Fuggle Container Hops


    Fuggle container hops reached almost 15 feet tall.  

    Fuggle hops as a container hop plant

    Fuggle Hops

    This is my first Fuggle variety and my first container hop.  (I lost a Mt. Hood container hop plant to 50 MPH winds)  I have it in a 20 inch diameter, 16 inch deep pot.  It appears to support vertical growth, we will see if it has enough volume to fill out and support abundant hop cones aka strobiles.  I wanted to connect the pulley to the underside on my roof (18 feet) but my ladder was only 14 feet and I am afraid of heights.  I was on the third rung of the ladder from the top and hanging on for dear life.  So the best I could do was 15 feet into the corner trim.

    Maybe next year I will get a taller ladder and go to the roof.  I really want to see what the best height is for hops production.  I am guessing it is at least 18 feet tall as that is what many commercial growers use.  I have also read that some varieties produce more hop cones or strobiles if you keep the bines under 15 feet.  Unfortunately, they didn’t mention which varieties.

    I used a mixture of top soil, compost and composted manure.  I am hoping this will supply the nutrition needed for one years growth.  I mulched the top of the soil with grass clippings to retain moisture and keep the soil from baking.  The soil may get some additional nutrition as the grass clippings break down.  These are first year hops and are doing well.   The wooden trellis next to the hops is my cucumbers.  They are not doing nearly as good as the hops.

    Living in Minnesota, I will have to protect the crown / root stock from our down to 30 below temps in the winter.  I do not have an insulated garage or root cellar so I will have to insulate the container with leaves or bags of leaves.  I will have to do some more research and see if I will be able to keep this plant in the same container or have to move it to a larger container or put it in the ground.  I would think that because hop root stocks can grow to fifteen feet, that it would become root bound.  I have heard of others that had their container hops roots come out the bottom of the container and into the ground.

    Hop burrs are starting to form on the hop bines.

    Hop Burrs On the Bines

    Not certain if the spiney hop burrs will show in this pic on the post.  They are pretty small and I will post a close up of the burrs when they are more abundant.  I also wanted to show the lateral growth since the last post.  These 3 are second year hops and should produce quite nicely.  What I have read is they peak during the 3rd year so I am looking forward to next year to see how much better they will do.

    The Cascades actually wrapped across the 2 ropes between them (used for lowering and raising the bines) and the Magnum hops and are intermingling a little.  I will have to be sure to separate them during harvest.  They are filling out quite nicely and I am expecting a lot more hop cones than last years 4 pounds.

    That’s where things stand today – June 26, 2010.  Hop on!


    Categories : Growing Hops


    1. […] great info on planting hops in a container from both of these links: Brew Your Own Magazine Article Growing Hops in a container blog post The big problem though is the limited vertical space. Hops want to grow straight up a piece of […]

    2. nathan says:

      Check out midwest supplies. Some basic knowledge on hops there and right now they have rhisomes for sale (4-16-11). They say to provide them with roughly double the phosphorous and potasium as the nitrogen. And that the mineral boron can be helpful. But most importantly of course is the drainage.

    3. Bob,

      Thanks for the complement. I have not done horizontal trellising but have seen it many times. Hops are survivors and will grow any which way they can. Best if you “guide” the hop bines daily to go in the direction you want or it can become one big tangle (not necessarily a bad thing).

      Any fertile, well draining soil will do. Yes, to much or “raw” compost can burn plants – make sure it is well broken down. PH between 6 – 8 will do. Best of luck! You’ll enjoy growing hops.

    4. Bob Brazil says:

      Great blog you’ve got yourself going here!

      Gonna try my first batch of hops plantings this spring.

      Couple of quick questions:
      Any ever have luck with horizontal trellising? I’ve been thinking I can train them to run along a fence line…

      Any suggestions on soil, in terms of nitrogen/chem composition? Not looking for rocket science, but I’ve killed a few plants with too much compost, etc. Hope to have a good basic idea of optimal soil, particularly when planting in pots.


    5. […] – September 18th I harvested the Nugget hops.  Two Weeks after the Cascade, Magnum and Fuggle hops.  Same as last year – 2 weeks after my other hops were ready and harvested.  I had three […]

    6. Jay,
      Holy crap – you have been busy. Yeah another good year – tons of hop burrs and hop cones. Second year hops are so much faster once the crowns are established.

      I control most of my weeds by mulching with a thick layer of grass clippings but I don’t know if that is realistic at your scale of operation. Once your trellis is complete, your job will be much easier in the following years. Easier to train them from the ground up than when they are several feet long (and tangled – very challenging).

      My Cascade are the fastest and bushiest followed by Nugget then Magnum (which do not bush out hardly at all). My container Fuggle is doing well but has not started flowering yet (first year – only afternoon sun).

      Keep us posted and I would be happy to post your pics if you want. Keep up the good fight.

    7. jay says:

      hey GH – look like you’re having another productive year.
      i have to say that time is the biggest challenge, but all in all i’m happy with how things have gone. i’ve spent the better part of 2 months building trellis and after watching plants topple over and intertwine themselves, i’ve certainly added hours to my workload. but i’ve done so with a less agitated family. oh that she knew how her early season reluctance to let chores be accomplished in a timely manner has cost us in the long run 😉

      that said, i have a row of centennial left to twine (hoe the weeds around the hills carefully to ensure i don’t clip a dominant bine – start trimming side shoots from the bottom up carefully and untwine the existing dominant bines -usually 2 that have topped out a 5 ft tomato stake, started downward twining all the while, turning once again and heading back up while sending out side shoots amidst the mess of other bines – truly a test of patience!!) and a split row of chinook and zeus.

      Most of the plants having burred up nicely, but i’m not sure how they’ll continue producing now that i’ve manhandled them and trained them proper up 14 ft twine…..we shall see. i’m hoping that the delay in trimming and training has allowed the crowns to grow heavily as they have had lots of weeds to compete with. I think next year will rock.

      some of my fuggles and goldings have pretty much stopped growing…which is weird, but i know they are not hardy varieties.

      good luck with you’re harvest and once my twining is complete i’ll try to post a picture. 🙂

    8. Hydroponic says:

      Has anyone tried growing hops hydroponically? A hydroponic set up could contain all the roots and be grown indoors or out.

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