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Old 08-06-2012, 08:18 PM   #1
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Default Tips for prepping for next season?

I've read the wiki and searched here and didn't succeed at finding this. I've just started in this hobby and I intend to plant hops next season. Anyone have any tips for things I can do now to prepare for planting next season or do I just forgot about it until then and plant per the guidance I've found?

Thanks.

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Old 08-06-2012, 10:15 PM   #2
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Do you have a garden or area already setup for growing? if not I'd start there, you will need 3 feet each side of each plant and personally, I'd put more like 6 feet between each plant. I made the mistake of putting them too close and they start growing lateral shoots mid season and they have some fairly long arms and get tangled easily if they are too close.

Dont do like I did and put huge tomato plants near them either, every few days I've been going outside and unwrapping new laterals out of my tomatoes.. for fall season though, I'd get garden ready by laying down a butt load of organic material, get as many different varieties as possible, "square foot gardening" suggests at least 6 varieties from different sources, especially since most are actually waist products from some other manufacturing process, so they are limited on what minerals and such are in them.

if you do raised beds, also put down a nice layer of newspapers first, then all your compost/humus/peat/vermiculite/perlite/etc on top of that, that was one other thing I wish I had done, my bed drains too easily so I have to end up watering pretty often.

Other than that, make sure you have enough vertical room to grow, bines grow 30 feet. I have 16 foot trellis, attached to my 6 foot privacy fence. But you may not be able to do that, so another tip is to use a shorter trellis and as the bines grow, give it more string and coil the bines gently around the base, so you can grow 30 foot worth of bines with a 8 foot trellis, you just end up with a huge coil of bines and intertwined runners by seasons end, but it works and hops don't seem to mind it much (I do it with my 16 foot too). If you can elevate the coil, that would be great, anything to keep it up off the ground so it doesn't get soil born diseases or any of the mildew problems, I have stakes with cross members that I coil them on and around.

oh and one last thing, if/when you get to your second year, trim first set of chutes that sprout up so you will get stronger, resilient and more fruitful bines because the second set of bines to sprout are usually thicker. (from what I've read, I'm on my first year myself)

I compost (yard wastes) and I also vermicompost (indoor red wiggler worm composting - with food scraps, etc.) for the worm castings and I buy some random amendments throughout the season for my garden, mainly well composted manure and such and it was worked well for me so far. I also use some bloom boosting fertilizers, anything good for blooming flowers is good for hops (from what I've read) but I use those as little as possible, I prefer to stay as organic as I can

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Old 08-07-2012, 07:15 PM   #3
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Compost and a good layer of leaves always do the trick for me!

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Old 08-08-2012, 01:52 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. We put in a raised garden this year, but I have lots of space around the yard / fence that I was looking to do hops. I appreciate the tips, I'll work on dedicating the space and conditioning soil before the year is out so that I can plant next season.

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Old 08-08-2012, 02:07 PM   #5
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I put my SAME variety hops close together and spread out the next different variety... I like the chinook WALL I have going on,

Yeah, mix in some good nutrients and get that soil hopping for next year... pardon the pun

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Old 08-08-2012, 03:24 PM   #6
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Ah yeah, i meant to say to spread out varieties, not plants. my bad.

If you plan on using a fence or something like that, put at least 30 or more feet between varieties, hell if 2 different varieties are growing towards each other, you might need to spread them by as much as 60 feet. I plan on using some of my fence for next years crop, using rhizomes from this years crop thinking about doing a cascade wall and still waiting to see which hop variety I like best of my other 6 cultivars as to which one I will do on the other wall, thnking it will either be one of centennial, zeus or teamaker. my teamaker produced like a champ first year, wasn't expecting that

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