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Planting a Privet Hedge
When picking out your privets, you need to decide on whether you want deciduous shrubs or evergreen ones. For those that desire privacy throughout the year, then evergreen privates are the solution. Privates will grow in almost any kind of soil and when they become established, they can tolerate wet or dry conditions without failing. Although they prefer to grow in sunny locations, they will grow well in shady areas.
Decide where you want to plant your privet hedge. To figure out how many privet hedge trees you need, measure the area. The amount of spacing required between each private plant is 12 inches. Divide the area by 12 and add an extra one for the beginning of your shrub line. When planting your privet hedge, keep them at least 18 inches inside your property line. Also, if you are going to plant a hedge by the sidewalk, driveway or wall, you will need to keep them 18 inches away.
Dig the Holes
Prepare the soil before you begin planting. Pull out any grass or weeds growing in the planting area. Till or dig up the soil going down to a depth of 2 to 3 feet. Remove any hard clumps of dirt, rocks, sticks or other debris. Take a spade or shovel and dig all the holes you will need for your hedge. If you purchased the privets in a container, dig each hole twice the depth and width as the container. If your privet plants are bare-root, then dig the holes twice as deep as the tap-root and twice the width as the side roots. Also, soak your bare-root plants in a bucket of water at least one hour before you plant them into the ground.
In order to give your privet a head start, fill each hole with water. When the water has drained naturally into the soil, toss in some blood and bone meal at the bottom of the holes. With your shovel, cover the bone meal with some of the dry soil that you removed when digging the holes. If your privet shrub is in a plastic container, you need to remove it before planting. Once you have it knocked out of the pot, check the roots. If you can see them around the outside of the soil ball, tease them away from the rootball. Otherwise they will continue to grow in a circle and will eventually choke the privet to death.
Take the privet shrub and place the root ball into the hole. Begin to back fill the soil into the hole until you have the hole half done. Firm the soil around the rootball, and then add the remaining soil. As you fill in the hole, check the trunk of the shrub to make sure it is upright and not slanting or crooked. Make a ring of soil around the base of each shrub hole. This keeps the water on your privet roots.
After you have planted six of the shrubs in the ground, go back and begin to water them in. You can set the water pressure to a light flow and allow the water to run. When the water is standing in the ring, move the hose to the next shrub. You will want to water every privet shrub planted. Keep the privet hedge well watered for two weeks. After that, you can begin to taper the water off to harden them in. This will encourage their roots to grow deep into the ground and not stay on the surface.
If you want your privets to fill in better and provide a more dense form of pirvacy, prune them three or four times after they bloom during the summer months.
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