1. Spade or till the soil to a depth of 12-18 inches.
2. To provide nutrients and improve drainage, add organic matter to your soil by mixing in a 2 to 4-inch layer of dehydrated manure, garden compost, shredded leaves, and/or peat moss.
Water – Adequate and consistent watering is essential during your plant's first year in the garden. Infrequent, long soakings of water that thoroughly saturate the soil are more effective than frequent, light applications of water.
Due to variable geographical and environmental conditions, a specific watering schedule is difficult to define. However, as a rule of thumb, you should not allow the soil to completely dry out. During the first summer, you may need to water as often as every day in periods of drought and extreme summer heat. To determine if your plant needs water, dig a few inches into the soil next to the plant. If the soil is dry 2-3 inches below the surface, it is time to water.
Overwatering can be as damaging as under watering. Be sure that the area surrounding your plant has adequate drainage to move water away from the plant. If you choose to plant in a container, always select one with drainage holes to prevent your plant's roots from sitting in water.
Mulching - Apply a 2-4 inch layer of shredded bark, compost or other organic mulch around your plants to promote moisture retention, maintain even soil temperatures, and to discourage weed growth.
Weeding - Keep the area around your plants free of weeds. Weeds compete with all plants for food, water and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots, as soon as you see them.
Feeding - Hops love fertilizer! Begin feeding with a food that is high in nitrogen like our Cottage Farms' water soluble Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster for Fruits and Vegetables. After the first signs of hop cones form, use one that is rich in phosphorus and potassium like our Cottage Farms' water soluble Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Plants in containers need more frequent watering and feeding, especially when in active growth and bloom.
Winterizing – The time to protect your plants in the garden is after the ground has frozen. At that time, apply a winter mulch of evergreen boughs, straws or leaves to prevent lifting of the plant's roots during alternating periods of freezing and thawing.
For container planting, in very cold areas, bring your plants into an unheated, protected area such as a garage or cellar before temperatures drop below freezing. Check soil moisture every 2-3 weeks and water as needed during the winter.
In spring, remove the mulch from in-ground plantings. Also, bring containerized plants back out into the garden sunlight where they will immediately begin to repeat their yearly garden performance.
CAUTION: Not all plant material is edible. Though most plants are harmless, some contain toxic substances which can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or other discomforts. As a general rule, only known food products should be eaten. In case of ingestion, please contact your local poison control center at once and advise them of the plant ingested. Keep out of reach of children.