Hop growing is as much of an art as a skill. As with any art form there are many differing opinions and perspectives on how to produce the optimum hop crop. As with any plant there are a few basic things that must first be in place to ensure success.
1. Soil - make sure the soil is well cultivated before planting. Hops prefer soil with good tilth as their fiber roots often burrow deep into the soil to mine water and nutrients.
2. Water - everywhere one looks on the internet you see 'Don't OVERWATER your hops'. Obviously drowning any plant is not a good idea, however it takes a lot of energy and power for a hop to vigorously make its way up the string and to the wire in a number of months...with this in mind it should be much more emphasized not to UNDERWATER your hops, especially in harsher regions. The hop can handle/generally uses a lot of water throughout the growing season.
3. Fertilizer- Proper nutrient supply is essential to producing a top crop. On the commercial scale there are many considerations when planning your nutrient applications for the season due to the large number of plants being cared for. However, the home gardener should keep it simple. Nitrogen is critical in late spring to ensure optimum growth.
4. Sun- plant your hop in an area where it can glean all that mother nature can provide in the form of heat units and UV light - this will really help your plant take off...just remember to stay on top of the watering.
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'Basic Hop Growing' article written by Blake Crosby.