedge unit into the trench (you’ll need two people for this).

5.    Backfill with your soil/compost mix, and firm the hedging unit down into the trench both sides of the hedge unit to fill in the area around the roots.

6.    Press it down firmly all around the top of the hedge to ensure the hedge compost and the backfill are in contact, this will also expel any large air spaces. Then rake up the surrounding soil to the level of the rootball.

7.    If available, cover the surface with a mulch, such as gravel or bark chippings.

8.    To ensure the newly planted shrub rootball does not dry out make 5 holes about 1 cm diametre and 2 cm deep into the top of the rooball using a dipper, or spike on both sides of the hedgebag. Alternatively, just break up the surface of the rootball so that it is quite loose and permeable. This way, when you water around the stem of the plant, it will be able to permeates into the rootball.

9.    Water your new hedge well and then sit back and enjoy the instant impact it adds to your garden.


instant hedge


Drought stress is common with newly planted trees and shrubs. Even with cold, wet summers, the rain rarely replenishes soil moisture stores fully. The soil may be dry around the roots even when the surface appears moist.

Dry, windy conditions are especially likely to lead to water shortages. With experience, it is possible to detect the dull, lifeless foliage indicative of drought stress but by then the hedge has already been damaged. Ideally irrigate to prevent damage.

Watering aids can assist watering of newly planted trees such as an irrigation dripper system.

Overwatering is possible, especially on poor draining soils and with automatic irrigation systems, which leads to rotting roots and symptoms similar to drought. If in doubt dig down with a trowel to the side of the rootball to see if the soil is beginning to dry before watering.


Fertilisers do not need to be added at planting time because the rootgrow mycorrhizal fungi will be feeding the roots, but it can be used a season after planting if the soil is very poor or a boost to growth is required. Use a 6 month slow release granular fertilizer.


Wait until the first of the new foliage has turned from red to green – generally about six weeks into the new season.

Prune once or twice annually to keep your new hedge tidy and to maintain its desired size.

More regular pruning will encourage new growth.


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