By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Create a living barrier and plant a hedge for privacy from neighbors or to muffle noisy traffic. And a thick dense hedge can provide security and deter intruders. A hedge has endearing qualities that make it much more than a mere barrier and is better than a wooden fence because it's such an attractive way to soften sounds and enclose your property. A gardener can use its lush tangle of leaves as a backdrop for a bed of flowers, and it might just be what brings songbirds to take up residence. On the negative side, a hedge is a commitment; it will involve regular maintenance, including weeding, clipping and trimming.
Here's how much it costs. A landscaper will charge $1050 to plant a 50-foot hedge of Leyland cypress, which grows relatively fast so it's a popular choice for hedging material. You can put in 6 plants for the hedge yourself for $600 and save 43 percent. The job involves digging the holes for the plants, fertilizing the soil and planting them.
Get planting advice from a local garden center, and choose hedging material that grows well in your area and property conditions. Ask about spacing requirements so you allow plenty of growing room between the plants. To experiment with the placement for a hedge, use a garden hose to outline where you’d like to plant it. Find out what type and how much fertilizer to add and the best time to clip and trim the hedge.
Evergreen Hedging features Which Hedge? Hedging Plants Explained.
Before you begin any planting between your and your neighbors' yards, consult your survey so you (and your neighbors) know where property lines are.
The investment in time and material is low when you consider that a hedge will grow and thrive for years to come. Don't enjoy digging in the dirt? Go to Home Advisor, a free referral service that connects homeowners with local contractors.
The bottom line: compare the price of a contractor’s bid to plant a hedge with what it costs to do it yourself and make your decision. You adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2019