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How To Fill Gaps In A Conifer Hedge [In 5 Easy Steps]

Hedges are an excellent alternative to fences and walls because they create a more relaxed environment for everyone. But hedges are also prone to damages brought by some natural disasters, such as storm, which creates gaps in your hedge.

Well, we researched ways to help you fill the gaps in your conifer hedge and have some ideas below!

There are several ways to fill the gaps in a conifer hedge. Some ideas we have are:

  1. Choose big plants
  2. Position the plant properly
  3. Give large spacing
  4. Build boundaries
  5. Proper plant caring

Continue reading as we discuss each step in greater detail. In this post, we will also answer some frequently asked questions. With that said, let's get right into it!

Box hedge with green leafs isolated. - How To Fill Gaps In A Conifer Hedge [In 5 Easy Steps]

How To Fill Gaps In A Conifer Hedge

Nicely trimmed bushes, green fence. Separate and protect private property. Landscape design.

Conifer hedges are one of the finest hedging species that have been for ages now. They are good at providing privacy and filtering air pollution. They come in different species that you can choose from.

Although they serve many benefits for people and look stable like a fence, they are not exempted from damages brought by many factors.

These factors include bad weather, improper care, and damage caused by insects and other plant pests. When these things happen, they can leave the hedges gaps that make them unattractive.

Luckily, there are ways how you can adequately fill those gaps.

Here are the following ways to do this:

1. Choose Big Plants

Conifer hedges usually have established roots and big plants to start with.

That is why it is important to choose big plants to start the filling project- the larger, the better. This will help fill the gaps faster because it will resist competition with other plants.

Moreover, it would help if you also chose the same species as the existing conifer hedge as much as possible.

This will ensure that the hedge looks uniform and has no mark of gaps. The only drawback of using larger conifer plants is that they are more expensive than smaller ones.

2. Position The Plant Properly

One important thing to do when filling gaps in your conifer hedge is to position the new plant correctly. When filling gaps, make sure to have the correct number of plants to fill in the spaces.

If you have a wide gap in your hedge, you need to put in more plants.

3. Leave Enough Spacing

Another consideration is the spacing of the plants.

Make sure to give enough room for the plants so when they grow. This step requires more hard work since you cannot use digging equipment because it will damage other neighboring plants.

You need to dig manually and cut the roots where you need to position the new plants.

It is recommended to have ample space between the roots of the plants to prevent competition for soil nutrients and water. This will also ensure that the new plants can get enough sunlight to grow.

This step is essential when filling gaps and just starting to plant hedges. A general rule is to determine the maximum height you prefer for your hedge and divide it by three, and the result will be the spacing you need to apply on your plants.

Don't plant them in a too narrow space to ensure that there will be no tight spaces between them. But, you also need to consider not having too wide spaces because the main goal is to fill in the gaps.

4. Build Boundaries

This step is optional. You can do this by putting on a barrier that will set boundaries between the new and old plants. This will ensure that the roots of the established plants will not compete with the new ones.

However, if the plant you use is large and already has bigger roots, you can plant them without any barriers.

5. Care For Your Plants Properly

This is an essential part of filling the gaps in your conifer hedge. Make sure the plants you use to fill in will be well-watered and fertilized so they will be fast enough to grow and blend in the hedge.

Even if you plant them well and properly, proper care will determine their chance to grow and flourish.

However, if your conifer hedges are already dead, you can check out this article, "How To Hide A Dead Conifer Hedge," for more ideas on hiding dead conifers.

How Do You Thicken A Hedge?

Most hedges' primary role is to provide privacy. So to achieve added privacy, a thick hedge is necessary. To grow your hedge thicker, they need to stay healthy.

You need to take good care of the plants by watering and fertilizing them regularly.

Ensure that the soil you plant your hedge is not dead soil and is rich in nutrients to help the plants grow well. You also need to remove all the weeds surrounding the plant so its roots will not compete for nutrients.

Additionally, spacing is crucial if you want your hedge to get thick. If the plants have no more space to grow, they will have no chance to spread their roots and get thicker.

Pruning and trimming your hedge regularly will also help in making them thicker. Remove dead and diseased areas to prevent them from spreading. Be sure to use the right trimming equipment for your hedge.

See this electric hedge trimmer on Amazon.

And lastly, always fill the gaps in your hedges so they will not look thinner. You can do this by planting new plants in the gaps.

However, you need to ensure that the plant you're filling in is the same plant species as the existing hedge so it will not look awkward and obvious.

When Is The Best Time To Trim Hedges?

pruning evergreen garden hedge with electric scissors

Trimming and pruning the hedge aids in keeping the hedges at their optimum health. It also helps make the hedge look thicker and more attractive, which is why it is important to know the proper time to do it.

The best time to prune hedges is late spring, early fall, or winter. It is not recommended to do this when the weather is too hot and dry. You can try to prune during a cloudy day so the plants will not get burned.

When Should You Not Cut Hedges?

a close-up of the hands of a gardener in a red plaid shirt, who is pruning dry yellow branches of thuja with a pruner.

Hedges will naturally grow, so cutting them will be necessary. But you also need to note when you should not cut hedges.

It is recommended not to cut hedges during the breeding season for nesting birds. This season is usually from March to August each year. However, it still depends on the weather and the type of birds.

Just be careful when you want to cut your hedges and check for some wildlife breeding to give way for the birds to nest.

Can You Cut A Hedge Too Much?

Cutting a shrub with an electric brush cutter

Trimming and cutting hedges make the space look cleaner and neat.

However, cutting your hedge too much can cause permanent damage and even kill your hedge plants. You need to cut them to the recommended times to prune them.

Keep in mind that cutting hedges will depend on the type of plant and the season.

How Do You Fix A Leggy Hedge?

Leggy hedges are one problem for most homeowners because they make the hedges look thin and unattractive. Luckily, there are ways how you can fix your leggy hedge.

The first option you can do is to cut all the stems using a hedge cutter to a few inches above the ground during the winter season and remove most of the healthiest stems during the late winter of the following year.

Continue reducing the stems' height to help have a more leafy stem.

See this heavy-duty hedge cutter on Amazon.

Another option is to remove at least one-third of the old stems up to ground level.

Although this method may take longer because you need to repeat this for several years, you will surely expect leaves to come out of the lower branches. This will help you remove the leggy hedge.

To Finish Things Up

It's good to have fun, relaxing, and aesthetically pleasing privacy by putting up conifer hedges. However, it can also be inconvenient and unpleasant to see gaps in your hedges as time goes by.

Follow the abovementioned ways and tips to help you fix those gaps on your conifer hedges. Lastly, remember that a well-cared plant will always be the key to having a full-grown hedge.

And while we have your attention, check out these related posts!

How To Use A Stihl Hedge Trimmer [Step By Step Guide]