How to plant and care for your Ivy Screen
An Ivy screen is an attractive, alternative way to create a privacy structure in your garden without the need to build a fence or wall. This blog is here to show you just how easy it is to install an Ivy screen and maintain it and, by following these guidelines, you should find that in just one growing season the Ivy will create a dense, fully covered green screen.
The 13 Hedera plants, each with 5 stems, are grown in potting soil in a biodegradable cocopot and are supported by an extremely strong metal frame which provides both security and privacy. After planting, the cocopot will break down into the ground and the root system of the plants will spread into the surrounding soil and establish.
Planting your Ivy Screen
The first thing you need to do is create a planting hole. We recommend digging a trench of 30cm wide x 40cm deep for each 1.2m long screen that you’re planting and ensure that the soil in the area is free of large stones and debris to allow the plant roots to grow deep in to the ground. It’s a good idea to add some Bonemeal to your planting site if you’re worried about the quality of the soil as this will increase the nutrient content.
You can then either attach the mesh frame that it comes with to an existing structure in the planting area by using metal wiring, or you can use the standard Ivy screen fitting to screw the screen in place.
Watering and feeding your Ivy Screen
As with all new plants, it’s important to make sure your Ivy screen is well watered after planting. During spring and summer it’s also vital to keep your Ivy well watered as the weather improves, particularly during hot/dry periods. In the winter, if frosts are forecast, it’s a good idea to water your Ivy screen well in advance so that it can properly absorb the water before it freezes. Water your living fence regularly throughout the rest of the year.
Be careful not to over-water. The screens do not like to stand in wet soil for long periods of time as this can damage the roots – this is only a concern if there is poor drainage through the soil.
In terms of feeding your green screen, the best time of year to do this is in the spring. Bonemeal, or an organic fertiliser such as our Seaweed Feed, are both good options to give your screen a boost.
Pruning your Ivy Screen
The amount of maintenance your Ivy requires depends on how wide you want the screen to be. For a very dense screen, refrain from pruning in the first year and wind new shoots through the grid. Following this, we recommend pruning your Ivy screen once or twice a year (you only really need to trim the new shoots) – the best times to do this are April/May and September/October. Pruning in September/October allows new shoots to grow and strengthen before the winter.
During the winter, you will notice the leaves slowly changing to a warm coppery colour. This is completely normal for this variety of Ivy and the change in colour helps to protect the plants from the cold. When the weather begins to get warmer, the substances that cause the leaves to change are reduced, resulting in the foliage becoming green again.
If you have any questions about this topic, or anything else relating to your garden, please tweet me @best4hedging and I’ll be happy to help.