Gowanus Brewery

Hop Garden – It’s Alive! by Jeremy
June 21, 2008, 12:00 am
Filed under: hops

They may be hard to spot in these pictures, but what you see before you is three sprouted hop rhizomes. That’s right. Despite all the ups and downs, they’re alive!

The two plants on the left are planted on either side of the hop trellis and will eventually grow up twine lines stretched from the deck to the top of the trellis.  The Centennial is the larger of the two and the other is the Willamette.  The plant on the right is the Cascade I received from the Yahoo! Grow-hops Group recently.  It’s the one that survived weeks sitting in a cardboard box during a massive heat wave.  I have it planted in the back of the yard in the center of a fence where, eventually, there will be a section of wood lattice for it to cling to as it grows up.

As you can see, none of them have the benefit of great-looking soil.  All of the soil in this part of Brooklyn is rich in clay and dense, because–and I’m serious now–millions of years ago a glacier removed all of the top soil in its path, revealing the layer of clay-rich soil we have today.  The soil in the back of the yard has, however, been under plastic for over four years, so it actually might be relatively nutrient-rich.  Anyway, we’ve got a compost bin on the way and I should have better soil to work with by mid-summer.

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[…] three of my hop plants–the Willamette, Centennial, and Cascade–are growing well, if not quickly.  If you zoom […]

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Here’s a great, cheap, eco-friendly way to vastly improve your soil. Till some hardy seeds into the ground, beans or wheat or barley, after a few days you’ll have sprouts. Till them back into your soil, wait a few days and then repeat the process. Do that 4 or 5 times and your soil will be fluffier and rich in organic matter. Hops like a looser soil. We live in the Northwest, but we know about clay soil too!

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