Spoiled Last Year – More Normal Season This Year

    Snow covered hops this spring as of 21 March 2013

    March 21, 2013 Late Start

    What a difference a year makes.  Last year, March 13th I had hop sprouts.  This year March 21, We have 6 inches of snow still on the ground and below average temps for at least another week (close to record lows for this time of year 2 degrees above zero fahrenheit at night – haven’t hit 30 degrees for a high yet).  The average high for this time of year is 44 degrees.  So much for global warming.

    Last year was an early spring, this year, not so much.  This year is closer to normal.  On average I don’t see sprouts until early to mid April.  I am in zone 4 (Minneapolis, MN area) and the general rule for planting a garden here is May 15th for frost free nights.  Hops are hardy once established and can easily take 25 degrees and not even be phased by it.  That’s why they are always sprouting at least a month before May 15th.

    2012 was an early spring allowing these hop sprouts to emerge in mid March.

    March 13, 2012 Hop Sprouts

    Well I am sick of winter and antsy to get out in my yard and garden and start planting.  I know many of you are in warmer climates and you probably already have sprouts or even bines by now or have already planted your rhizomes.

    Well I wish you the best and I hope this is a better growing season than last year (at least around here it was not good – even my tomatoes did poorly).  Let us know how you are doing click the number following “Comments” at the top of the post if you are on the home page  – or the Comments will be at the bottom of the post if you are on the post page.  If you don’t know the difference between a home page and a post page, don’t worry about it – just blogger geek speak.  Cheers to 2013!  (We already survived the end of the world!)

    Categories : Fifth Year Hops


    1. Grow Hops says:

      Generally, if the ground is not frozen and it is going to warm up soon (should), you can put them in the ground now. The rhizome will “wake up” once the ground warms up. The sprouts and bines can handle occasional 25 degree nights. The snow just cleared off of my hop mounds – I dug under the mulch looking for sprouts – nothing yet. When it gets past the cold nights here (just had a 19 degree night a couple nights ago), I will remove the mulch so the ground will warm up faster under the sun and the sprouts will have an easier time. Last year was an exception here as I had hop sprouts March 13th. Mid April is normal for here so I should have sprouts within 2 weeks max.

      I would love to see your trellis setup. Email me ( the pics and I will post them – always looking for new ways and ideas for trellising… I am looking into maybe adding a forum to this blog and having more interaction and pictures… I may have to switch hosting companies or upgrade my service to handle it though – we will see.

    2. hoosier says:

      Here in central Indiana we have yet to “sprung” into spring (26F here tonight). It is supposed to begin warming this weekend and hopefully trend that way.
      I have three (cenntinial, chinook, glacier) that I put into the ground, topped with compost and mulch, last fall. They were grown all last summer in containers due to me relocating. They grew well early and had a rough summer, due to the heat, even with daily waterings. As of this past weekend I have no shoots. I hope the transition into mother earth didn’t shock them too much. I picked up three more rhizomes (n.brewer, willamette, colombus), and being a beginner hops grower, I was curious if anyone had any input into when would be best to put these in the ground?

      By the way I have a nice vision for my trellis set-up. I will post pics later. If that’s possible?

    3. Andy says:

      I hope to be very surprised… just drank a brew this weekend my brother made with some of the Teamakers in it… surprising smooth taste to it. My sprouts keep going.. I am going to plan the 10 new plants by this Saturday.

      I’ve said before, I very much enjoy your blog… always fun to see what others are doing.

    4. Grow Hops says:

      I am just shy of 45 degrees north latitude and still snow covered but melting fast. You have a jump on my growing season. Sounds pretty ambitious. Wait till you see your second year harvest, you should be pleasantly surprised. Nice variety of hops! Cheers to your 2013 hops harvest!

    5. Andy says:

      Reporting in here from Harrisburg, PA. We are at approx. 40.27 degress N latitude, and have had some cold spells the last few weeks. Went out last evening (March 27) to weed and cut back my 5 first year plants put in the ground last spring and was pleasently surprised to find budds on all 5. (Teamaker, Nugget, Santiam, Newport, and Magnum). I weeded and put a little bit of soil and mulch over some of the disturbed roots from weeding.

      I had a decent harvest last fall with Teamaker and Nugget doing the best for me.. got a little more than 1.5 onces dried of Teamaker and right at 1.5 oz. from the Nugget.. the other three varieties got me about .5 onces dried or one quart freezer bag full per plant. I tie my twine to a steel cable 14 feet up, strung between two trees.

      Looking forward to this year’s yeilds. Plan on prunning back some of the first growth, maybe until late April. Also looking forward to trippling my mounds this year.. I am planting two more Teamakers, 6 more Nuggets, and two Sorachi Ace rhizomes. Going to be an interesting year for my Hop Yard!

    6. Grow Hops says:

      You got quite a jump on my hops. That’s interesting about the blueberries and hops – I had not heard of any adverse “companion issues” with blueberries before (although I know blueberries like acidic soil – hops like closer to neutral 6.7 – 7.0 pH ). I have a friend that had some hops that just would not produce (he has 30+ hop plants – most do well) and he determined it was a Black Walnut tree nearby. Apparently their roots extrude something that negatively affects hops. Being the hard core home brewer he is, the tree lost out to his hops – he cut it down. He moved the crowns that weren’t doing well by the Black Walnut roots to another area and they took off. Not sure how long the soil is affected after you remove the tree.

      Thanks for your update. Hope you have a good hops year!

    7. Rod Daebelliehn says:

      Shoots started coming up in late February here in Nor Cal. I went through and root trimmed all the three year+ hops Two weeks ago I cut back the first growth on those that I had root trimmed, but are letting the two year or younger run wild to promote growth. Not expecting too much in the way of hops from them in any case. Longest bine is about two feet on the young plants and will probably set lines and train this weekend. The older plants are at about two inches and I expect I will train them later next week. Decided to separate some blueberry bushes from the vicinity of the hops. Neither did well last year, so I expect they don’t get along. Both are already looking better this spring.

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