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Old 04-15-2013, 11:12 AM   #1
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Default Maine Lasagna Hop Garden

Hello Everyone, I thought that I would share my small hop garden build. I live in west central Maine and we just finally got ride of the snow so I had to hurry up and get my garden prepared. I am planting 8 varieties: (5) Cascades, Columbus, Centennial, Magnum, Willamette, Mt, Hood, Chinook and Nugget.

So thank you in advance to Arrowhead Hops, Great Lakes Hops and Halifaxhops for providing me with the plants for this upcoming grow season.

I am a pretty experienced gardener and over the past 10 or so years I have converted to the Lasagna method of preparing new garden beds. I have found that the soil that is created when you layer cardboard, manure, compost, wood chips and soil is probably some of the most rich and fertile that I have seen.

The garden consists of (4) 15ft long rows that are 12ft apart. The Chinook and Nugget will not be planted in this garden-I plan on growing them up my covered porch.

1 row will be dedicated to Cascade, 1 to Columbus, 1 to Centennial and one row will be shared between the Mt. Hood, Magnum and Willamette because I don't see myself using a ton of these three.

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Old 04-15-2013, 11:17 AM   #2
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Here are my rows being built, thick layer of cardboard, leaves and branches then a thick layer of manure and then a layer of compost. When I plant the rhizomes I will dig a hole in the row and fill it with soil and compost.

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Old 04-15-2013, 11:21 AM   #3
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A couple more pics, I will update the thread in a couple days when I finally get them planted. The ground is too saturated right now so I can't get the poles dug but I am planning on 16ft cedar trees put 3 ft into the ground to give me 13 ft above ground.

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Old 04-18-2013, 01:12 PM   #4
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I finally had an opportunity to get the rhizomes in the ground, first I prepared some (mostly) homemade soil mix

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Old 04-18-2013, 01:16 PM   #5
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Then prepared the spots in the lasagna garden to plant the hops- its hard to gauge height from the pictures but the mounds are about a foot off the ground

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Old 04-18-2013, 01:19 PM   #6
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So you're not actually planting them in the ground, but rather planting in your pre-made soil mix, with the below materials obviously breaking down over time and the rhizome eventually tapping the ground below?

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Old 04-18-2013, 01:24 PM   #7
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Then mulch with straw to help prevent the winds from drying out the soil and to help prevent the soil from washing by the rain. The straw will also help regulate the temps, since we are still in the high 20's at night and in the 50's during the daytime.

So the total planted in these beds are (5) Cascades, 1 Centennial, 1 Columbus, 1 Magnum, 1 Mt Hood and 1 Willamette.

Now I am just waiting on my Nugget and Chinook Crowns which I will probably end up growing on the house.

I will post some more updates once these guys break ground. I am considering planting a plot of barley to try and do a homegrown ale, lets see how motivated I am.

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Old 04-18-2013, 01:35 PM   #8
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Correct, the theory behind it is that the cardboard/paper layer will suppress the grass, the materials that you build up on top of the cardboard will begin to break down/compost which makes a very rich soil. Since you are not tilling the ground you don't have to worry about compacting the lower layers of soil, the gardens are by design very well draining so you eliminate overwatering concerns and you are building soil for the years to come.

I have been using these for a number of years and have had great success, i actually have been able to grow 15pound plus watermelons in zone 4/5 in Maine without using fertilizers other then compost and fish emulsion.

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Old 04-19-2013, 04:31 AM   #9
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I thought the reason lasagna gardening worked is because many garden plants have shallow roots, so even if it takes a year or two for the cardboard to decay away it wont effect the plants.

Hops on the other hand have pretty aggressive root structures? Be interested to see how it works.

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Old 04-20-2013, 01:52 AM   #10
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Not necessarily, I find that the cardboard breaks down quickly and it really isn't anymore difficult for the roots to break through then the ground. Think of a bio degradable pot. Plus by the time the roots get to a point where they are trying to get through the cardboard it will be so wet and soft that they will have no issue.

But I do welcome constructive criticism as I don't claim to know everything. Worst case scenario I dig a hole a toss them in!

I received my two crowns from Great Lakes hops today and planted the chinook so it would climb up my porch and the nugget is in a pot until I can build a planter.

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