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Old 05-11-2010, 03:22 AM   #1
shadyb
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Default Hop growing beginer - monopole setup

Alright so a friend and I want to grow about 6 - 8 hop rhizomes around a single pole. This is my first year growing hops, so maybe someone could point me in the direction of some good resources. Good advice is welcomed too!

My major questions are the following: how deep do I have to amend the soil for each hop hill? The land has never been worked (its currently a hay field), so will renting a rototiller do? How wide of an area do I amend for each hill? Other than quality compost, what other amendments might you suggest?

Thanks, I just really need some input from experienced hop growers.

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Old 05-11-2010, 08:04 AM   #2
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I am no expert but 6-8 rhizomes around one pole seems like a lot. Especially if your going different strains. As far a soil goes, I think you want loamy soil with good drainage and some mulch on top. I have heard that first year is hit or miss, but think about next year when the hops have established root systems and they take off. I think you should put the rhizomes in the ground asap.

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Old 05-11-2010, 08:07 PM   #3
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When you say a single pole, I assume you are referring to a tee pee configuration. Unless they are all the same type hops, they will intermingle, at least towards the top and it is difficult to separate different hop varieties. Generally the same varieties can be planted 3 or more feet apart, different hop varieties 5 feet or greater apart.

Dig down at least a foot and 2 foot diameter per hill (yes you want a hill or mounded so as to prevent water from drowning your hop rhizomes. As far as soil goes, it needs to drain water, have a neutral PH (between 6 & 8) and some organic material - compost is great as is composted manure... With 8 hop hills, a rototiller is not necessary - I like a shovel as most tillers go 6 -8 inches below grade.

Welcome to the club - good luck and get them in the ground ASAP.

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Old 05-11-2010, 09:20 PM   #4
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I'm a hop noob to. I was thinking about building a single pole (teepee type) next year with 8 rhizomes as well. I hope that it is enough for them to grow into after a couple years.

According to my sucky math, it should have ample room for them to grow. A pole 18' tall with a line in the ground 9' away gives me a triangle with the third side 20' long for the hops to grow up. (a squared + b squared = c squared) This should give me plenty of stability for the wind in my area to. A diameter of 18' * 3.14 gives me a circumference of about 56' / 8 rhizomes, I will plant them about 7' apart. I plan on running the cords through an I-Bolt at the top of the cord to the base so I can lower them for harvest.

The problem I see with this setup is that if they happen to use up all the cord they might be fighting for sunlight when they reach the top but if I have 8, 20 foot hop plants after a couple years I'll be a very happy guy.

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Old 05-12-2010, 04:15 PM   #5
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The problem comes once they all hit the top, where they'll now be zero feet away from each other and start sending side arms out. When you go to harvest, you won't know which cones you are picking.

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