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Plashing

shoots, hedge and ditch

PLASHING of quickset hedges, an ope ration very necessary, to promote the growth and continuance of old hedges. It is performed in this manner : the old stubs must be cot off, gi:c- within two or three inches of the ground, and the best and longest of the middle sized shoots must be left to lay down. Some of the strongest of these must also be left to an swer the purpose of stakes. These are to be cut off to the height at which the hedge is intended to be left; and they are to stand at ten. feet distance one from an other : when there are not proper shoots for these at the due distances, their places must be supplied with common stakes of dead wood. The hedge is to be first thinned, by cutting away all but those shoots which are intended to be used ei ther as stakes, or the other work of the plashing ; the ditch is to be cleaned out with the spade : and it must be now dug, as at first, with sloping sides each way ; and when there is any cavity on the bank, on which the hedge grows, or the earth has been washed away from the roots of the shrubs, it is to be made good by fac ing it, as they express it, with the mould dug from the upper part of the ditch : all the rest of the earth dug out of the ditch is to be laid upon the top of the bank.

In plashing the quick, two extremes are to be avoided ; these are, the laying it too low, and the laying it too thick : this makes the sap run all into the shoots, and l eaves the plashes without sufficient nourishment ; which, with the thickness of the hedge, finally kills them. The other extreme of laying them too high, is equally to be avoided ; for this carries up all the nourishment into the plashes, and so makes the shoots small and weak at the bottom, and, consequently, the hedge thin.