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Old 01-27-2009, 05:02 AM   #1
emr454
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Default Fertilizers/nutrients?

Hi all. This summer will be my second year growing hops. I would like to know what fellow hop growers are using as fertilizers and or nutrients for the soil. I didnt use anything this year except water, but am looking into testing the soil pH and make sure it is in the 6.5-8 range as suggested on the Freshops website. I have been putting down a 2-3 inch thick layer of grass clippings around the base of the plants during the growing season. Other than that, I plan on surrounding them with manure and compost before next winter. ANy other suggestions from anyone?

Eric

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Old 01-27-2009, 05:14 AM   #2
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I use compost and rabbit manure over the winter. I feed Miracle-Gro about once a month during June, July and August.

Here's a link to some scientific info.

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/cat.../fg/fg79-e.pdf

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Old 01-27-2009, 05:25 AM   #3
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Homemade compost (comprised of leaves, grass clippings, vegetal food waste, paper shreddings, and twiggy bits) laced with epsome salts and 20 mule borax.

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Old 01-27-2009, 01:47 PM   #4
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Im guessing the compost and manure is spread around the plants in the winter? Do you just set in on top of the ground and let rainwater, etc., wash it down in? It would be hard to till it under and not harm the plants I think.

Eric

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Old 01-27-2009, 02:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by GilaMinumBeer View Post
Homemade compost (comprised of leaves, grass clippings, vegetal food waste, paper shreddings, and twiggy bits) laced with epsome salts and 20 mule borax.
I use compost as well, why the epsome salts and borax?
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Im guessing the compost and manure is spread around the plants in the winter? Do you just set in on top of the ground and let rainwater, etc., wash it down in? It would be hard to till it under and not harm the plants I think.

Eric
You got it right. Just let it sit there and let water carry the nutrients as the material is decomposing.
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Old 01-27-2009, 05:25 PM   #7
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I use compost as well, why the epsome salts and borax?
I add about 1-2 handfuls per 5 foot (L) by 5 foot (W) by 3 foot (H) mound for trace minerals.

Borax = Boron.
Epsom = Magnesium

I forgot to mention that through winter, I also save the ash from my fireplace and mix it in the compost as well for Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, and Phosphorous (hardwood ash can be "typically" regarded as a 0-2-10 fertilier, RMV)

I add the Boron and Magnesium to the mound in the fall to be sure that they have blended in. I add the wood ash in the spring as I turn the pile over to prepare for a spring dressing.

Pretty much, I collect EVERYTHING that can go into compost and let my pair of heaps "ferment" through the year. In fall, I collect the leaves into a couple buckets and moisten them thoroughly (a leaf mush if you will) and put those in the shed to mold. Leaf mold = Plant Yumm.

All done well, you will never buy the miracle stuff again and your plants will reward you with plenty. Errrm, climate provided.
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Old 01-27-2009, 05:27 PM   #8
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I did organic miracle grow and a hydroponic feed during the growing season. I will do more this season since I think the hop plants were a little short on nitrogen last year. (I am growing in half whiskey barrels) Currently the hops are covered in horse manure (chopped up) and compost from my composter.

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Old 01-28-2009, 03:45 AM   #9
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You might consider holding off on Epsom Salts (magnesium sulfate) without having a soil test first.

It is not common in most of the country but some soils, scattered areas here in CT for example, have an above optimum level of magnesium. At best, adding more to these soils is a waste of money and, at worst, calcium uptake will be inhibited by the excess magnesium.

I have the soil tested every year at UConn. For $8 the university reports the pH and available calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, manganese, copper, zinc, aluminum and boron in the soil along with how much of what to put in the soil to bring it up to par. Save me a lot of money knowing what is in that soil before buying this and that to try to improve it.

Carved a garden out of the lawn three years ago and every year so far the soil has had "above optimum" levels of magnesium. That means using dolomitic limestone and/or Epsom Salts are counterproductive. So I use calcitic limestone to raise the pH and gypsum (calcium sulfate) The sulfate in the gypsum binds with the magnesium in the soil forming magnesium sulfate (Epsom Salts) which washes out and leaves calcium--a element most soils have adequate levels of but which big biomass plants (I grow the large dalhias) flourish on.

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Old 02-03-2009, 08:37 AM   #10
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Default Nutrients

This link should provide what you need.
Hops, FG 79-E

Glen

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