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Old 02-09-2011, 04:59 PM   #1
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Default Growing hops near pine trees?

Hey all.. I've never grown hops because I don't have a lot of vertical room (home owners association prevents me from growing anything that tall). But recently I've been looking into growing hops horizontally. Basically I have about a 30' stretch of dirt where I can place a half wine barrel at either end with wire or rope running between them, about 4' off the ground... I'm hoping to train the hops to grow horizontally along this line. But behind this area are several pine trees. The pine trees do cause the nearby soil to become very acidic which limits what I can grow in that area. Would this effect the hops? I haven't yet measured the ph levels of the soil. But I do know that I can't grow squat in that area except for ferns, lily's, periwinkle, etc. This area gets about 6 hours of direct to partial sun per day. The same pine trees previously mentioned, block late afternoon sun. Is that enough?

Thanks!

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Old 02-09-2011, 05:14 PM   #2
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The acidity the pines add to the soil is a bad thing for hops to be sure. However the shade they provide is probably a good thing for several varieties depending on where you live. Under extensive shade I had great success with Goldings which were getting a similar amount of sun to what you described (they still get a decent amount of shade through a canopy of trees) but they won't grow above 3-6' high in full sun down here in MS (4 yr old plants).

You can combat the acid problem a couple ways. First always keep the pine straw raked up in the area, especially around the plants. Secondly when you plant the plants use dirt other than what's in the area as in dig it out and put some good top soil in the hole. Third you could treat the area with lime or whatever it is you treat acidic soil with.

Schlante & Good Luck,
Phillip

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Old 02-09-2011, 08:46 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I think I'm going to give it a try. I'll be using half wine barrels to plant in so hopefully I can just keep them clean enough of pine needles and treat the soil as needed. I want to grow some Cascades and Nuggets. I live in the SF East Bay, CA. Wish me luck!

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