New Zealander, Rōrahi 1, Putanga 7, 19 Hōngongoi 1845, Page 2
The experience in Agriculture, during the last three years in the Colony, has undoubtedly proved that Barley can be produced of most excellent quality, and in great quantity, per acre, — and if breweries or distilleries were established, so as to furnish a constant market to the farmer, the cultivation of such grain would be highly remunerative. Experiments on the Hop plant have also been most successful, and the growth ofthe bind from small cuttings, in one year, has been surprising, equal to three or four years' growth in England. As the period is now approaching when the planting should take place, we would more particularly draw attention to this cultivation, in order, that not one season should be lost in producing such important valuable article, either for home consumption or for exportt If Malt and Hops, of the growth of the Colony, could be produced abundantly and cheaply; an excellent ale could be produced for the India and China markets, that would be highly advantageous to the Colony. The soil, in the district of the Waitemata, is most favorable to the growth of the Hop plant, being deep rich loam, with volcanic subsoil, and rising grounds, with shelter from the southerly and south-westerly winds, are every where to be found. The slopes of the various adjacent mountains, with aspect to north-east round to north-west, would be most favourable places for cultivation In preparing the soil previously to planting it should be pulverized as much as possible, and should be well trenched, either by the plough or spade. The proper mode of planting is' in rows, placing the cuttings in hills six feet apart : to place the plants closer would prevent that free circulation of air which is essential to their growth; and when they are much advanced, they produce, >nost redundantly of bind or vine, and are apt to grow and house together when reaching the tops of the poles, over-shadowing the intervening spaces, and preventing the rays ofthe sun from reaching the flowers, and thus stopping their maturity ; therefore, closer planting than six feet is very injudicious. The proper time for planting, (in England, March or April — and in New Zealand, from the end of July to September,) is the period of dressing and pruning the old vines, when cuttings may be had. The cuttings are from the old stools, and each should have two joints or eyes; from the one which is placed in the ground springs the root, and from the other, the stalk or vine. The cuttings should be five or six inches in length. "In Kent, in which county the largest quantity is produced in England it is the practice after the hills are formed by ploughing and manuring, to dibble in five, six, or even seven cmtings, placed in a circular form, and inclining towards the centre on the top of each hillock ; but we think that the growth of the plant is so very luxuriant here, that one cutting will produce many vines. The great expense in England, in cultivating the hops, is the poles, three being required for each hill, from 16 to 20 feet high, and about 2500 to 3000 are generally required for each acre; but the " Maupau/' of this Colony is particularly adapted for that purpose, and everywhere abundant of the size and length required. The product ofthe Hop crop in England varies most considerably, according to soil and the season. In very good situations, and after a fine summer, an acre produces as much as twenty hundred weight : in tolerable seasons an average may be reckoned of fourteen hundred. — Sixty bushels of fresh gathered bops, if /ally ripe and not injured, when dried and bagged will produce one hundred weight. As the pruning and cutting of Ihe old stools of those few Hop plants, which are already in ihe Colony, must at this season shortly be performed, we trust the above few remarks will stimulate increased cultivation, being well" convinced that in a very short period, the Hop-grower in New Zealand will be richly repaid for his industry and exertion.