Whether you're planting one hedge or many, planning is key. Decide where you want to plant. Will your hedges mark a property boundary? Border a front walkway or driveway? Frame a flower garden? You need to visualize the design and know exactly how much space you have to work with so you can space plants appropriately for well-designed, interlocking growth.
If you're not sure what kind of hedges you want to plant, do some research on the Internet or consult gardening publications to find out which type will work best in your soil, in your region, and meet the intended application. For our purposes here, there are two basic categories of hedge plants: evergreen and deciduous. Of these, evergreens are the most common, and the type that usually comes to mind when one thinks of hedges. When buying hedge plants, be sure you know how they grow and how much they grow, especially if you'll be intermixing different types of shrubs for your hedgerow.
Deciduous plants lose their leaves in winter. If you want year-round hedges, plant evergreen hedge plants.
Visit your local nursery to buy plants and to get help if you are unsure which plants best suit your needs. Nurseries will have the plants prepared with their root balls snuggly wrapped in a layer of burlap to keep them safe and ready for when you take them home to plant. To estimate how many plants to buy and the appropriate spacing between each one, measure the length of your hedge site. Generally, for common boxwood hedge plants, 2' to 3' between each plant is adequate. Ask a nursery employee for help with deciding how many plants to purchase and how much space should be between each plant. Larger, taller plants for a privacy hedge can require 6' or more between each plant.
Try to choose plants that are at or close to the height that you want your hedge to be. Keep in mind though, that larger plants may require some additional hands to help you move them around. Ask a family member, a friend or a neighbor to be your assistant.
To avoid damage, always pick up your shrubs by the root ball and not the trunk.