I did a calculation for the cost of planting a new hedge. This is based on bareroot plants (i.e. planting between November and March) which i think establish more quickly, and are cheaper. I have based the cost on the discount on enough plants for a 25M length, longer hedges will need more plants and bulk price will be cheaper. I have chosen the largest plants that will establish quickly – taller plants will give more instant effect, will cost more (often a lot more!), and they will sit-still for a year or two, so they are only worth planting on a boundary where it is important to have a demarcation from day one to stop pedestrian straying over the boundary etc. In my experience the smaller plants will have caught up with 2M plants after 3 years.
When I plant a new hedge I install a leaky-hose along its length, so that I can water the hedge easily by just hooking up my hose and leaving it to run for an hour or so rather than standing there watering each plant (let’s say 5 – 10 seconds per plant, for most hedge types 25 metres is 75 plants, so that is 6 – 12 minutes per watering; 3 times a week for 5-6 months is 3 to 4 hours in total. Longer hedges obviously have a bigger payback.
I also put woven weed suppressing membrane along the base of the hedge, this acts as a mulch keeping the moisture in, but also stops weeds / grass growing as they will compete with the hedge plants for fertiliser and, more importantly, water. You can cover the membrane with gravel or bark, but unless the hedge is in a prime position where the membrane would look unsightly I would not cover it with anything – whatever you use some weed seeds will grow in it! Much less than if you have no membrane at all, but even so it adds to the maintenance effort. For all but the slowest hedges the plants will have grown wide enough to obscure the membrane after about 3 years.
Cost of hedge plants based on 25M length, prices shown are per metre [with a target price per plant in brackets]. Longer hedges, more plants, will be cheaper per-plant.
|Beech||60/80cm||bareroot||3/M||£3.53||5/M||£5.88||[£1.18]||(not suitable for heavy soil, plant Hornbeam instead)|
|Holly||40/60cm||potted||3/M||£17.64||[£5.88]||(I would buy, cheaper, cell-grown seedlings)|
Add the cost of ancillaries:
|£0.40||per M||Mypex / Zebel woven UV stabilised weed suppressing membrane, 1M wide 100 gsm||50M £0.46/M, 100M £0.41/M, shorter lengths can be quite a lot more expensive|
|£0.65||per M||1/2″ leaky hose|
|£0.11||per plant||Rootgrow (mycorrhizal fungi root stimulant)||based on pack size / price of 150g (40 plants) £4.95, 360g (85 plants) £9.50, 1kg (235 plants) £24.95. More Mycorrhizal fungi is needed, per plant, if the plant / rootball is larger.|
Here’s a worked example:
|Price of plant||e.g. £2.00|
|Number per Metre||x||e.g. 3|
|Plant cost per metre||=||e.g. £6.33|
|Mypex per Metre||+||£0.40|
|Leaky hose per Metre||+||£0.65|
|Number of Metres||x||e.g. 25|
|Total cost||=||e.g. £184.50|
Here’s a formula that you can bung into Google, alter the figures as appropriate:
((( 2.00 + 0.11 ) x 3 ) + 0.40 + 0.65 ) x 25 =