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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Hops Growing > I dont have a Green thumb aparantly
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:57 PM   #1
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Default I dont have a Green thumb aparantly

SO a few years ago I ordered some Sterling Rhizomes from freshops because thats all they had left. I planted each of them in a huge flower pot and It was late in the season (late may) when I got them in the ground the first year. (So they only grew like 5 feet)

The second year ( i assumed they had died from being in my garage all winter but they sprouted ) I grew them in my sunroom at my home where they got about 18' long. No flowers.. not 1.

This year will be the third growing season for them.. they are about 1.5 - 3 feet long, but I am only getting 1 vine and the leaves arent looking too healthy on it.

What kind of things can I do to help them grow better.. I would like to see at least 1 hop cone this fall.

Is sterling a hard hop to get to grow compared to others? Next year I want to grow cascades. They are about my favorite hop and I think they are easier to grow as well.

Any input or advice is welcome.

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Old 05-08-2009, 03:16 PM   #2
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have you fertilized these at all? being pot bound they will have sucked up all the nutrients in the soil/potting mix you used. when fertilizing use a weak diluted solution to do so so you dont burn the plants with to much at once it's better to spread a feeding out over a couple weeks than to hit a potted plant all at once. if you use a miracle grow product mix at about 1/4-1/2 strength and feed slowly. you might also try one of the commercial tomato stick fertilizers.

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Old 05-08-2009, 04:35 PM   #3
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try chemical fertilizer or get some manuer, compost, potting soil...etc Mix all those together and add to pot. Or re-pot the entire thing...

I would recommend that next year you buy at least four different kinds so you can discover which ones work best in your location. Make sure you buy a good mix of bittering and aroma hops.

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Old 05-08-2009, 04:52 PM   #4
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My Sterling is a poor producer as well and I have given it all the care and feeding I possibly can. It is also the runt of the group, healthy but still a runt.

The hops it produces are lovely but, minimal in quantity.

I suggest you try the manure, keep after it, and realize that some plants just don't do well in some areas.

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Old 05-08-2009, 05:11 PM   #5
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Liquid fertilizers tend to leach out quickly.
A good constant slow release formula works well in my experience.

Try a simple 5-10-5 ratio.

You may also want to supplement the soil with a little Calcium. (Limestone)

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Old 05-08-2009, 05:28 PM   #6
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i had real good luck with some blood meal, Miracle grown 12-0-0. Couple of my plants were kinda yellow and slow growing. Sprinkled the nitrogen on there and let the rain from Seattle do the work. Now there growing crazy and leaves are all consitant green.

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Old 05-08-2009, 07:35 PM   #7
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The full on nitrogen burst is good for the foliage but there's nothing in that ratio to help the flowering or budding or root development or general continued vigor and health of the plant.

Here's a quick and dirty on the plant food. Please note that I am not considering soil ph which can affect the whole thing. I'll also assume appropriate water and sun exposure is maintained.

Nitrogen(N):Phosphorous(P):Potassium(K)

Nitrogen(N) = Good for Foliage
Phosphorous(P) = Good for roots, stalk and flowers(buds)
Potassium(K) = Good for overall health and vigor

In general you should shoot for a ratio of 1:2:1
It's the most basic and balanced set up. The higher those numbers, the less of the product you have to use. 5:10:5, 10:30:10, etc.

If you get to the point of testing soil and know what you're missing then you can start going with concentrates such as mentioned by others. I believe that when you don't know why your plant is suffering and beyond doing soil tests, you can usually come out ahead by using a balanced food ratio. Again, it's 1:2:1

That's it. 3 things to get your plant to grow. All plants(hops) being basically the same, it should not matter what version of hop you're trying to grow. (except something like Sunbeams or whatever). Although I will admit that my magnums grow better than anything. Then again, they have the best light and the best water.

Sounds like you had a Phosphorous issue from the beginning. The first year is generally all about root growth. There went your phosphorous. The second year you didn't get any flowers. Probably because all the phosphorous was used up in the first year for the roots. Now your plant is simply struggling to grow anything.

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Old 05-11-2009, 08:13 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info.. I will try that and see what happens. I did fertilze them with plant food nuggets but I must have got the wrong thing

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Old 05-11-2009, 08:28 PM   #9
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Composted Manure and or Humore (sp) (it's a real product).

Better than any chemical fertilizers you'll ever find.

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Old 05-11-2009, 08:35 PM   #10
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How large of pots did you plant them in?

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