La Feria News

Fall is the perfect time to plant hedges

By ANN JOHNSTON
LFN

As we enjoy our slightly cooler weather for Fall in our Valley, we have certain gardening activities that fit this season. One is planting hedges. The soil is easier to dig after some autumn rains and is still warm enough for roots to catch hold. The roots can then bring nourishment up to the plant for them to get established enough for winter time.

Purple Sage, an easy care native, makes a nice hedge that blooms on new growth after a rain. Photos: Ann Johnston / LFN

There are several areas where you would plant hedges. Traditional and formal yards use lots of hedges around foundations of buildings and homes and along fences and boundaries.

Carissa or Natal plum has several varieties that grow to different heights. It is a nice evergreen plant.

Suggestion: Always consider why the hedge is being planted. Is it for a windbreak, privacy, to mark property lines, line sidewalks, provide color, soften appearance of fences or walls, or to provide food and homes for wildlife?

  • Research your favorite plants as to height, width, and style of architecture nearby. Short plants should be under windows and tall against fences and walls.
  • Is the hedge to provide privacy or block noise from the street?
  • Are the plant choices evergreen or will the whole area end up bare of leaves in the winter even in our tropical Valley?
    Hint: Have a base of evergreen plants mixed with deciduous ones that might drop their leaves.
  • Some plants like it dry; some shady; and others just like the opposite. For instance: bougainvillea doesn’t like regular watering from sprinkler systems if you intend for it to bloom well. Turk’s Cap enjoys some shade. Be sure you are aware of a plant’s particular needs and don’t mix types of hedge plants with opposing ones.
Ixora makes a shorter hedge that has very showy, yellow, reddish orange or pinkish clusters of blooms. It does get affected by freezes but will come back if you leave it alone and don’t pull it up because it looks bad for a while.

Hint: Don’t think you can use a tall-growing plant and keep it trimmed to fit a short area. You are just setting yourself up for continuous work!

  • If time is a consideration, fences are faster and need less maintenance!

Come back through the Garden Gate next week for more suggestions and hints for gardening in our Magic Valley.

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