So we've laid out the rows in east west direction to get the best sun exposure and to run the rows along the contours to catch the water running down the hill. Next steps was to break up the soil by ripping, we have temporary use of a tractor which made this an easy task.
As well as the beautiful spread of green in this photo (a huge change from a couple of months prior) you can see Mt Ida on the right of the horizon. Mt Ida is part of the Heathcote-Greytown National park which I'm looking forward to checking out!
The area we're planting the hops was previously grazed by sheep and probably cropped a few times for hay. Other than a scattering of sheep (and 'roo) manure there's been very little attention given to the pastures. Soil tests indicate the soil is very acidic and while hops don't mind a slightly acidic enviornment, down to pH of 6, we need to get the pH up before planting in spring. Addition of lime will be needed and as it can take months for the effects to be fully realised we will need to get onto that very soon. The amount of lime required may also take a few applications so we may not be able to get the soil all the way back up to pH 6 before planting and will need to lime again next year.