Thursday, 24 March 2022

Japanese Maple Help & Information

 Acer or Japanese Maple

There are increasing numbers of new and interesting forms almost by the month. They range from dwarf shrubs up to small trees.

No garden is complete without the beauty of a Japanese maple. The colour in the Autumn alone is enough to warrant their use, add that to the pleasure the delicate foliage moving gently in a summer breeze, and you have perfection for 9 months of the year.

The dissectum varieties are better for smaller shrubs forming domes of arching deeply cut leaves. Once you have one you will want more and more.

Acers that can tolerate more sun - although the odd leaf still may scorch in the hot sun. The red varieties prefer more sun as the red is stronger

beni hime - red

kamagata - green

red pygmy - red

seiryu - green

Acers that prefer the shade, they can go a little in the sun but can get scorched:

asahi zuru

orange dream

tsuma beni

ukigumo

Growing and Planting

They are easy to grow and prefer a little dapple shade and a site out of strong winds. Best planted in slightly acidic soil and not too wet. 

If your soil is not acidic, including some peat in the backfill is enough. 

They are also the perfect plant for a pot. If they are in a pot remember to wrap the pot well in Winter or take inside to stop the frost killing the roots.

When watering acers they need it consistent, you can't afford to let the dry out and then increase the water to compensate for the lack of water. Ideally, they would be best having a bit daily or get them in the soil rather than a pot. 

 Pruning Japanese Maples

You should consider pruning it in Autumn/Winter when the sap is falling as doing it in spring can make them bleed too much and it is possible to lose entire limbs.

If it is essential, do it, use the wound seal treatment on the cut. It's not a bad idea to get into the habit of using wound seal every time you cut into an acer.

Feeding Acers

Use the organic chicken pellets or the ericaceous food in little amounts and do it often as using too much in one go could scorch leaves.


View all our Acers on our website here: https://www.grasslands.co.uk/shrubs-direct-from-our-own-nursery/japanese-maples.html


Wednesday, 2 March 2022

How to plant a laurel hedge

How to plant a laurel hedge

Laurel hedges are extremely popular in the UK because they’re an evergreen plant that are relatively easy to look after. They are happy to grow in the shade, during cold weather and even in heavy clay soil. They also grow quite fast, making them the perfect plant if you’re looking for some privacy. But if you want your hedging to thrive, it needs to be planted correctly. 

There are a few varieties of laurel hedge. For the purpose of this post, we’ve picked the most popular variation, the cherry laurel hedge (Prunus Laurocerasus), so do check which type you’ve purchased before following our advice.

Below, we’ve summarised when and how to plant a laurel hedge, as well as how quickly it can grow. 


man on a step ladder trimming a green laurel hedge
When should you plant a laurel hedge?
If you’re transferring your laurel hedge from a pot or container into a prepared bed of soil, it can be planted at any time of year. However, for the best and fastest results, you should try to plant the hedge around mid-autumn. This will give it enough time to develop its roots before the spring/summer when the weather is much dryer. When it’s first planted, your laurel hedge will require plenty of watering (unless it rains very frequently), particularly during the peak growing season of March to October. 



How far apart do you plant laurel hedging?
You should position each plant two to three feet apart, depending on how quickly you want a dense hedge to form. If you want a thick hedge quickly, plant them two feet apart, otherwise plant them at three feet intervals.

How to plant laurel hedging
First, you should clear the area, taking care to remove any weeds, grass or other plants. Do this with a garden fork or a small trowel. If there are lots of weeds in the area, you can add some weed killer around two weeks before you plant the hedge. This won’t have an effect on the laurel, but the weed killer will make sure any weeds in the surrounding area are dead. 

Then you should dig the holes for your hedges. It’s a good idea to dig a hole that’s twice the width of the hedge’s base - you can fill this in later. When you dig the hole, ensure that you churn up the soil at the bottom so the roots can bury down more easily. If your soil is particularly hard or sandy, add some loam-based compost to the bottom of the hole. For normal soil, add some controlled-release feed that will give the plant a head start for growing. 

Once you’ve prepped the hole, it’s time to put the plant in. Wiggle the plant slowly out of its current container and place it in the middle of the hole. Make sure the top of the roots are one or two inches below the surface of the soil. This is similar for a rootballed plant as you would just leave the hessian sacking the plant is in on and then bury the whole sack covering to the top of where the rootball comes to on the stem.

Refill the hole with soil and gently press down with the sole of your foot to secure the soil around the base of the hedge making sure to give a good water while doing this.

How fast do laurel hedges grow?
Given the right conditions, a laurel hedge can grow up to two feet a year. This can depend on the soil type, whether it’s in sunlight or shade and how sheltered from the wind it is.

With plenty of water, your laurel hedge should thrive and reward you all year long.

We hope this guide helps with your planting however if you have any questions not covered in this guide, please call us on 01565 722766 or email us at support@grasslands.co.uk

Friday, 21 January 2022

Thuja Hedging Information

Thuja or Western Red / White Cedar

I get asked this quite often what the differences are between the different types of Thujas as they are all fairly similar to the untrained eye however hopefully this guide below will help you identify which variety of Thuja you think would work best for your garden. This guide is not for all of the Thuja Varieties however it covers the main ones that we have in stock.

For an evergreen conifer hedge or large screen there is nothing better than a Thuja as they stand clipping very well and un-like leylandii can recover if you get a little ambitious with the cutter. When you brush the bright green foliage the scales release an enjoyable scent of spice. The bright green new growth turns darker with age and bronzes in winter. They thrive well in shade as well as sun. Thuja will grow about 45-60cm each year.

There are a few different Thuja options depending on the look you are after, however these are some of our most sold varieties: 

Thuja Emerald - this is an elegant form with tightly knit bright green foliage. Has a more defined shape

Thuja Brabant - light yellowish green foliage that takes a bronze tinge during the winter months. 

Thuja Excelsior - has dark green shiny foliage, sometimes a bronze tinge again in winter.

Thuja Atrovirens - rich green foliage

All varieties grow at a similar speed and respond well to same aftercare


Thuja Martin Rootball


Clipping Thuja

Prune them once a year and then do a tidy up again later in the season to keep them looking smart. As they are easy to maintain it can be done with hedge cutters or shears. Generally trimming at the end of summer or at the beginning of spring.

Feeding Thuja's

Give them plenty of organic fertiliser in early spring to keep them looking lush. We usually recommend using something natural like a Chicken pellet manure or something similar as it works well on a variety of different plants.

If you are unsure please take a look on our plant food page on our website or call us 01565 722 766 to find out which feed works best for you.

Dislikes

They don't want to stand in water other than that they will grow anywhere and all soils. Virtually trouble free.

Thuja do not like the extremes, either too much water or too little is not good for the plants, so if your Thujas are starting to turn brown then the main problems generally are caused by lack of or too much water. The good news is that even if Thuja start to go brown then if you give them a trim then the dead foliage will regrow if cut back.

They are a great option for hedging, take a look on our website for our Thujas here


Thuja Emerald