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I've been told they will naturally bush out and was advised to use a slow release fertiliser in March, such as Vitex Q4. You will find in time Jeff that your Golden Leylandii will start to bush out and this will happen when your hedge has reached the desired height and you are keeping it trimmed to this height.
With regard to feeding your Leylandiis Vitax Q4 is an ideal base fertiliser which contains all the main nutrients and is a good fertiliser to use on your hedge.------I have a leylandii hedge of approximately 30 trees about 28 years old.
With your Leylandii being newly planted last November Matthew you will need to keep and eye on the watering during the summer months but, it is important to try and avoid overwatering.
Regarding your question on feeding your Leylandii I would use a general base fertiliser such as Vitax Q4 or Fish Blood and Bone Meal - approximately four ounces per square yard sprinkled around the base of the plants You say that some of the leaves of your Leylandii are going slightly brown and this quite often happens with newly planted evergreen hedges and I am sure that new shoots will appear when the trees become more established.------We have two leylandii hedges between our garden and our neighbours garden, which are about 8' high and about 20' long.
What I would do is to incorporate plenty of well rotted manure which will improve the texture of the soil and also add nutrients.
Sections of both hedges appear to be dying, having gone brown in colour. We have not treated the hedges any differently this year or last year than we have done over the last 14 years we have lived in the property. The two most common reasons for Leylandii Hedges to go brown Sue are wind scorch damage - which has been a problem this year due to the very mild winter, coupled with the cold cutting winds and the soil borne fungal disease known as Phytophera which does cause Leylandii leaves to go brown and grey in colour.
In February and again in March, I have watered them with a Miracle Grow (one scoop to 7 litres) feed, and have recently noticed a few leaves going slightly brown and flaky (dead) lower down despite some new growth (about 6 inches) at the tops. The holes I planted them in were approximately a square foot in size, and the soil was quite good (not clay - unless the clay layer was beneath).
Have I over watered / over fed / fed too early or under watered them. I haven't dug down to see if they are 'swimming in water' yet.
If you are not fond of Honeysuckles I would suggest the vigorous Clematis Montana or the rambling roses.------The leylandii hedge at the bottom of our garden on our neighbour's side has just had 5 feet cut off the top. Cupressus Leylandii makes a good hedge providing you keep it trimmed to the height you require, problems arise when you decide to cut five to six feet from the top of the hedge as you are left with very bare stems and the hedge does have a tendency to flop outwards.
Consequently we have been left with nothing but bare branches and hardly any foliage left (our side has a 6 foot fence in front of the lower part of the hedge). I sympathise with your problem Alison but in time you will get new shoots appearing but this will not happen overnight it will take a number of years for the hedge to recover.------We have a driveway made up of tarmac over concrete.