The English countryside is filled with hedgerows, lines of closely spaced shrubs and trees that have been carefully planted and trained to form a dense barrier that provides privacy, reduces sound pollution and protects against wind.
Unlike wood or metal fences, hedgerows get better with age as their trees and shrubs mature. They never need painting and take only a little pruning now and again to keep them looking good. Hedgerows also provide places for birds to nest, attract beneficial insects, reduce pests and soil erosion and help hold water.
Granted, they take some time to grow. You’ll need to start by plowing or discing the soil for your hedgerow in the spring, a year before you plan to plant the trees and shrubs. Once the soil has been well worked, plant annual legumes or cereal grains, allow them to grow and then plow them under in the fall to add nutrients to the soil.
Plant the tallest trees first. Make sure planting holes are wide and deep enough to hold and cover roots, then mound dirt around the edge of the planting area to help hold water. Spread mulch to retain moisture and discourage weeds. Position shorter shrubs next to the trees and repeat the process.
With just a modicum of care, your hedgerow will grow bigger and more beautiful every year, superior in every way to a fence!