Ligustrum help needed. Pruning and health
I moved in to a NC home a year ago to the day. The first thing I wanted to do was plant some privacy shrubs. The local farmers market told me that ligustrums were a great shrub for privacy and they grow fast. He told me about 3 feet a year. Well its been one year and a couple of them have grown a few feet but only branches. They don't seem to be thickening up much. Some of the leaves are also looking diseased. Is this normal?
I have read pruning is essential and I have also read not to do this. I attached a photo of my best looking one. Soil is clay here and we had a lot of rain this past year. With that said, I have only fertilized one time, about 7 months ago (besides the initial fertilizer used when planting them). I rarely water them due to the rain. How often should I water?
So in short, my questions are about (1) pruning (when and how much) (2) should I clip off any diseased looking leafs? (3) do I continue fertilizing and watering?
Also, am I expecting too much from these guys for privacy? I hope I wasn't duped. I planted 16 of these (8 are hollies) and it took some effort and they look pretty but I really want a screen.