Originally Posted by eyaukey
I am planning on trying to get some hop plants started this year and I have been reading a lot of information on the subject and have come to a few questions for the experienced ones out there:
1. How many rhizomes would you recommend starting out with if youve never grown them before.
2. Any favorite methods to direct the vines? For ex. I am thinking of making a trellis from twine and poles to grow the vines off of. Any suggestions?
3. Any types of hops you have found difficult to work with?
4. Does anyone ever buy more than one rhizome of a variety in case the other fails to produce or is this rare?
Thats all my questions, however, any other general advice and knowledge you wish you had known when you first started would be great to hear!
Where are you located? That may help with variety selection. As for your questions:
1. Try 2 crowns at first, IMO.
2. Direct them upwards. Don't get too fancy as training the bines (yes, bines, not vines) can be a royal PITA if you are trying to train them along a fence or horizontal trellis structure
3. I would skip the nobles and fuggles. JMO. Stick to the vigorous American varieties like Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, CTZ, Magnum, Newport, etc). Varieties you typically use as late additions or dry hops would be best, IMO. You're not likely to have them tested for acid content, so stick to varieties you will use at times when the acid content is not as relevant.
4. I always recommend planting 2 of the itty bitty rhizomes sticks (the $5-6 each ones from homebrew shops are itty bitty ones) or one jumbo rhizome (see: freshhops) per crown.