Gardening

10 Reasons to put hedges in the garden: The best tips

Today I am going to talk to you about the importance of hedges in the organic garden . We have already seen in a post such as that of Ecological Agriculture and Urban Gardens   what are the good practices that should be carried out if what you want is to grow organic food . Actions that help increase the diversity of species in and around the orchard, favor pollination or protect the soil from erosion are some of these practices. The hedges can play a fundamental role in the organic garden since with them these objectives are achieved.

Logically, if you have a planter a table garden or other types of cultivation containers,   it is not the case to talk about the hedges; But if you have a small or large garden or an orchard and you have enough space, it can be very interesting to plant a perimeter hedge or even hedges to divide the different areas of the garden . In this post I will explain why and how to do it right.

Ten benefits and uses of hedges in the garden

  1. The hedges serve as an enclosure , establishing the boundaries of the garden in a more aesthetically pleasing and natural way than a brick wall or a fence.
  2. They protect the plants if we have problems of strong winds or prevailing winds in a certain direction.
  3. They are a plant barrier that protects not only the plants, but also  protects the soil from erosion and runoff,  which cause the structure and adequate amount of water for the substrate to be lost.
  4. They contribute to the increase of biodiversity , one of the basic aspects of organic farming. With the hedge, new plant species are introduced into the garden, but also insects and microorganisms.
  5. Food sources increase and a varied habitat is created, in such a way that the presence of auxiliary insects that are beneficial for the garden, such as pollinators or those that are natural enemies of some garden pests , is favored .
  6. They collaborate in the creation of a more suitable microclimate, providing  shade and humidity.
  7. They are a source of food and shelter for insects, birds or small mammals , which prevents them from passing to the garden plants to feed and becoming pests.
  8. The hedge is an  “ecological corridor” , a transit zone that allows insects to move outside or within the garden and reproduce.
  9. Producers of wood or organic matter that can be reused in the organic garden to make compost , mulching , etc. (Recycling is also one of the bases of Ecological Agriculture).
  10. Species can be used to provide us with fruits such as blackberries, raspberries, blueberries .. . that we can harvest and use in our desserts or to make delicious homemade jams.

How should the hedges be in the garden?

– Experts recommend wide and dense hedges (at least one meter wide) to achieve a strong and diverse ecosystem that can be a good refuge for beneficial fauna.

– The hedge must be varied, made up of species of different types : plants of various sizes, evergreen and deciduous, with distributed flowering and fruiting (not all shrubs or bushes of plants bloom or bear fruit at the same time, but rather have a flowering spread over time), with woody and herbaceous plants at the base that help maintain humidity and protect the soil even more …

Use species with hollow stems or soft pith , such as alder, elderberry or raspberry, since they favor the nesting inside of beneficial insects such as bees.

– Plant young plants (60-90 cm high) that are more likely to take root in the new terrain and are also cheaper than older ones.

–  Plant in autumn after having prepared and fertilized the land properly.

– Place the bushes or bushes of the hedge at a distance of approximately one meter.

– If you want to avoid having to remove “weeds” you can often cover the soil at the base of the plants with mulching of straw, rocks or vegetable fiber mesh .

Watering is important, especially at the beginning so that the plants take root well in the ground and also in those fruit bushes such as raspberry or blueberry, which need a lot of water. You can put a drip irrigation and forget about it.

– The maintenance that the hedges need is not too much, but it is advisable to prune them a couple of times a year , one in the middle of summer and another in winter.

What species to plant in the hedge?

In the next post  Interesting species for hedges in the organic garden   I will tell you about the most used plants for hedges in orchards and why they are useful. We miss it! Essential if you want to make the most of the functions of the hedges in the garden.

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