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Plant this spring and soon you’ll be saying "Ah, yes, I brewed this Russian River Blind Pig IPA . . . from hops I grew out back.” Pride swell.
Hops prefer full sun locations. They will grow in partial shade but won’t produce as well and the plants won’t be as robust. These perennial plants grow very tall over time so plan accordingly. It’s not uncommon for hops vines to mature to 20-25 feet, growing up or sideways. They will need a trellis, open design fence, pergola or similar structure. If you are growing several types, place them in separate areas so they don’t grow together over time, making it hard to determine which cones are attached to which vines.
Hops appreciate rich, well-aerated soil with good drainage. Dig a foot deep, add some balanced fertilizer and turn in.
Plant outdoors in spring when frost danger has past and soil has warmed a bit. These plants are winter hardy once established but during their first spring plant after danger of frost has past.
Place the rhizomes, or root cuttings, 4” deep with the root fibers facing downwards. Cover with soil. Pat to eliminate any air pockets and water well to settle the soil around the rhizomes. Sprouts will appear in 2 – 4 weeks depending on soil temperature.
Hops plants grow quickly and need more than average amounts of water. In dry climates, during the heat of summer and with very well drained soil, the plants may require daily irrigation, especially while they settle in.
Harvest your hops in late summer when the cones are dry to the touch, springy, exude a very strong hops odor and leave some yellow lupulin powder on your probing fingers. Check daily and confirm ripeness by picking a test cone. Pull open; it should be filled with thick lupulin powder if it is ripe. Cones that receive more sunlight may ripen a few days before those that are partly shaded by foliage. Dry cones in a paper bag for a week or ten days. Store in the freezer in a plastic bag that has had the air squeezed out to prevent oxidation.
Light: Full sun
Soil: Fertile and well drained
Depth: Plant 4" deep
Water: Generous moisture
Uses: Beer brewing and covering trellises
Tip: Choose a planting location thoughtfully; hops grow huge
They Start Out looking Like This:
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