This is a big year for me. My fourth since I started brewing and the one I decided to start all grain brewing and growing my own hops. I've always wanted to make my own beer from my own stuff but decided growing barley and malting it myself was too much. However, growing hops sounded easy. I don't have much of a green thumb. I hope that won't matter. Here's what I did. I preordered last year two each of five different varieties. Mt. Hood, Fuggle, Nugget, Cascade, and Newport.
I live in WV on a mountain side that faces E with nonfirtle, clay soil so I needed a raised bed to help with drainage and give me a place to place some good soil. I could place the hops on the side of the house for southern exposure but my wife killed that idea quickly. I convinced her that I could plant them below our deck and they would grow high enough to make a privacy fence around our hot tub. Our deck is VERY high. I doubt they will make it that high the first year but maybe next year. Here is one of my planters.
I used 50% cow manure and 50% top soil for my raised beds.
I simply leveled the clay soil and placed my raised bed on top.
My hops were delivered the day I made these and since I preordered a long time ago I forgot how many I got. I made four beds and got five varieties. I quickly dug a hole, made a mount, and put the cascade in there. Next year I may move them.
After just a week they were going crazy.
cascade have not emerged. Their rhizomes were not nearly as large as the others. All the others were about 10"-12" long with lots of roots were the cascade were about 3-4" with a few roots.
Here's some pics of what they look like as if a few weeks ago. It's been raining and I've been too busy to go check on them. Typically I've been watering them every other day for a few minutes. I'll try to get newer pics posted. I wanted to get this thread going a while back to see if anyone had suggestions for me.
I have not come up with a plan to protect them from aphids or mildew. What do you guys do? I have four Japanese beetle traps around them hops to form a protective area inside of the traps. My yard had them darn beetles pretty bad last year. Finally, should I get some slow release fertilizer for them? I was a little worried that 50% manure was a bit much but the growth seem to have slowed a little and the leaves are not quite as green. Maybe I'm just paranoid or bored. Thanks for any suggestions. Oh, my twin is hung with pillows at the top so I can lower the bines for harvest.