Sep
    01

    Growing Hops

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    Growing Hops Image

    Growing Hops on the Bine

    Growing hops is possible in almost every one of the United States of America.  Hops obviously exist in Europe, Asia and other locations but I will stick with what I am familiar with, the USA.  To grow hops you generally must be between the 35th and 55th parallel (see diagram below) elevation may make it possible to grow hops at slightly lower lattitudes.  I have even read of people growing hops in Mexico, Arizona, Texas and Florida (well outside of the 35 to 55 lattitudes).  Some varieties of hops do better than others in the extremes of this range (some like it hot, some not).  Currently, the northwest USA produces the largest crop of hops plants (Oregon, Washington Northern California…).

    Latitude map of the USA

    USA Latitude Map

    Hops (Humulus Lupulus) are a fast growing vine (referred to as bine) that requires large amounts of sunshine and nutrients from the soil to sustain their rapid growth.  Hop bines can grow up to 30 ft in length.  A perennial, which dies back every winter to the root stock also known as the crown.  Hop plants can be grown from hop rhizomes (underground stems) or seed (but usually hops rhizomes – only want female hop rhizomes).  Hop plantings are generally grown vertically but can be grown horizontally.  Most Hops plants require a 4 month growing season.

    Only the female hop plants flower (the flower is the hop).  Males are used for pollination to seed the females but generally un-pollinated or seedless hops are preferred for brewing.  Beer hops are used for brewing beers and ales to counteract the sweetness of the barley, to provide aroma and also works as a preservative.  Hops have medicinal qualities and calming effects but that is out of scope for this blog.

    Planting hops requires a nutrient dense, well drained soil with a PH between 6 and 8.  Most hop growers  go vertical with their plants so that must taken into consideration for planting.  Since most people (at least in the cities) have a 1/4 acre or less, use a side of their house,  garage, deck or tall poles and twine or rope.  Running twine from the ground to a roof line or overhang is very popular.  A common configuration is twine from a ground anchor to an eyelet attached high on a pole, house, garage or other building and zigzagged up and down (using a latch hook on the high end for easy removal).  If using a single pole, it would be a tee pee configuration.  There are many ways to rig the vines but rope seems to work the best compared to trellises when it comes to harvest time.

    Soil should be prepared at least a couple weeks (the previous season is better) before planting to allow the soil amendments to blend together.  Soil should be dug down  a foot or more to ensure the root stock can grow unimpeded.  The soil should be mixed with organic materials (I am an organic kind of guy).  Decomposed manure, compost, leaves and/or grass clippings and wood ashes are all good soil amendments for hop gardens.  Drainage is very important for hop plants so be aware of slopes and valleys in the ground.  If planting against a house or garage without gutters (on the down slope side) beware the roof runoff.  A raised mound and drainage paths help in these cases and is a good idea for all hop planting.

    Most hops are propagated from rhizomes, so that is what I will cover (besides I have never started from seed).  If you have a short growing season, you can start hop rhizomes indoors.  Once the threat of frost has passed, it is time to plant.  Plant 1 to 3 hop rhizomes in a grouping or mound (1 is usually sufficient), 1 to 4  inches below the soil’s surface (I go 3 to 4 inches deep).  Plant buds up and mounds about 3 feet apart, more (minimum 5 feet) if the next grouping is a different variety of hops.

    When the shoots break ground and are about 1 foot long, select 1 to 3 of the hardiest hop bines (similar to, but different from vines) and train them to climb the rope in the same direction – most advise clockwise (not sure why).  Like everything, there are different ways to go about this, either 1 pole or rope per mound or 1 on each side of the mound (2 ropes/twine)  per mound – prune all other bines to focus all the growing energy to the selected bines.  Difference between bines and vines: vines send out grasping shoots.  Bines use stiff hairlike follicles and wrapping around things to support themselves.

    Depending on when you started or when the existing crowns started bines, the hops should be ready for harvest around mid August to mid September.  When mature, the hops will be squeezable rather than solid and have a paper like texture.  When you determine it is harvesting time, bring down the ropes or poles and pluck the hops from the vines.  The hops must be dried, either in a dehydrator, an oven no more than 140 degrees (with the door open) or at room temp spread out on a single layer on a raised screen to allow airflow.  Keep away from direct sunlight as that will affect the properties and freshness of the hop cones.   Room temp drying is best for retaining flavor and aroma.

    Once dried, the hops should be vacuum sealed and frozen for best results or fresh hops may be used immediately (after drying the hops).  If not vacuum sealed, at least remove as much air as you can from a sealable freezer bag and then freeze.  Shield the hops from light as that will prolong freshness also.

    This is a bit abbreviated but gives you enough information to grow your own hops!  Read some books on how to grow your own hops and/or do some more Internet research to gain additional tips, tricks, methods and theories to maximize your hop growing abilities.  Just say no to hop drought and start growing hops.

    See: Growing Hops From Rhizomes

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    Comments

    1. […] The ideal hop growing conditions lie between the 35th and 55th latitude parallels, which covers the entire Ohio Valley, and most of the continental U.S. But there are many local variations in conditions. […]

    2. Robert, Sorry for the delay, I have been on vacation a couple weeks and just catching up. I have not heard of hop cones being eaten (all of them?). Any sign of insects? They are female plants right? Where are you located? if you have pictures, send to info@growinghopsyourself.com and maybe I can help figure it out.

    3. Robert says:

      Hello Tony;
      I have some kind of pest that is destroying the flower so instead of “petals” of the hops all that is there are ‘sticks”. The first year week very well but the last two years I have not harvested because of the hops flowers being , my guess, eaten. Any thoughts?
      Thanks,

    4. Eric,
      If I understand you correctly:
      Some say to pinch off the first sprouts. I do not and have no info whether there is any benefit or not by doing that. Generally, first year hops, let them all grow and collect energy for the root stock (crown). Second year on, select the healthiest/largest bines and let 3 to 5 bines per rope and pinch off all other sprouts so all the energy goes to the “chosen ones” (assuming you are using rope/twine).

    5. Eric L says:

      Robert – Thanks for this great resource. Is there any need to trim or pinch the initial bine tips/runners, or ok to let it go as it grows without intervention?

    6. Robert,
      Sorry for the late response. We just pulled out of winter here – just 10 days ago it was 10 below zero here! Magnum and Cascade are good choices – 1 aromatic and one bittering hop. Go big with your containers, 5 gallon or better. Best of luck.

    7. Robert Anderson says:

      Planing on growing some this season. I think I will stick to just 1 or two plant’s, a Magnum and a Cascade. will be growing in a container.

    8. David,
      I am not sure which varieties do best in Kentucky (I live in Minnesota). I have yet to find that kind of information (varieties that do best in different area/latitudes) in writing/on the web. Best to check with growers in your area. Try homebrew shops, local groups/forums on hops/home brewing. You can try local university agricultural departments also. Cascade hops seem to do well most areas is what I have heard. Hope this helps.
      Tony

    9. David says:

      Any suggestions for varieties likely to do well in KY?

      Thanks.

    10. William,
      It all depends on how well they do, how tall you grow them, how many bines you grow from each plant… If they do well, I would plan on 8 oz dry hops per rope (3 to 5 bines per rope) and you can have more than one rope per plant. Each successive year there will be more and more sprouts per plant. Hope this helps.

    11. William Mis says:

      This year I planted 13 Centenial, 13 Cascade, 5 Fuggle and 5 Golding. I know it will vary, but on the average, what kind of yield can I expect next year and going forward? I have room for more plants but do not wish to “over plant”. I know I can freeze them but one can only brew so much beer!
      Thanks!

    12. Carol,
      It depends upon the style of beer or ale and batch size. Hoppier beers obviously take more hops. My experience is if a recipe calls for 2 oz of pelletized hops, it will take 3 to 4 oz of whole hops to get the same effect. Not sure why – if it is the pelletized hops are more potent or more “available” hop resins, oils, alpha and beta acids, lupulin… and other hop factors. I generally get 8 ozs of dry hops per plant(about 2 lbs wet hop cones) – I know people that get much more, depends on your setup. Hope that helps.

    13. carol meekhof says:

      how many plants does it take to have enough hops to make a batch of beer?

    14. Alan, sorry for the delay. Just about any twine will do for a single season. I use nylon rope and leave it up all year long (use a pulley system). This will be year 6 and it shows no wear yet.

    15. alan englert says:

      What kind of twine do you suggest? I want it to last a long time for the plants to have a long life on the same twine.

      Alan

    16. Grow Hops says:

      I only have experience growing Magnum, not Sazz. Magnum, like most hops (except perhaps the noble hops) grow very well where I am – Minnesota, approximately the 45th latitude North. You can read my posts on my Magnum experience or Google for answers on Sazz. I do not grow hops commercially, strictly as a hobby.

    17. Qiujian Zhao says:

      I want to know the growth habit of magnum and SAZZ hops in your country,
      please give me a website or any other paper
      mail:jianjian08272412@163.com

    18. Grow Hops says:

      Sorry I don’t have an answer for you. Best bet is to ask local hop growers commercial (if any) or ask local folks in hop growing or homebrew forums or check in at a local homebrew supply store and they may know or be able to direct you to someone or group with that knowledge. Some university agricultural departments have this knowledge also. Hope this helps.

    19. Bonne biere says:

      I am interested to start homebrewing with homegrown hops. I am living in Russellville AR which appears to be located in the lowest latitude range. I was wondering if you could recommend varieties for this location.

    20. Grow Hops says:

      I am just a small time hobby hop grower. When you are talking acreage, that’s a whole different animal. Commercially, hops are grown 18 – 20 feet high. As far as their rigging, you would need to consult a hop farmer and/or book on commercial growing of hops. http://www.gorstvalleyhops.com/ is a good resource for those type questions… Hope that helps.

    21. billi brush says:

      i have at least 1 to 2 arces to plant hops when and what kind of poles and how high do you have pics thanks

    22. Grow Hops says:

      Robert,
      First, you never want to buy hop seeds – you cannot determine the sex of the plant as a seed. You want to buy hop rhizomes – always clones (root cuttings) of female hop plants. You can buy hop rhizomes from home brew equipment stores or I have compiled a list of online vendors:

      http://growinghopsyourself.com/growing-hops/where-to-buy-hop-rhizomes/

      You can expect to pay $3 – $5 each. Hope this helps.

    23. Robert Pena says:

      Hello, I desire to grow Hop in the Richmond, Virginia area and I’m looking for a source to purchase Female seeds.
      Please let me know where I may purchase some seeds.
      Thank you so much!

      Roberto

    24. Robert says:

      Hello,
      I’m interested in growing hop and would like to know where I may purchase some female hop seeds and how much should I expect to pay for it?
      Thank you?

      Roberto
      Richmond, Virginia
      m.robertopena@gmail.com

    25. Rob,

      Thanks. You don’t mention what your hop bines are climbing. Generally when they top out their trellis, rope or whatever they are climbing, they stop going vertical. They may travel back down a bit. When my hops top their ropes, they will climb over the roof for a few days and then figure out there is no structure up there and travel back down the bine and stop the vertical growth. At that point they will bush out a bit with laterals (more hop cone appendages). You can direct them laterally if you wish or just let them use their instincts and do what they can with what they have. Hope this helps.

    26. Rob says:

      Hi there,
      Great info, i live in australia, have planted chinook rhizomes for the first time, they are growing well approx 4mitres (12 feet) in less than 3 months, now the bines are taller than the house roof should i cut the main bine at that point or simply wind it around a horizontal support? As i don’t want the bine to grow any taller. Would appreciate your thoughts.
      Rob

    27. Cascade are pretty easy to grow in most places – probably one of the most durable hops. I am surprised you had such good luck with noble hops. There are many variables to growing hops, just try growing a variety you want as a rhizome or 2 won’t set you back much.

    28. I LIVE ON THE 43rd PARALLEL, JANESVILLE, WI TO BE EXACT. I HAVE HAD PRETTY GOOD LUCK GROWING HALLERTAU HERSBRUCKER (Noble Hop). THEY GET FULL SUN 12 NOON TIL SUNDOWN.

      I’VE HAD A BAD EXPERIENCE WITRH WILLAMETTE HOPS, DIED OFF AFTER THE FIRST YEAR.

      I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF CASCADE AND TETTNANGER ARE GOOD HOPS FOR THIS REGION. CONTACT ME & LET ME KNOW.
      \
      THANK YOU

      JOSEPH A MUELLER, SR
      josephamuellersr@att.net

    29. Anna,
      Hops are perennial.

    30. Anna Vandenhazel says:

      We just bought some property that has hops plants, and I just need to know, are the plants perennial (come back every year) or annual (must be replanted)?

    31. Bev Morroq says:

      I have a Wilburton that has living rhizomes, but it sent out some bines when the other two started growing this spring. I have a Cascade and Nugget that are both growing fine. I got them new last spring and they grew in pots & produced hops, but I want to know if next year the Wilburton might come back or if I should get new ones for next year’s crop. Thanks for you help. B

    32. Stewart,
      I do not know what those numbers represent either, if I come accross an answer I will post it. I doubt they would survive in the fridge till spring. I have lost rhizomes in my fridge in a little over a month (my fridge sucks), but I don’t think they will survive that long. I am in the same zone as you. Container hops are tricky to keep alive -10,-20 below zero unprotected will kill them (it has happened to me). I would put them in the ground now and hopefully they will get a bit of a headstart for next years growth.

      Once the bines die off (after a hard freeze), cut them off just above ground level and insulate them with at least 6 inches of leaves or leaves and grass(from mowing),straw… and make sure they don’t blow away. You have until Late November and mid December before you have to have them covered. The heat from the ground will be plenty until then. Advice – mark them and have a map of which variety you planted where – it will save much heartache trying to identify them after the fact. Best of luck.

    33. stewart says:

      HELP! i am a newbie at this but just received three types of hops–fuggle 26, northern brewer, golding 21. not sure what the numbers mean or the characteristics pf any. it is august in zone 4a,wisconsin. do i plant them now or keep in frig until spring??? should i plant in pots until spring ??? thanks

    34. […] Growing Hops. (growinghopsyourself.com) […]

    35. Leanne,
      I can’t say for certain, but I believe hops would thrive there. Anyone from Calgary growing hops – let us know.

    36. Leanne says:

      How do they grow in Calgary, Alberta ?Must be on 55 th parallel or close to it.

    37. Marvin says:

      Thanks for your reply. I’ll try to transfer them into the ground at the end of there season. And yes i’ll plant the next in the ground. Just didn’t know how they would handle the heat here in pensacola, Fl.

    38. Marvin,
      Generally when you grow hops in pots, you either keep them there for the season or transplant early when they are still small. You can try and transplant them anytime, but you can damage the bines doing so. You didn’t say how tall they are and what you have them climbing. Hops are relatively inexpensive so if you do lose one during a transplant, just plant a new rhizome or plant next year. If you are ultimately going to put them in the ground, you are better off skipping the pots or containers and plant in the ground.

    39. This is my first year growth and they look ok. One has hop cones on it. I think as you might say is topped out. I have them in large pots and I would like to know when I should transfer them into the ground?

    40. Adrienne B says:

      I planted them in early May, and added two more plants as well. They are doing great- could probably use some more sun, but the 10-day forecast isn’t really cooperating. At least they have plenty of water!

    41. […] Growing Hops. (growinghopsyourself.com) […]

    42. Adrienne,
      I am not certain about your micro-climate where you are. May 15th is our general frost free planting time here in Minnesota (zone 4a). I planted tomatoes yesterday as the 7 day forecast for here is getting warmer. I have some “Wall-O-Water” frost protection for my tomatoes if needed. If you are planting close to the side of a building, they would be slightly protected from frost. You can always cover them if necessary – after the first year you generally don’t need to worry about frost. Upside down buckets, wrap with blankets, towels, sheets… You said you have hop plants – I don’t know how tall they are as far as protecting them (covering/wrapping them to capture the ground heat). Hop rhizomes could definitely go in the ground. Check your local 7 – 10 day forecast and make an educated guess. Sorry I can’t give you a definitive answer. Best of luck with your hops!

    43. Adrienne B says:

      Just picked up some hops plants this weekend- we live in Maine (3 hours north of Portland, about halfway up the coast)- can I plant them now? I have the bed all set up for them, just worried about frost. I suppose I should harden them off first…

      What do you think?

    44. Hey Tom,
      Sorry for the delay in response, I was out of town for the last 9 days (Cancun) for a much needed vacation. Yep – hops need sun – sorry to hear about your challenge, but it sounds like you should be fine after moving the shaded hop crowns / hop root stocks. Sun, water and nutrients (and something to climb) is all that’s needed. Keep us posted on how you do this year. Best of luck to you.

    45. Hi Mark,
      If you amend your soil, and/or build raised beds, I think it’s worth a shot. The best advice you will find is from someone in your area that is having success growing hops. Try any local home brew clubs, home brew supply stores for info on people who are doing it and how they are doing it. I am not familiar with your micro climate, but I would guess it could be done. Hop rhizomes or hop plants are cheap enough to try it. As far as varieties, see who is having success locally with which varieties. Cascade is an all around good producer and grows in a wider variety of climates than most. Hope this helps.

    46. Mark says:

      I live in the foothills of Northern Cali east of Stockton at about 2500 feet where the soil is less than desirable. After reading about arm-sized root stock, I am concerned about the feasibility of growing hops in wooden raised beds. I also wonder if there is a variety that performs better in my area than another.

    47. Tom says:

      I planted 10 rhizomes in 2010 in the backyard of my house. I live in Tracy, Ca., which is 1 hour due east from SF, in the San Joaquin Valley. Just about everything grows here, including, as I happily discovered, hops. I planted 4 Centennial, 4 Chinook, 2 Zeus, all purchased online from the Thyme Garden in Oregon. My hopyard is a 20′ x 20′ square, the hops grow vertically 10′, and horizontally 10′. I planted 5 along the east side and 5 along the west side, hoping they’d all grow like crazy and meet in the center. The first year they all grew, but 16′ was the longest – the Chinook. They all produced cones, which i harvested, dried, and used to make a great beer. Last year only my east side hops grew because my idiot neighbor refused to trim his shade-sucking, worthless trees, so the west side hops didn’t get enough sun. The east side Chinooks were phenomenal, growing 18′ and producing a ton of cones. This past fall I dug up the west side rhizomes and moved them to another spot in the yard that get full sun and no neighbor. I expect big things this year. Regular water, fertilizer in early spring and early summer, and lots of sun, that’s the ticket.

    48. Jamie,
      Hop bines, if within 3 to 4 feet of each other will intermingle. They send out laterals – side shoots and it becomes very difficult to separate hop cones per variety. Within a couple years, they will send out hop rhizomes and start sprouting many feet away from where you plant them if you do not trim rhizomes every year. The general rule is to plant different varieties AT LEAST 5 feet apart. If you are going to teepee lines up to the top, they will start intermingling at least half way up. For a pole setup – use separate beds for different varieties. I have separated intermingled hop bines – IT IS NOT FUN, very time consuming. Hope this helps answer your question.

    49. Jamie says:

      I live in Southeast TN. Looks like it is just above the 35th parallel.
      I was thinking of trying a couple different varieties. I plan to use a pole I have and plant around it. Can I put different varieties in the same bed, or do I need to use a different bed for each?

    50. […] were originally grown in NY as the major supplier in the US. The climate works well for growing hops. Southern exposure is best, but eastern or western exposure will work. Use large pots (minimum 5 […]

    51. Hey Nick,
      You are on the edge of the hops growing region. The only thing I could suggest you try is making sure they are getting the nutrients they need. Try an organic fertilizer and a kelp based fertilizer also. That should cover macro and micro nutrients. What varieties do you have? Some will do better in your environment than others. Check with any local homebrew clubs and brew supply stores to see if anyone in your area is having any success. Good luck. I would like to hear if you have any success by doing this (so would a lot of folks attempting or thinking about growing hops in your area). Keep us posted.

      PS – butterflies are cool so that’s a plus!

    52. Nick Trubov says:

      I purchased some hop rhizomes from Northern Brewer five years ago. The plants thrive but so far I have not seen a single flower or bud. I’m in Fort Smith, AR at just about the thirty fifth parallel. It does get hot here and it is always humid. I water the darned things every day or every other day. The bines reach the roof and overtop it. The BEST luck I’ve had, so far, is that they attracted butterflies (question marks) and I brought the larvae inside and kept ’em in jars and raised them to adult by feeding them all the hop leaves they wanted. But so far that is all I have been able to harvest from my bines. Since they came from Northern Brewer (or a company THROUGH NB) I am pretty sure they would not have sold me MALE plants.

      Any suggestions?

      Thanks,
      NT

    53. I have been told that they do, but my experience is after they get past the sprout stage, animals do not seem to touch them. I have deer in my yard every night and they have never bothered my hops – maybe because they like my tomatoes better? I lose a few hop shoots when they are first coming out, but I am guessing that is rabbits (could be deer) but they always leave the majority of the young hop bines alone. That is my experience. Hops are cheap to grow on a small scale – you have little to lose by trying to grow them.

    54. sam says:

      Do deer eat hops? I have a serious deer problem ..they destroy most my outdoor plants

    55. I can’t say for certain if deer will be a problem or not. I will have up to 5 deer in my back yard at a time and they have yet to eat any of my hops. My hops are on the side of my garage and not where I have seen the deer but I imagine they do walk past them. I did have a Fuggle in the backyard last year and the deer left it alone. Doing it commercially, I would definately find out for sure if they are a problem and if, what can be done about it.

      Soil must be fertile and well draining (standing water will drown the root stock). PH of 5.5 to 8, but a ph of 6.5 seems to be best for most varieties of hops. So well draining soil and planted in a mound helps. I have no commercial hops experience. Gorst Valley Hops is a good site for commercial intent – they have classes… There are some books listed on the Amazon widget on the sidebar that cover commercial hop growing.

      Hope this helps.

    56. CORDWOODJAN says:

      I live in rural Michigan about 30 miles from Lake Michigan, I have 5 acres of open farmland that is always sunny and am interested in growing hops and am concerned about deer. I have 120 acres and this 5 acres are the only open land so i have a tremendous deer population. Do deer like this or not? Would I be wise to grow it? Also, what kind or soil conditions do I need? and I want to grow it commercially, should I contact local micro brewers to see what kind of hopps they require? thanks in advance for your help.

      cordwoodjan

    57. I know several folks that grow along fences. I am not certain how much training of the bines is required to keep them on the horizontal ropes. All you have to lose is your investment in rhizomes (not much $ ) and a little time. Give it a shot and let us know how it works out for you.

    58. rhackenb says:

      I have a three acre fenced in pasture where I keep chickens and goats. The fence around it is about 60 inches tall made of wide boards running parallel to the ground. Is it possible to grow hops laterally along these boards? The idea of building and maintaining a 20 ft trellis is daunting. I would run strings along the top board for the hops to cling to but I am worried that they wouldn’t be climbing high off the ground. I would also have to do some thing to protect the vines from the goats but that is possible.

      This pasture is in central Indiana and it gets plenty of sun.

    59. Keith,
      Congrats on your harvest. Once the bines die off, cut them off just above ground level – the bines do not come back. They would only be in the way of the new hop bines that will emerge in the spring. After cutting them off, I mulch over them with about 6 inches or more of leaves to protect the hop crowns from sub zero temperatures.

    60. Keith says:

      Hello. I live in the norhteast. My second year of hops came up and produced wonderfully this year. However, now that I have such a growth and wonderful vine system I am wondering what to do to prepare for the winter. Do I cut it all back or leave the current vines for the next season.
      Thank you for any help.

    61. Miss Bertie,

      It is possible to grow from cuttings. Some folks bury hop bines or a section of hop bines a couple inches under the soil and get hop shoots to grow. It is not the most efficient method, but I have read reports this does work. You have nothing to lose by trying it. You just may never know the variety of hop plant you are growing. If you are using it as a cover plant – arbor, pergola, privacy wall or just climbing vegetation – it won’t matter much. Give it a shot and let us know if it works for you.

    62. missbertie says:

      So, if I found hops growing wild along the road, can I grow from cuttings? Not sure I can get to the roots as they are growing up supported by apple trees on the other side of a fence.

    63. New Mexico is on the edge of where you can grow hops. Generally above the 35th parallel is the lowest latitude for growing hops in the northern hemisphere. New Mexico is an arid region and if you were to attempt it, amend the soil so it will hold water (yet drain so the hop rhizomes / root stock / crown do not drown). Also mulch the ground so it will help retain some moisture. Altitude can provide a cooler environment and if the hop bines were shaded during the hottest time of day may help. My hops survive fine in 100 degree temps, but those temps seldom last more than a couple of days a time here in Minnesota. The best bet is to check locally with any hop growers / homebrewers and see if it is possible in your area. If there are successful hop growers in your area, see which varieties are working in your area / climate and follow their tips.

      I have no experience growing hops in your area so like I said, reach out locally for advice. Hope this helps.

    64. S. Tilley says:

      I thought hops was just for beer. I had no idea they could be used for herbal remedies, tea, sleep pillows or landscape. I knew they grew fast and needed substantial nutrients and water to survive. I have a friend that grows quite a bit in Arkansas, however, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, it is difficult to keep them watered enough. Do you have any tips?

    65. Daniele,
      Congrats on growing hops – whether for beer or herbal remedies, sleep pillows, tea, covering a pergola, trellis, arbor or privacy wall. Yes there are many uses for hops. Diagnosing hop conditions can be tricky. I will provide a couple of resources for you. Hops will grow in 5.5 to 8.0 soil ph. From the majority of what I have read, 6.5ph seems to be the best all around ph for hops.

      Essentially, the following are the main culprits:
      – Insects – aphids, spider mites…
      – deficiencies – minerals, trace minerals, NPK – macronutrients / micronutrients…
      – fungus – powdery mildew, downy mildew…
      – bacterial
      – viral – hop mosaic, apple mosaic, hop stunt viroid…
      – black root rot – rhizome/root stock too wet – soil not draining sufficiently
      – herbacide drift (from weed killers – sometimes from neighbors…)

      http://www.freshops.com/hop-growing/hop-diseases-and-pests – click sidebar “Hop Diseases and Pests” make your selection and at the top of the page are some additional links.

      http://www.usahops.org/userfiles/file/Research%20Reports%20&%20Presentations/HopHandbook2009.pdf
      This link is pretty thorough in identifying the problem. Page 79 starts the deficiencies.

      My Magnum hops are suffering from what appears to be a boron deficiency – crumpled, mishapened leaves and shoot tips. I found a spray that contains a small amount of boron – it is Bonide Liquid Iron + micronutrients. It contains magnesium, boron, copper, iron, manganese, zinc – addresses many possible mineral deficiencies. I sprayed all my hops from tip to ground and the deformed leaves came back a little, but the new side shoots (laterals) appear to have normal leaves! I won’t know for sure if it will save my Magnum hops or not, but I had to try something. I just bought some organic kelp feed which contains just about every mineral – I am going to add this to the soil also. That should cover any deficiency.

      I have pictures and am going to write a post on this once I get my camera back – borrowed to my daughter for prom and she left it at a friends she said / I hope. So hopefully my camera returns soon. Hope this helps. Best of luck!

    66. Daniele says:

      I have purchased my first this spring from Seattle, I live in Florida. one of my magnums was damaged in shipping and it died the other four are doing well. i have placed them in containers, the nugget bine has hit the top of the rope already, at 16′. The magnum plants are a little slower and one has toped out with a bud. All seem to be hearty, though i’m a little concerned about the leaves they have a light yellow spottyness, and a couple of evening bugs decided they like them . I have sprayed them with a slight dillution of soapy water for the bugs but i don’t like the spots. some of the leaves of the nugget have turned down but are solid green. i planted in compost top soil and peat mixed well. what if any can anyone tell me of container planting? I’m in central fl. i came here to find the soil ph , did. any other pointers would be helpfull. I am groing for herbal reasons. Thanks

    67. nopussymorehops says:

      I brew mine in a bucket hanging from a tree worked well

    68. I have had several people asking about growing hops in your area (Sacramento, Ca) but I had not heard of anyone doing it. I was pretty sure they would grow there, now we know. First year you may or may not have hop cones – 2nd year and on, look out. Yeah, they will find the drainage holes in the pot and seek the ground. They have massive root stocks (as you found out).
      Thanks again for sharing the So-Cal experience.
      Cheers to 2011!

    69. tido says:

      grew some hops the last few years in sacramento. i have found that my hops didnt really get producing until their 2nd season. maybe just my lack of care… do have other things going on. once est… daily watering was all she took. had original root in plastic pot. after the first year of major hop-age… the wife had me move my plant. when i tried to move it last spring there was a couple of arm sized roots that had blasted through the bottom. as summer progressed i now had two locations growing well. summer 2011 ill be jumping with hops. and ill be taking better care of them after the info read here. thanks.

    70. […] Gardening to brew Hops can be grown in almost every state according to this article: Growing Hops | Growing Hops Yourself The article has a lot of information that is good for anyone just starting to grow […]

    71. Michael,
      I would think it would do ok in Kansas. Make sure they water it daily, at least the first year. Have them mulch around it also to help the soil retain the water. Will they be planting in the ground or large container? Is their patio covered with a pergola or arbor? As long as they have something to climb, have them use twine if the bines don’t climb the lattice or whatever is in place. It should provide some good cover.

    72. michael callaway says:

      I mailed a hops plant to my parents in Kansas. Wondering how it will do in that climate. They have a ground level patio open to the south and west that gets lots of sun. I envision it climing up to top then trailing around the perimeter and around the patio providing shade. Is this feasible?

      PS
      Have not told them what kind of plant it is or given any growing instructions at this time, just mailed it overnite yesterday.

    73. […] may be willing to part with some rhizomes.  Barter a couple of homebrews to your friends that are growing hops for some hop […]

    74. […] Lupulus – in July (7/20/2009) status report.  It has been a couple of weeks since my last growing hops post.  All three hop plants have topped their ropes.  The Magnum hops finally made it to the top […]

    75. Ryan says:

      I think I know why it’s best to wrap the vines clockwise around the ropes. They’ll follow the sun’s movement from East to West that way.

    76. I agree with Mr. Velek on the fact that this is a very informative article on growing your own hops. I live in northern California in an area where temperatures can get up to the 110’s in the summer. And i have to say, i was somewhat successful in growing my hops. Here were some of my mistakes that i plan to correct and hope other readers do NOT do when growing their hops:

      1. I only bought one rhizome. Although this allowed me to focus only on it, it limited my options and didn’t allow me to expand my methods of growing. I plan to fix this by buying three rhizomes and planting them next spring.

      2. I did not water them on a regular schedule. Living in a place where it is extremely hot during the summer, I felt i could water them every day or so. This was not the case. I would hand water my hops, and although this worked, they grew very slowly. I eventually got them hooked up to a hydration drip system, but I had to manually turn on and off the system because I did not have a timer, and my hops still grew slowly. I plan to fix this by Setting them up on a drip system, investing in a timer, and setting a regular schedule starting when I first dig my new holes.

      3. My last and final mistake: I did not tell my neighbors. I planted the hops along the chain link fence so that they would have good support to climb on. however, I forgot to tell my neighbors who put the fence up. So, when my neighbors were doing some landscaping, and were spraying the vinca along the fence to kill it, they must have thought my hops were weeds too and sprayed them as well. I plan to correct this by planting my new hops in a raised bed that is not only away from the fence line, but also conveniently right outside my bedroom window so I can view them when i wake up.

      I share this experience with the world not for pity, but for all those who wish to do something cool with their life and choose to grow hops may not make the same mistakes I did. You can follow the journey of my hops on my URL, and can also use the links there to buy he hops from the supplier that i did.

      Hope everyone has a great day and a great experience with growing hops,

      –Charlie Bierwirth

    77. Bill Velek says:

      Very nice summary of the essential information for growing hops. I will add that if anyone plans to plant hops for the first time next spring, then NOW is actually a better time to begin preparing the soil, although just a few weeks before will be sufficient. Some things — lime in particular — take many months to sweeten the soil.

      I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve taken the liberty of adding a link to your blog on the links page of Grow-Hops.

      Also, if you are not already a member, I cordinally invite you and all other hop growers to join us — over 2,400 members — see my URL.

      We’ve been hard to find because search engines don’t list us very well.

      Cheers, and I look forward to further additions to your blog.

      Bill Velek

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