Growing Hops!

I purchase some hops from Great Lakes Hops this past week. It’s a little late in the season to plant them, but hopefully next year they’ll be ready to go!

I ordered them on Thursday, Great Lakes says they ship orders on Mondays to reduce the amount of time the plants spend in the shipping container. They arrived two days later on Tuesday. The container was packed to the brim with rice hulls. Great Lakes says they help maintain the moisture the plants have while they are in transit. The plants were nice and green and the roots looked healthy.

Each individual plant (I ordered 6 total) is wrapped in a plastic bag with a rubber band around the roots to keep the bag on.

The plants all laid out and ready for planting.

I tilled up a patch of earth of the plants to go into. I ordered three different types and I planted them in pairs along the backyard fence. I amended the Indiana clay soil with peat moss, top soil, and composted manure.

Each plant will have its own trellis to grow up. I don’t have the setup for a vertical trellis, so the plants will grow along the fence suspended by eye screws and twine.

For the first two week the plants need to be hardened off. I’ll be placing a white cone over each plant to help them get acquainted with the sun.

I’ll keep this post updated as they grow!

Yard Drainage

My entire yard turns into a bit of a moat whenever it rains even a small amount.

The side of the yard had many ups and downs causing the water to get pooled in areas instead of flowing to the drainage creek in the property adjacent to mine.

Once the side of the yard started backing up the front yard was soon to follow.

Here is a short clip of the problems I experienced with the precipitation collecting all around my house along with the first leg of progress made:

I started by digging a trench 12″ wide and 12″ deep. It rained the entire day, it was not fun.

I got some help digging a portion of the trench.

5.5 tons of rock delivered, check. Make sure your SO is aware of the driveway blockage beforehand 🙂

Make sure to call before you dig near utilities! For me it didn’t do much good, AT&T lines were marked over 4 feet away from where they were actually in the ground. My neighbors line was almost cut on several occasions while digging alongside it. Luckily nothing was severed. My Metronet line marks were very exact much to my relief.

I laid out where the drain would traverse with some twine and spray paint.

Does that look like 6″ to you mr. utility marker?

Once the trench was dug I laid landscaping fabric, 4″ perforated solid drain pipe (not black corrugated which will clog up over time and be hard to clean out), and lots of rock to cover everything. I got lucky that the majority of the yard is already graded in the direction the water should be flowing, so as long as where I was digging was always 12″ deep the water would flow.

At the 90 degree bend where the pipe goes to the backyard I added in a cleanout for when the pipe gets clogged with debris. This is where the added cost of using solid drain pipe will shine. Instead of digging out a corrugated pipe because it’s difficult to clean without damaging a simple clean out is all that will be required. I’ve seen it happen first hand with a drain pipe that is already in the ground at this location. At several places along the new pipe’s path it intersects with the old one, which is clogged with mud which doesn’t allow any water through.

I back-filled some pulverized top soil back on top of the trench and planted grass.

After a few weekends of digging, help from Tractor Time with Tim, and my dear wife, I was able to get the first half of the drain completed.

A closer shot of the drainage exit during pretty heavy raining.

After the first heavy rain came through with the drainage in place I uncovered a few other low spots I wanted to drain as well. I dug two more trenches to connect to the main trench.

We then received even MORE rain in another downpour:

Even the new drainage couldn’t keep up with 1.25″ falling from the sky in a short 15 minutes. Within 20 minutes of the rain stopping however the yard had no visible standing water. This would have taken almost 2 weeks to dry out before the drainge!

To Infinity, Recursively!