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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Hops Growing > Which fertilizer to use for hops?
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:54 PM   #1
bibowski
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Default Which fertilizer to use for hops?

I plan on growing hops this spring/summer but am VERY new to it and don't know where to start.

I've heard a lot of people have luck using this JR Peters stuff for both hops and err... less legal green plants :-D

Has anyone else had success with it? Or at least know of something else that will assist in the growth of my hops?

Unfoirtunately the soil is a thick clay, so I will be growing in a soil bed on top of it. As hops are a vine plant, will the shallow soil bed be an issue?

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Old 01-24-2013, 08:09 PM   #2
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I grow mine in thick clay soil. I dug out 18-24 inches of the clay soil and filled it back in with a mix of clay soil, sand, compost, and loamy soil. After one year the hop roots had grown down and out into the clay soil outside of my original hole. So they will probably just grow right through your shallow soil bed. Something simple that you can do is just loosen the clay soil some with a pitchfork type tool. This will also work to get some air into the clay. That'll be better than doing nothing at all to the clay soil.

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Old 01-24-2013, 08:13 PM   #3
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Sweet, I wasn't sure if the clay would hold me back from doing it. I compost as well, so that should provide some good mix for the dug out hole.

I'll probably follow your suggestion and dig a hole and mix the dug out clay with compost and some soil and put it back in.

I've heard from quite a few people that you won't be able to (*or shouldn't) harvest any hops the first year, is that right?

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Old 01-24-2013, 10:57 PM   #4
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If you have proper sunlight and water when needed you will be able to harvest some hops. Well, you have to get the rhizome into the ground early enough as well. If you put them in past May I'm not sure you will get any hop cones, but it probably depends on your region. And as far as shouldn't harvest them, I've never heard that. Completely untrue, as harvesting will not harm your plant. The cones are like flowers, and don't help the plant grow like leaves that capture sunlight.

Another thing about digging the hole in heavy clay soil - the hole can act like a reservoir for water. If it rains too much or you over water the bottom of your hole can just hold the water. This can get be bad for the roots. Try not to plant the rhizomes in a low spot and this probably will not be a problem.

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Old 02-08-2013, 02:32 PM   #5
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I planted cascade and nugget last year in nc clay in mid april. I amended with peat moss top soil and manure. The cascades grew great and i got about 3 dried ounces from two hills. My nugget never grew as i think i overwatered and the rhizomes rotted. The cascades had 2 rhizomes in 1 hill and 3 in the other the hill with 2 grew better. Just my experience hope it helps, i think i will try some columbus or chinook this year also

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Old 02-09-2013, 09:35 PM   #6
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You can for sure harvest your first year crop, the cones will be a little smaller and your acid content will be about a 1/4 of your mature plants

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Old 02-11-2013, 03:28 AM   #7
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Compost tea!

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Old 02-11-2013, 11:10 AM   #8
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To the original question: Which fertilizer to use for hops?

Any suggestions?

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Old 02-11-2013, 11:24 AM   #9
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Trub makes a nice fertilizer.

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Old 02-11-2013, 11:45 AM   #10
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This will be my first year for them, but I suppose hops are like most other plants/flowers. I read that they are heavy feeders and so I expect to fertilize every 2-3 weeks.

"Miracle Grow for Vegetables" has always been the mainstay here for the vegetable garden. It helps the plants to produce fruit, rather than stem/leaves.

But nothing beats a bag of fresh top soil. Dig a hole about 1ft deep and 1 ft wide and fill it with fresh top soil. That will give it everything it needs. And I always sprinkle some slow release granular garden fertilizer on top of the soil after planting.

As much sun as possible and paying attention to weather patterns is just as important. The garden space here is a well known. It helps to know how each area drains and how rich the soil is. One end of my garden is strong and holds moisture much better than the other end. So I have to concentrate on the weak end.

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