Sloes and damsons are in good supply this September in your local hedgerows. I have relied on my own blackberries this year but from the train window yesterday there were masses of plump black fruit for picking.
Forage amongst the book shelves to get a cornucopia of edible wild plant ideas.
Easy Step by Step Hedge
Clear the ground to remove weeds and old roots by digging or using Glyphosphate based weedkiller. Leave for a few weeks.
Pick a frost free day and when ready to plant put bundles of bare rooted plants into a bucket of water to give them a drink.
Mark out the line of the hedgerow bearing in mind you will want two staggered rows of plants. You can put down mulch matting and plant through it if you wish.
You will need 4-5 plants per square yard.
Push in the spade and lean it backward to create a planting pocket into which you can drop a bare rooted plant.
Do not plant any deeper than the plant was previously grown (there will be a soil mark or obvious crown where the stem starts and roots finish.)
Remove the spade and stamp the soil down around the new plants as they need to be in good contact with the soil.
Cut back thorny plants by half to encourage bushy growth.
Water plants well and keep watering regularly if the conditions are dry.
Taller trees may need some early staking support.
If you are troubled with rabbits fit a spiral protector on each plant.
Edible Hedge Plants to Grow
Wild Pear and Crab apples for the fruit
Hazel both male and female plants for pollination.
Blackberry are a top hedge row favourite despite the thorns.
Blackthorn for the Sloes and height
Dog Roses and Hawthorn for the Hips and Haws
Elder for the flowers to make cordial or berries for home made wine.
Damsons for jam if space permits
Raspberries but they try to move away from the hedge looking for moisture.
Prune or trim like a normal hedge but cut blackberries down to the ground alternate years to keep them under control.
Even if you do not eat all the fruit and berries the birds will be grateful.