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I would like an edible, mixed hedge along the fence…

Lin Asked

I would like an edible, mixed hedge along the fence separating me from my neighbors. What kind of plants would you recommend? Would rosa rugosa, gooseberry, currant, or huckleberry send out runners into my neighbors’ yards? Would they look good together in a row? I’d like to mix several types of plants that have similar shape/height/width so the hedge would look good. Any advice is appreciated.

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The Gardener’s Answer

I love the idea of incorporating edibles into the landscape. There are a few factors to consider before choosing plants. First, how much space are you dealing with and how many hours of sun does it receive throughout the day? Secondly, what is the soil like? Does it drain well? Or could it benefit from amendments?

If you have not had your soil tested recently you can have this done at your county cooperative Extension service. Visit the Boyle County website.

Each plant is going to have its own requirements in terms of soil, and each will have its own mature size and growth habit. For the sake of it not being hodgepodge, it’s best to group like plants together. If you have enough space, you could choose a couple of different berries and under plant them with strawberries. Blueberries would be a great choice because of their shrub-like growth habit and intense fall color. Gooseberries and currants are a bit less tamed in appearance, but will serve the purpose of a hedge. Whatever you choose to plant, be sure to choose disease-resistant varieties. For detailed information on growing fruit in Kentucky, click here and here.

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