Soil Test

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BradleyBrew

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Hey everyone,

Got 10 first year plants going... A 6 crowns and 4 rhizomes. Anyways, all are doing "ok" not to much growth yet. I did a cheap soil test with distilled water and my Ph was 7.2, Phosphorus was good, potassium was good, but the nitrogen was so low it wouldn't even register on the test. Not sure if this makes sense. Could this be the reason my hops have basically not grown since planted over a month ago? I went out and bought some Organic Liquid Miracle Grow that is 8% Nitrogen. Most are deep green besides the Columbus and Centennial but all have not really grown. Any advice or help?? Thanks!

Maybe it just this whacked out weather?
 

damdaman

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If you're low on nitrogen your leaves will be yellower than normal and yes, growth will most definitely suffer.

Top dress with worm castings or strong compost is the best solution imo. Miracle Gro will provide a quick boost and if you're really low it wouldn't hurt to use it, but for long term nitrogen release you want to add castings or compost.
 

B-Hoppy

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As long as they're green and appear relatively normal, just give them some time. The weather here in the Midwest has been about as crazy as I can remember. As for the soil test, they've been known to be wrong before. I'd play it safe and just topdress with some compost like damdaman suggested. With first year plantings you can get a lot of variability from one rhizome to another and the big factor is that they're trying to establish a root system along with attempting to throw out a little top growth to produce more energy to get the roots going. Patience is a virtue, especially with plants. Once things begin to warm up, if it ever will, you'll be fine.
 

Stevo2569

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You also may consider using some Blood Meal if the soil test is accurate. If you did'nt already, Sample several areas around the plants from 3" to 6" down and spread, air dry, mix together before testing. +1 to top dressing with compost. Like others have said low nitrogen will yellow. Dark green is sometimes a sign of phosphorous deficiency before the leaves start edge scorching . If you have already applied the miracle grow wait a few weeks and test again. Nitro/Phosphorous Deficiency
 
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BradleyBrew

BradleyBrew

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thanks everyone! I put in a few raised beds with "supersoil" which was a mixture of sand, topsoil, & manure. That's why I was suprised about the lack of nitrogen. Maybe it was to high for the test to read?? The 2 cascades are really out pacing everything but from reading that is typically. I guess time will tell...
 

dbhokie

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Well it depends on the stage of decomposition with the manure and how well mixed it was. I doubt it was too high to read, if you got a cheaper shake soil test, it should have been darker than the darkest color if it was too high. Sometimes the things aren't completely accurate, I usually test twice if an element is low.

I second one poster above, I personally would add some blood meal around the plant, and down the length of the rhizome growths. It isn't incredibly strong, but will inject nitrogen faster than a lot of other things. Organic liquid feed is fastest, and quickest gone, blood meal is fairly quick, and stays a bit before the nutrients are depleted, and some good top dressing will keep you going in the future.

I tried to stress to a brewery that consulted with me on hops, that you really, when establishing a permanent garden should check your soil and prepare it very well first. Then each fall check your soil again, You can get a bearing on how much uptake in main nutrients and micro-nutrients your hops are taking. You can get a true good soil test at most nearby universities with half an ag department for $5. That is how much they cost at Virginia Tech anyways. Then it gives you time to prepare the soil for the spring.

Have fun!
 
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BradleyBrew

BradleyBrew

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awesome thanks for the info! I think blood meal is the way to go. I'm gonna use the liquid fertilizer as well because I've got it to give them a quick boost.
 
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