Cascade Hops


    The Nugget bine and Cascade hops bines have reached the top of the ropes.  The Cascade hops plant overtook the Nugget and is now the bine height leader by a foot over the Nugget hops.  The Magnum bines are still only 8 or 9 feet tall.  I lowered the Cascade and Nugget bines 6 feet to allow the hop bines to continue to climb.

    Cascade Hop Bines Take the Lead

    Cascade Hop Bines Take the Lead

    I mounted hose racks to the side of my garage to allow looping the hop bines off the ground and allow more vertical growth (see pictures).  One thing I learned with this setup is the bines blow off of the hose racks in the wind we have had the last 2 days so I had to secure the rope to the hose hangers ( I used tie wraps/ zip ties – Next to duct tape, zip ties are best invention ever in my opinion.

    I chose Cascade hops, Nugget hops and Magnum hops because they are disease resistant, high yielding and grow well in my climate (zone 4).  Apparently the Magnum do not fair as well, they are behind the Nugget and Cascade hop plants by 6 – 7 feet (I still love them though).  The season is not over, anything could happen yet.  My experiment on how to grow hops with a pulley system seems to be working well so far.

    The bines are sending out side shoots for hops and I can hardly wait.  Because they are first year hops, I am not expecting much of a hop harvest this year, although they are exceeding my expectations from everything I have read on the subject and from my hop growing friends.  I can’t wait till next year to see what they will do.

    Nugget Hop Bines Give up the Lead

    Nugget Hop Bines Give up the Lead

    The soil innoculant I used “Alive Soil Activator” revived all of my wifes flowers (can’t be hurting my hops either).  Like all flowers, they look great when you buy them but after a month or so the flowering fades.  I used this unconventionally and just threw a couple of spoonfuls in a watering container, watered the plants and they all look 200% better!  Even revived a plant I thought was dead – it is flowering like crazy now!

    Anyway, there is my status report on how to grow hops (my version).  There is a lot of good information on growing hops out there – find it, read it, absorb it and grow hops like crazy.

    One of my Favorite Beers/Ales

    One of my Favorite Beers / Ales

    Categories : Growing Hops


    1. Dochommer,

      Any harvest on first year hops is a bonus – congrats! Sounds like you are off to a great start – other than the Fuggles. Could have been a bad rhizome, could be the ph of the soil – you want between 6 and 8 ph – shoot for 7 and you can’t go wrong. As far as the Fuggles close to the evergreen, the soil may have been too acidic. A friend of mine who grows hops like gangbusters had some that refused to grow (healthy, vibrant hop rhizomes). Turned out it was a black walnut tree, the roots impart a chemical that is toxic to hops – probably other plants as well (he cut down the tree – priorities you know). As far as Miracle Grow, it is a lesser evil than most chemical fertilizers (I use miracle grow on my garden if I think the plants need a boost) – not close to harvest though.

      I would think that by June (on second year hops), the crown or root stock would be established deep enough to survive unattended unless you have a severe drought. Make sure the hop bines are off to a good start – well watered and trained up the twine/rope or whatever you have them climbing and they should do fine. Make sure to mulch around the hop plants to retain moisture in the soil. Allow up to 3 hop bines per rope and cut the rest down to the ground.

      Do you have any friends or nearby home brewers that would appreciate the hops? It would be a shame to go to waste but if nothing else, you can compost them and the compost will have every nutrient your hops will need the following year. Worst case, the bines will supply energy to the crowns for the next year. Also, this spring, cut a radius around the hop root stock as far out as you wish to contain the hop plants. The hop crown will send out lateral rhizomes (self propagating roots) and spread bines unless contained.

      Anyway, have a great experience where ever you are going or at least make the most of it. You didn’t say where you are located but your hops should survive as they are now established hop plants and hardy as any weed! Cheers!

    2. Dochommer says:

      Not sure if I’m doing the bad thing or not. Used miracle grow was working great for me. First time/first year hop grower. Planted 3 rizomes, cascade fuggles and nugget. Had a realy good harvest (in my mind) for the first year, close to 1.5lbs between 2 of the bines/plants? the fuggles never made it out of the ground. I did plant it close to an evergreen, probably killing it from the needle resin? The question that I have is…. I will be leaving around june for a year. My family has alot smaller interest in the garden and wanting to know if I can expect a mass growth of bines or will they die on me. They will have some attention up untill i leave but if the are unattneded, what can I expect.

    3. I get asked all the time where to buy hop rhizomes. Quite a few posts ago, I put together a list of places to buy hops (rhizomes). Cascade hops are one of the more popular and just about everyone sells them. Anyway, checkout the post dedicated to buying hop rhizomes:


    4. Ron says:

      I want to grow cascade hops and need a place to purchase from. Do you have any recommendations?

    5. Jay,
      Hang in there, you should be pleasantly surprised soon with some explosive growth. The first 2 – 3 feet of growth is slow (at least on first year hops). Most of the energy is establishing the crown / rootstalk. A few sunny days and you will see 2 – 6 inch a day hop bine growth. On my hops I have trimmed a couple of the later sprouting bines to the ground – not letting more than 2 or 3 bines per rhizome and let the 2 or 3 bines have all the energy.

      Miracle grow is one of the lesser non-organic evils – The stuff you spray on the foliage anyway. Just don’t kill your living soil with harsh chemical fertilizers. So far I am 100% organic (I have been tempted too).

      Best of luck. Keep me posted. I’ll say a prayer for your Cascades and Hallertau – those are tasty hops!

    6. Jay says:

      hey growing hops! nice work!!
      only 8 or 9 feet he says (lol)
      I have some at only 8 or 9 inches. My nuggets have taken the lead at about 20 inches and the zeus are just shy of that.
      sadly, none of my cascades or hallertau broke ground.

      my count is now – 4 fuggles, 2 willamette, 2 zeus, 2 nugget, 1 goldings and 1 mt hood. most crowns have 2 bines trained, but a couple just have 1. I used green jute twine this year and we’ll see how she holds up.

      I am hoping that a decent harvest can be obtained from vines that grow less than 10 feet. I will do some reading about the best pruning methods to concentrate the energy to the cones. I have to say, I have been very tempted to hit them with miracle grow, etc. but I have resisted….wanna stay organic… It’s like when that cigarette craving hits – it only last for a couple of seconds, then I’m glad I didn’t….just have to remind myself that this is the first attempt, and the rhizomes were fairly immature. I will keep hitting them with the compost tea and at my 2 month mark (july 17) i hope to be where you were after 2 months.
      wish me luck!

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