Hedge laying is an ancient practice and at one time many “productive plants” were part of the plant. Sometimes this was done with fruit tree grafted together, hazelnuts or even old cottage roses that provided thorns and huge hips as a crop. Other times the “productivity” took on a different bent like using willow and gaining material for weaving or making charcoal (specifically artist charcoal).
Hedges were seen as a permanent fence that required only a little maintenance and largely took care of themselves. In the 1600s one didn’t run down to Home Depot and order delivery of say 25 6 foot tall, 8 food wide cedar fence panels and some posts if they needed two hundred feet of fencing. They established a hedge. This hedge would serve their great grandchildren and feed both the family and animals during all those generations.
In this modern era a hedge has become a bunch of unproductive “Red Tips”, the grow fast and hide the busy street or block out your neighbors but they tend to just die one day (usually at 6-12 years of age) and then you have to cut them down and start over. They provide nothing but a requirement that you trim them and clean up after them. There has to be a better way! Today we discuss that.
Join me today as we discuss…
- What is a hedge vs. a fedge
- Can you put layers into a hedge system
- Do hedges have to be continuous to be effective
- Why is a hedge a good idea even if you have a fence
- How to select plants for your hedge system
- 14 Forgotten or Unusual Plants for Fedge Systems
- Chilean and Pineapple Guava
- Nanking Cherry
- Sea Berries
- Goji Berry
- Old standbys that make great fedges
- Semi Dwarf Fruit Trees
- Chinese Chestnut
- Thoughts on some unique ideas
- Food forests with a fedge as the herbaceous layer
- A food forest system of multitiered fedges
- Hugulkulture based fedge systems
- Managing animals in hedge/fedge systems
- The fedge based paddock system (padfeging?)