I want to put in an evergreen hedge, preferably this fall, but could wait til spring with the following characteristics: disease, pest and deer resistance desirable; open, sunny location; fast, or at least medium, growth.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Libby in Kentucky: I am not sure what you are thinking in terms of size so I will give you a few options at different mature heights and widths. Some options for your sunny space include: boxwood and nandina for a smaller hedge, or viburnum, holly, juniper, chamaecyparis, arborvitae, and pine are all good larger choices and have varying heights and widths within each species as well as growth rates. If you give me more specific information concerning size I would be happy to give you cultivar/variety suggestions. Keep in mind that no plant is completely disease-resistant or deer-proof. Also, plants are more susceptible to insects and disease when they are under stress. This is why choosing the right plant for the right space is so important. Eliminating stress will help reduce potential insect and disease issues. Deer certainly have plants they are more likely to nibble on, such as hosta and roses, but unfortunately they will eat just about anything if they are hungry enough. Fall planting is ideal since the day and night time temperatures are cooler and this environment is more conducive to root establishment. Spring is also a fine time to plant as long as your new plantings can be watered all summer long. No matter when you plant it is best to avoid fertilizing for the first year. This helps the plant become established in the nutrients that naturally exist in your soil.