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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Hops Growing > Soil type and choosing hop variety?
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Old 02-19-2008, 01:04 AM   #1
Poindexter
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Default Soil type and choosing hop variety?

I can't be the only one wondering this. Which hops varieties grow best in which soil types?

We got clay in North Carolina, but I can do raised beds, and I can dig them pretty deep if I have too... I'll BRB with some soil type maps.

Serious reading here: http://soils.ag.uidaho.edu/soilorders/

Besides soil there is climate to consider: http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/USclimate/states.fast.html



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Old 02-19-2008, 03:23 AM   #2
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You're not alone in wondering this. I'm also in North Carolina, and trying to grow some hops this year. I've done some research but not much. Luckily I'm going to avoid the clay by planting them at my parents place, which is more towards the sandy-soiled coastal plane (I bribed my old man with promises of beer). I'm not sure if this link will work, http://www.americanbrewmaster.com/in...32_141_142_143
but it does list varietals and their preferred climate.


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Old 02-19-2008, 03:08 PM   #3
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The soil requirements are fairly standard.

"A deep well drained, sandy loam soil is best. Soils with a pH of 6 to 7.5 is ideal for hop production. Poorly drained, strongly alkaline or saline soils should be avoided. Fertilizers rich in potassium, phosphate, and nitrogen should be applied each spring. Nitrogen is required at a rate of approximately 150 lbs per acre (3 lbs N/1000 ft2). The nitrogen may be applied in split applications 2 or 3 times between March and mid-July. If manure or compost is applied around the hop plant, fertilizer applications may be reduced accordingly."
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Old 02-19-2008, 03:15 PM   #4
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Hop will grow like weeds if they have adequate sunlight and moisture.

Moisture needs are low until they bloom and fruit. Good draining soil is key so I do suggest a raised bed if you have clay. I have lost 3 plants due to bogging from clay soils. And troubleshooting the results can be mesmerizing as the symptoms appear like nutrient deficiencies (which is what is really happening).

Hops are pretty voracious and durable once established and the majority of your efforts will be expended to keep them in check.
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilaMinumBeer
Hop will grow like weeds if they have adequate sunlight and moisture.

Hops are pretty voracious and durable once established and the majority of your efforts will be expended to keep them in check.
This is good news since I pretty much have a "brown thumb."
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveM
This is good news since I pretty much have a "brown thumb."
Yeah. The first year for most is touch and go due to the learning process. And I think this is also the main reason why many say the wont grow in region X, which is what I keep hearing here but, I have seen too many healthy mature plants to listen to the naysayers.

Our local college extension agricultural department has a unknown variety 10-12 year old bine that gets minimal care. A mound of compost annually and normal watering. It's outdoors.

I am working on them to get a Rhisome clipping from them but it's in a dedicated, root isolated spot and they don't do any root pruning to it.
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:20 PM   #7
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I've successfully grown and harvested Cascades for the last 4 years and I live in Chapel Hill, NC. First year my yield was only 1 oz. The next it was 7 lbs. The year after half of my crop was taken out in a storm and I still got 5 or so lbs...

I made a three mounds. Put 3 rhizomes in each. I choose the heftiest shoots shoots each year and trim back the rest. I water them once daily and nature does the rest. You can mix a simple soap spray to get rid of pests or pick them off daily.

Good luck!
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Old 02-19-2012, 06:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poindexter View Post
Which hops varieties grow best in which soil types?
i did a bunch of research on the different hops varieties when chosing what hops to grow. i compiled all my notes here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f92/hops...-table-297038/

in all my reading i didn't come across any information on varieties preferred soil types. all varieties seem to like the same thing: a loamy, well-drained soil. your best bet will be to add organic matter and possibly sand to break up the clay.

hop varieties do have different tolerances for heat, and i would pick based on that. in the above-linked table, look under the "Climate & Growing Conditions" for indications of heat tolerance or the words "all climates". "Not adapted to southern Idaho (ID)" is code for doesn't do well in heat.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:49 PM   #9
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We are finding that as long as the roots can penetrate the soil deeply they are quite tolerant of soil types. Alkalinity / pH is a bigger factor - Above pH 6.8 most varieties yields taper off (Sterling seems to buck this ). Kent Golding, Hallertauer, and Saazer are the fussiest about having "wet feet" in heavy soils. The newer types that have been developed from them do better (the breeders seemed to have snuck some American Brewers Gold genes into them and Brewers Gold will grow in a Wisconsin swamp)
None of the hops like having their crowns (those buds right at the soil line) in standing water for any length of time though. So keep those crowns raised a bit.



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