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Planting a Hedge Next to a Fence? Everything You Need to Know

Planting a Hedge Next to a Fence? Everything You Need to Know

Sometimes when planting a hedge, it’s placed next to a fence by default. However, you may choose to plant hedges adjacent to fencing because, when combined, they provide several great benefits.

Before planting, it’s important to know how close to the fence you can plant and what type of hedge will fare best in your garden. Each species of hedge will mature differently, and some need more space and light, while others like specific soil conditions.

Read on to explore the benefits of combining a fence with a hedge, provide tips on choosing the right plants, and offer guidance on planting and maintaining your hedge for long-lasting enjoyment.

Benefits of Planting a Hedge Next to a Fence

The combination of a fence and a hedge offers numerous advantages for homeowners. It enhances privacy by providing an additional barrier that screens your property from prying eyes.

The hedge acts as a living, green wall, effectively obscuring views, blocking out unwanted sights and sounds, and creating a secluded oasis. A fence provides structural support for the hedge, preventing it from spreading or growing unevenly.

Planting a hedge next to a fence adds aesthetic value to your outdoor space. The natural beauty of a well-maintained hedge can enhance the overall appeal of your property, creating a pleasant ambience while serving as a backdrop for other plants.

Choosing the Right Hedge

Choosing the right plants for your hedge ensures its longevity and effectiveness.

Here are the factors to consider when selecting hedge plants:

Your Motivation

Think about why you’re planting the hedge. If you want to improve privacy and block out noise, choose an evergreen hedge that retains its leaves all year round. Laurel, yew, leylandii, privet, and box are all good options. If the hedge is aesthetic, you may want coloured foliage Castlewellan Gold and Photinia Red Robin can both add texture and variety to your garden.

Hedges used to form a maze

Growth Characteristics

Plants with dense foliage and vertical growth habits fill the space in front of your fence quickly and effectively. Laurel and Thuja are both quick-growing options.

Light and Shade

Depending on the direction of your garden, your hedge may get plenty of sunlight, or it may stay in the shade for most of the day. Choose plants that will thrive in your garden. Native species will often adapt well to local conditions and require less maintenance.

Maintenance Requirements

Some hedges require more care than others. Decide on the right hedge based on the level of maintenance you’re willing to undertake. Some plants may require regular pruning or trimming, while others are low-maintenance.

Height and Width

Determine the desired height and width of your hedge to ensure it complements the fence and suits your privacy needs. Consider how the plants will grow over time and choose based on the space available.

Planting & Maintenance

Hedges need enough space, the right soil quality, and water and light. Here are some planting and maintenance tips.

Preparing the Soil

Before planting, ensure the soil is well-drained and weed-free. Plants need nutrients from the soil, including potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Loosen the soil and add compost to improve its fertility.

Digging the Trench

Dig a trench around 50-75 cm deep along the length of the fence, ensuring it is wide enough to accommodate the root system of the chosen plants.

To determine where to dig in relation to the fence, find out the spread or mature width of your chosen plant, divide this number in half, and use this as the distance between the fence and the hole you’re digging.

Planting the Hedge

Place the selected plants in the trench, spacing them according to their mature width. Backfill the trench with soil, firming it gently around the roots. Water thoroughly after planting to help settle the soil.

Learn more about how to grow a hedge quickly.

Mulching and Watering

Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the hedge to retain moisture, suppress weed growth, and provide insulation. Water the hedge regularly, especially during the establishment phase, to encourage healthy root development.

Read more in our guide to watering your hedge.


Depending on the plant species and soil conditions, periodic fertilisation may be necessary. Follow the recommended fertilisation schedule and use a balanced fertiliser to promote healthy growth.

Pruning and Shaping

Regular pruning is essential to maintain the desired shape and density of your hedge. Follow recommended pruning guidelines for the specific plant species and trim any dead or overgrown branches as required.

Read our blog about pruning your hedge.

Man trimming a garden hedge

Hedge Advice from the Experts

Planting a hedge next to a fence isn’t difficult, but it does require consolidation and planning. At Mathias Nurseries, our experienced team is here to help.

Contact us for information on any of our products and plants, and we’ll ensure you’re confident about planting and maintaining your hedge.

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