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Old 01-29-2013, 03:49 PM   #1
Ddubduder
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Default Florida Hops experiment

I wanted to start this thread to help consolidate all the experiences of everyone trying to grow hops in Florida. Several of us on HBT have had success and failures with nearly every type of hop out there. We can use this thread to provide tips, tricks and of course our experience to break the old wives tail that hops won’t grow well in warm climates.

As my first year plants grow I’ll be documenting what I learn as I go. Please feel free to post your own progress of your own plants.

I’ve received three crowns from Great Lakes Hops (great company, I would definitely recommend them), a Centennial, a Galena and a Willemette. I planted all three on January 17, 2013. It’s been a very mild winter here with very few cold days. As per the directions from Great Lakes Hops suggested, I planted all three in a mound with very little of the crown above the dirt. I actually sprinkled extra potting soil over each crown after I had planted them and then shook the plant a little to even it out. I then placed my pots in a highly shaded area where they will stay for the next two weeks. I’ve watered very little in the first few weeks, keeping the soil moist but not wet, that has been about every three to four days. I have also been trying not to water the plant directly but around the plant to help the plant reach deep for the water thereby growing a bigger root system. After the two weeks is up I’ll begin a once a month fertilizer schedule. I did use miracle grow potting soil mixed with a little compost (about 80/20 ratio) so the soil already has a little fertilizer in it. I’m going to limit the amount of liquid fertilizer and focus more on pellets as they have a better slow release function and will provide the soil with better nutrients.

One thing I would have done differently is drill bigger drainage holes in the two half barrel pots. After talking to several other growers, the root systems will likely clog any small holes you create thereby creating a drainage issue later one. If the location I plan on putting them permanently works this year, I might just plant them in the ground instead of the pots.


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Old 01-29-2013, 03:52 PM   #2
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After a few days in the ground, I am already seeing growth from all three plants, through the Centennial is doing the best. The temperature has been floating around 70s midday and 50s in the evening with a few days of extremes on both sides. The side of my house I’m keeping the plants sees only afternoon sun and very little of it, maybe 2-3 hours max. After the first two weeks is up I’ll move the plants to a location which should get about 4-5 hours of afternoon sun. I’ve read the hops need much longer hours of sun to survive but I’m changing the way I try it to adjust for Florida heat. Our sun is much more intense and 10-12 hours of sun will roast the plants.

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Old 01-29-2013, 03:56 PM   #3
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Almost two weeks in the ground and the Centennial has already produced a bine that I’m going to need to start wrapping around something soon. The other two (Galena and Willamette) are growing and showing life but have not produced a whole lot yet, it’s still very early. I am still following my expected watering schedule, about every four days. Once they get to their permanent home I have a drip system which I’ll hook them up to and keep them watered on a more daily basis, probably ramp it up over a month or so.

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Old 01-29-2013, 05:10 PM   #4
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My wife used instagram so please excuse the filter. I'll be grabbing some Centennial and Cascade from Great Lakes as soon as she has some in stock.

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Old 01-29-2013, 11:01 PM   #5
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I have some from great lakes coming in sometime this week. I can't wait to get them planted.

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Old 01-29-2013, 11:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aiptasia
I have some from great lakes coming in sometime this week. I can't wait to get them planted.
What types did you order?
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:22 PM   #7
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Hops in Florida.... I'm in. I'm curious to see how your plants perform and what techniques you use to promote growth. Are you growing to use them in a beer, or just ornamental decorations?

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Old 01-31-2013, 12:38 AM   #8
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The plan is definitely to use them in my beer.

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Old 01-31-2013, 12:42 PM   #9
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I had to add a last minute stake to the centennial this morning. As I was leaving for work I noticed it had grown so much it was actually falling over the side of the pot. It's only been in the ground for two weeks and already a bine that's needs twine. My permanent place for them isn't ready as I'm getting some work done on the house so hopefully a couple tomato cages will work for the time being. I'll get a picture later today.

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Old 01-31-2013, 08:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ddubduder View Post
What types did you order?
Well, they arrived today and I planted them in 15" pots until I can prepare their planting hills. I ordered two Chinooks and Great Lakes threw in what they thought was a free fuggles crown, but on careful unwrapping, it was a medium crown and a smaller crown/rhizome that had broken off. So, four plants for the price of two.

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Originally Posted by Boris_the_Russian View Post
Hops in Florida.... I'm in. I'm curious to see how your plants perform and what techniques you use to promote growth. Are you growing to use them in a beer, or just ornamental decorations?
Mainly for the hops flowers, using them in beer. I can quickly see me buying a trellis arch and using them as an ornamental.

I used jungle growth flower & vegetable organic potting mix from Lowes. They're planted in terra cotta pots and I hope to root them in there for a month or so until any danger of the last frost has passed. Once established, I plan to transplant them into soil with the same mix.
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