Beech and red beech hedges skillfully set accents in the garden. However, for them to offer optimal privacy protection, they must be fertilized regularly and correctly.
European beeches ( Fagus sylvatica ) are often used as a hedge because of their winter hardiness, the year-round opacity, and their easy-care nature. Unfortunately, hedge plants are often left out when fertilizing, because they usually get along without any action. But there is a clear difference between living and surviving. Particularly fast-growing plants such as the beech should be supplied with sufficient nutrients. Fertilization is particularly important in the first few years. This is the only way for the plants to grow optimally and to be resistant to diseases and pests.
Beech hedge: when to fertilize?
In the first year, the European beech is still supplied with enough nutrients if you have properly prepared the soil before planting. From the second year onwards there is additional fertilization. The fertilization takes place in spring. This means that your plants have enough nutrients when the first growth spurt sets in April. If the fertilizer is applied several times, the last fertilization takes place in July at the latest.
Otherwise, the beech will sprout again too late. The shoots that have formed are not yet mature and freeze to death with the first frost. Regular fertilization is only essential for young beeches, older, healthy beech trees no longer need fertilization. They are robust and can do without additional nutrients.
Beech hedge: what to fertilize with?
In the case of one-time fertilization, fertilizers with a long-term effect are used. The following are possible:
- Lawn clippings
- Horn shavings
- Long-term fertilizer (liquid or granulate)
There are also special fertilizers for beech hedges. These are NPK fertilizers with organically bound long-term nitrogen, which promises even, compact growth. Leaving shed leaves underneath the hedge also serves as an additional source of nutrients. With regular fertilization from March to July, liquid fertilizer in the irrigation water is used.
Fertilize beech hedge with organic or mineral fertilizers?
Inorganic fertilizers, the nutrients are bound to carbon. Inorganic or mineral fertilizers are chemically processed. Here the nutrients are in salt form. Both variants have advantages and disadvantages. Mineral fertilizers are more concentrated and more quickly available in the soil. If you do not want to do intensive agriculture, mineral fertilizers are not recommended.
They must be dosed carefully and if applied incorrectly, they can quickly become a burden for the soil and, above all, for the groundwater. The organic variants stay longer in the soil and are broken down thereby microorganisms. In this way, they are completely available for the plants and on top of that, healthy soil life is promoted. They are also more resource-efficient than the industrially processed mineral fertilizers.
A little hint: Popular fertilizers such as blue grain, Epsom salt, and calcium cyanamide are also mineral fertilizers.
Beech hedge: how often and how much fertilize?
If a fertilizer with long-term effects such as our primarily organic Gardender organic universal fertilizer is used, it is only fertilized once a year. Otherwise, fertilization is carried out regularly in the growth phase from March to June. The “solid” fertilizer variants such as compost, granules, and the like are scattered on the ground in the root area and carefully worked into the soil with a rake. Avoid damaging roots. Liquid fertilizer is mixed with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions and used to water the plants.
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