How do I grow cedar hedges? Before you spend too much time and energy on this question make sure you really want to, or should grow a cedar hedge. Growing a cedar hedge is a long term proposition and to be successful must be planted in the conditions suitable to growing cedars. Typically cedars are water hogs, so if you live in a dry arid area you must have reliable irrigation. If this is not the case I strongly suggest you consider another alternative. If you are coastal with adequate natural rains irrigation will not be such as issue.
So, if you have adequate irrigation available, how do you grow a cedar hedge? Cedars are not overly difficult or fussy to grow. Probably the most important step is to purchase good quality container plants. There is no sense planting a diseased or half dead potted cedar because no matter how you try it will never become the specimen you imagine. Beware of the bargains at the Big Box Stores. They look good at the time but that’s about all. Most are dried out and root bound. You are much better off to visit a reliable garden center which cares for and knows their product. It may cost a bit more, but a cedar hedge of any size is itself an investment in your future landscaping so that little bit more is more than worth it.
You will need to purchase enough potted plants to cover the length of your hedge at a planting distance of about 4 feet apart from center to center. Average garden soil is adequate. Dig your planting holes slightly deeper than the height of the pot and about two times wider. Loosen the soil and add an organic fertilizer such as compost, manure or bone meal. Water your hole and place the cedar so that the top of the soil is even with the level of your ground. Try not to disturb the roots. It is not a good idea to pull apart the roots as some people suggest. Refill the hole with soil and tap down lightly but firmly. Water in well.
For the first season of growth watering is essential. A good solid watering once a week is better than many short shallow waterings. If the weather is very hot watering more than once a week may be required. Given yearly fertilizing and consistent water, how to grow cedar hedges is not a big secret. How to grow tall cedar hedges is even easier, simply do not prune them, or if you do, do so sparingly. Generally no pruning is required until the desired height is reached. Under average growing conditions you can expect about one foot of growth per year.
I hope this information has been helpful in your quest for how to grow cedar hedges. If you enjoy english gardens knowing how to incorporate a cedar will be an asset.