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Old 09-21-2010, 01:27 AM   #1
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Default When is the best time to replant?

I planted about 40 starters two years ago turning my vege garden into a hop garden. I put a ton of work into a trellis system and even ran undergound sprinkling into it. Unfortunately I have not seen very good growth at all. I suspect that I did not get my soil right before planting. Most of the plants are growing, just very little though. Even with a bit of miracle grow.

My plan is to dig up each of the plants and rework the soil bringing in some rich black dirt to help out. I do not have a green thumb but know the ph is probably my most likely issue since the soil in the area is pretty acidic. So I am researching the fix for the ph.

When is the best time to dig up these guys and do the work? I am in west Michigan and we will have snow fall so do I work it out just after the snow melt, when the frost starts to set in before snow or even before that?

Thanks for any suggestions. I really appreciate any help I can get.

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Old 09-21-2010, 03:28 AM   #2
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i've done transplanting/moving hops in spring and fall with good results either way. the big plus i see when doing the work in the fall is that you usually have decent weather to work with. spring time here in ohio can make things difficult as the heavy clay soils are usually saturated and by the time you're done amending the soil you've increased the compaction in the general area and have made a muddy mess. when done in the fall, once the vines have pretty much died back, the crowns have a good deal of time to reestablish themselves because root growth will continue until the soil freezes - so you'll give them a couple months to get situated in their new home. once spring comes they should take right off. take a soil sample to the local cooperative extension and have them do a proper test (usually less than $10) - and if you don't understand the results, ask them to walk you through the numbers. one other thing i should mention. if you have poorly drained soil, you're gonna have problems that are hard to fix. try to dig down and amend the soil a few feet down - and then mound up the hill as much as you can. this way you're creating a pseudo raised bed situation to give the roots a little better chance. it won't solve the problem but will help improve the situation a little. good luck

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Old 09-22-2010, 02:35 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response B-Hoppy. I'm mostly in sand so the drainage isn't a problem. I like the idea of taking the soil in for a test. Probably the best way to go. My thought was to dig out the bedding area two feet down and replace the soil with black dirt mixed with compost. It might get expensive going that way. I'll see what a sample says and treat accordingly.

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Old 09-22-2010, 03:57 AM   #4
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lake,

you've got another problem with the sand, but it's a lot easier to deal with than the clay. you're going in the right direction by digging down a couple feet and amending the soil. if you've got a lot of sand, organic matter is your best friend. find a local horse stable and trade some homebrew for a couple buckets of manure. sand will leach nutrients very easily where the organic matter will help you hold any available nutrients in that general area so the plants can get to them before they drizzle away. you don't have redo all of the plants at one time, unless you have a lot of free labor. do a few this year and next summer you can work on some new areas to be ready for the fall. who knows, maybe the 3rd year will be a charm. keep hoppin'!

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