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How to Grow Hops in Michigan: 3 Useful Tips

Before you try to figure out how to grow hops in Michigan, you need to gain a deeper understanding of the plant itself. Read on to learn more about this plant.

 

How to Grow Hops in Michigan: 3 Useful Tips

A Closer Look at Hops

These are perennials that feature twining stems or bines from the permanent rootstock during springtime. Since hop plants are known to be dioecious, separate plants grow to make and female flowers or cones. In commercial hopyards, stout hairs or trichomes are used to help the hop plants as they grow in a clockwise manner around trellis systems.

The right conditions enable bines to grow up to 4 to 10 inches per day. In late June, during the summer solstice, hop plants tend to grow lateral branches. During this time, they also produce clusters of green cones or flowers.

Keep in mind that only the cones and flowers produced by the female hop plants are used in the process of brewing beer.

Although hop plants can be grown in various areas, their origins can be traced back to China. In the United States, the commercial production of this plant started in the 1700s on the East Coast. Nowadays, over 80% of the country’s hops are grown in the Pacific Northwest.

Since locally-grown food and specialty beers are becoming more and more popular these days, the production of hops significantly increased among gardening enthusiasts, farmers, as well as homebrewers in Michigan.

 

The Different Uses of Hops

Throughout history, these flowers are known for their medicinal properties. Hops can be used as a sleep aid in your pillows and a perfect addition to your salad.

However, when it comes to beer production, hops are used as a flavoring agent, as well as a preservative. Thanks to its essential oils and alpha and beta acids, hops provide beer with its characteristic bitterness and aroma. During the various stages of beer’s brewing process, different varieties of hops are added until the desired taste and aroma is achieved.

 

Tips on How to Grow Hops in Michigan

To give you an idea about how you can grow hops in Michigan, check out these useful tips:

 

Tip #1: Choose the right kind of soil

Hop plants won’t have any trouble growing in different types of soils. However, they thrive well when they’re planted in well-drained loam soils that are deep and sandy.

The ideal pH for hop plant growth is around 6.5. If you’re siting hop yards, make sure that you avoid doing so in heavy soil that’s poorly-drained.

 

Tip #2: Determine the growing season

In order to produce high cone yields, hops plants require a growing season that has longer days and shorter nights. Additionally, they also need about one to two months of winter temperatures that go below 40˚F. This explains why the commercial production of hop plants occur between 40˚F and 50˚ latitude.

 

Tip #3: Provide supplemental water and nutrients

Hop plants require supplemental water, as well as nutrients in order to fully develop and thrive well.

 

 

Does Greenhouse Gardening Make Perfect Sense?

Compared to traditional outdoor gardening, greenhouse gardening offers more benefits. You’d be doing yourself and your plants a big favor if you set up your own semi pro or hobby greenhouse.

Although this may initially entail a huge investment, you won’t be disappointed with the rewards you’ll reap. To prove this point, here’s a look at the amazing benefits of greenhouse gardening:

 

You can control your plants’ growing conditions

Setting up your very own greenhouse gives you the opportunity to manipulate the growing conditions of your precious plants. The enclosed space allows you to easily control the temperature, as well as the humidity levels in order to encourage plant growth.

 

It offers protection against harsh weather conditions

While traditional outdoor gardening is great, it won’t be able to guarantee your plants’ safety in the event of harsh weather conditions. For this reason, those who garden outdoors are required to make emergency preparations before the storm sets in. On the other hand, a greenhouse eliminates the need for such preparations because the structure itself provides your plants with a layer of protection against the elements.

 

It keeps your plants safe from pests and vermin

One of the worst things that can happen to your plant babies is a pest infestation and vermin attack. These are constant threats that traditional outdoor gardeners face. When these insects and animals find their way into their gardens, they cause irreversible damage to the plants.

However, with a greenhouse to act as a barrier, you can be sure that vermin and harmful insects will be kept at bay.

 

You can grow your own food

Having your own greenhouse makes it easier for you to plant and grow your favorite vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Since greenhouse gardening enables you to grow your own food, you’ll get to save money on grocery shopping. What’s more, you can also be sure that no harmful chemicals were used to grow your crops.

 

You can extend growing seasons

Growing seasons can be extended if you grow your plants inside a greenhouse. Since their growing conditions can be easily manipulated, greenhouse gardening makes it possible for you to grow plants that aren’t native to your region.

 

Conclusion

Now that you’ve finally figured out how to grow hops in Michigan, you may want to consider growing them in a greenhouse!

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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