Hop growing experiment in Santa Clarita, CA
Yeah you heard right, I said experiment. :D
It gets brutally hot in July (100-110) so I am just playing around with this.
Site: loamy sand, very drainable, full sun all the time, lots of critters (spiders, mini scorpions, bugs that eat leaves), barren neglected landscape next to native plant chaparral (so next to no humidity around the hop plants). I just moved here recently and still have to build the backyard landscape, so I thought this would be fun. The hill is perfect for this.
Amendments: 33 bags kellogg amendment ($4/ 2 cuft @HD and lowes last weekend), 2 cuft vermiculite, 2 cuft perlite. I figure I will add a little vermiculite and perlite and about 1/3 to 1/2 kellog to the native soil within about 2 ft radius of the plants/.
Irrigation: hand watering until I get off my ass and build a micro spray system. Pots were flooded every day so far
Fertility: Gro power 5-3-1 for vegetative and flower n bloom for flowering. Pots got a little bit of 5-3-1 after plant emerged.
Propagation: 4 varieties of rhizomes and 4 young containerized plants (cascade, chinook, fuggle, tettnanger, nugget, centennial) in vermiculite and kellogg soil amendment. Shoots emerging from every plant.
Pest control: Some stuff I got from Osh that connects to the hose for insects starting when I see damage that hinders growth. If I don't use it, they will jack things up. No fungal worries. Gas for gophers if they burrow nearby (they are sob's around here). Cats may urinate and defecate. I will just let them be because my motion light usually scares them away. I hope that the rabbits are too scared of the dogs next door. Rabbits are really bad in my neighborhood.
4/20/12: Hot as hell today, 96F high.
more to come...
Wow that is a perfect hill for (what I assume you're doing) running twine up for training the hop bines.
In order to prevent 100% of the available sunlight hitting your plants at the height of heat, try making something that will block some of the light.
If you have the ability (read: cash monies) I personally would get a long roll of gardening burlap (the kind with the big holes, not potato sack / reenacting scenes from the bible tight-knit stuff) and set up some kind of structure so you can suspend it over them.
How did it go?
[QUOTE=badbrew;4014750]Yeah you heard right, I said experiment. :D
I'm interested in growing my own hops too. While I was searching on Home Brew Talk I run into your post. I live in Saugus, have a small backyard not like the great one you have, but wondering how did your hope do?
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