Fertilizing Hornbeam Hedge: Tips On Timing And Choice Of Fertilizer

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Even if hornbeams are very robust, they are happy to be fertilized every now and then. We show what you should consider when fertilizing hornbeam hedges.

Hornbeams ( Carpinus betulus ) have trunks and leaves like beeches and look like them – almost. Because hornbeams are actually not beeches at all. They belong to the birch family (Betulaceae) and are only incorrectly referred to as beeches ( Fagus ) due to their similarity. As a native plant, hornbeams are optimally adapted to our Central European climate. That simplifies maintenance immensely. In nature, the trees prefer particularly nutrient-rich soils. A good prerequisite for a healthy hornbeam hedge is deep garden soil. If you do not have this, you should enrich the soil with matured compost or a primarily organic long-term fertilizer before planting.The hornbeam is very easy to cut and easy to care for - you will therefore have little trouble with fertilization

Fertilizing hornbeam hedge: the right time

Hornbeams actually only need fertilizer when they are young, or when they show symptoms of deficiency and stunted growth. Start fertilization for planting is definitely recommended. In principle, however, fertilization should only be carried out in spring shortly after the new shoot. Fertilization later in the year can lead to frost damage the following winter.

What should be used to fertilize hornbeam hedges?

Hornbeams are considered to be extremely robust. The fertilization is accordingly rather economical. As a rule, it is sufficient to only fertilize younger plants. In the case of older specimens, this is usually unnecessary. With their heart-shaped root system, the plants can penetrate deep into the soil and collect nutrients. A wide variety of native mycorrhizal fungi, with which they live in symbiosis, are helpful.The hornbeam's own leaves are the best fertilizer

The best fertilizer for hornbeam hedges is their own leaves. They have very easily decomposable leaves that make excellent hummus. So just leave the leaves under the plants in favor of the hedge. The result is good hummus with valuable nutrients, improved soil fertility, and comfort conditions for mycorrhizal fungi. If the soil is not very good or your plants show symptoms of deficiency such as pale leaves, you can supplement them with various mainly organic fertilizers.

Mainly fertilize hornbeam hedges organically: application recommendation

Organic fertilizers not only bring nutrients into the soil but also promote soil fertility and soil activity. But you don’t have to overdo it. It is enough if you give a portion of finished compost or organic fertilizer with organic long-term effects such as our organic universal fertilizer in the spring.

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Mineral fertilize hornbeam hedges

Mineral fertilization is not recommended for hornbeams. The plants are among the less demanding plants that can cope with little. Too much fertilizer does more damage than a lack. Therefore, to be on the safe side, use primarily organic fertilizers to avoid over-fertilization. Mineral fertilizers are more readily available to the plant, which makes over-fertilization more likely. If you still want to use a mineral fertilizer, then you should opt for a depot fertilizer.

Fertilize hornbeam hedges with home remedies

Fertilizing hedges with home remedies is rather time-consuming, as home remedies usually come on a smaller scale. It is, therefore, better to stick to organic materials such as compost or manure in smaller quantities. The best fertilizer, however, is the plants’ own foliage. It contains what is necessary for the formation of new leaves.It is best to leave the fallen leaves underneath the hedge - they will decompose into excellent humus over time


Hornbeam hedges fertilize at a glance:

  • Hornbeams are perfectly adapted to domestic conditions
  • Deep, good garden soil is the ideal prerequisite
  • If necessary, improve the soil with compost or some manure before planting
  • Fertilize only at a young age in the spring shortly after the new shoots
  • Soil fertility and humus formation can be promoted by mainly organic fertilizers
  • If fallen leaves are left lying around, the nutrients can be recycled

You can find out how to shape your hornbeam hedge in our article on trimming hedges.

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