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Old 04-26-2011, 06:51 PM   #1
Aug 2008
Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 478
Liked 11 Times on 9 Posts

Hey everyone, long time no see.

I'm planning to grow my own hops this year and I've got 2 cascasde, 2 nugget, 1 chinook and 1 golding rhizome. I've built a 12x8 raised bed in my back yard and put a 4x4 in the middle of it that I'll secure a pole to (I'll likely use 2 10' sections of galv pipe screwed together to get something like a 15' pole with 5 buried) secure to the 4x4 and support my hop twine and the bines that will grow up them. I wont have a weed stopper or anything on the bottom of my hop garden, I just wanted something easy to mow around that my hops could grow in and I could give them plenty of space from eachother. In retrospect, it would have been pretty easy to just dig holes in the ground and fill those with bags of soil from home depot. Still waiting to hear back from the city about putting a <20' pole in the corner of my backyard, though I dont think it's an issue as it's not permanent.

I've got my hops and they're chillin in the fridge with some moisture waiting patiently to get planted. I've built my raised bed and now I'm just waiting on soil. I've been doing some reading and god help me if I can't find what the best option would be. I know I need ~2 yards to fill my garden up 6" (no need to go all the way to the top) and I know I need top soil. I keep reading places that I can get top soil mixed with peat or compost to help garden growth and that sounds like a great thing, cant really go wrong there.

What would the best option be? I dont have a truck so I would likely need soil to be delivered or borrow my dad's half ton and take 4 trips back and forth.

I can get a yard of each compost and topsoil mixed for $95 delivered locally, and that'll give me my 2 yards. Or I can go to home depot and buy like 25 bags of this or something similar from home depot for around $1.25 a bag. I feel the home depot option will be of significantly less quality, but I can cart that around in my car with multiple trips. (EDIT: that's 12cf total, they're each 1/2cf, not 2, not a viable option, bah)

So after all of that banter...what's the best option, should I just get half topsoil/compost delivered and plant my hops this week?
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:58 PM   #2
Dec 2009
Posts: 2,204
Liked 302 Times on 241 Posts

I'm jealous of the large raised bed. I don't think you need to go overkill on filling the entire bed. It would just be a waste of money. The best hops I've seen growing are like weeds. I think you could dump a good container of topsoil where you plant them. Fill in the rest of the bed with generic soil. Maybe make sure the ph is right and that's it. The worse thing I did last year is baby them. I gave them a little bit of week fertilizer and ash and they didn't like that. Then again my garden doesn't get much sun. This year I'm leaving them alone. After a rough winter/spring they were fighting thru the final snow and are climbing the trellis already. Once we get any kind of sun they'll really get going. My LHBS has them planted under the eaves of his house in average soil and they love it. Leave them alone and don't baby them too much. I think regular topsoil and a lot of sun is all they need.

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