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Old 10-25-2007, 05:04 PM   #1
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Default growing hops

Not sure where to put this post, so here it is. I was wondering (probably a typical newbie question) can one grow hops indoors, or at least start them indoors? any experience with this practice out there???

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Old 10-25-2007, 05:10 PM   #2
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unless you have 20' ceilings and plenty of sun i would tell you that growing them indoors is not a good idea. Starting them inside, now, alot of people do that with good success.

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Old 10-25-2007, 05:42 PM   #3
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with a little creativity why not!
as the pastor said, they need lots of sun. Greenhouse would be best but i'm sure you could get some good cones but perhaps less yield with standard home windows.

Train em! Like pastor said, they grow to 20-25'! Nothing says that 25' can't consist of being trained up the window, back down, back up etc. This will take some attention every couple days and you might use up all the square footage of the window!

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Old 10-25-2007, 05:46 PM   #4
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You can start them indoors, a one gallon pot is probably large enough. But, hops plants even dwarf hops are large and have huge root systems. Hops also need lots of sunshine and their growth patterns are linked to changes in day length.

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Old 10-25-2007, 05:55 PM   #5
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on a similar note, this topic has interested me also.

the townhome community i live in is giving us garden plots next spring, and i plan on trying out some hops...

with the little research ive done is it true that they dont require the most 'fertile' of soils?

any specific suggested literature on this topic?

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Old 10-25-2007, 09:19 PM   #6
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Check some of the hop suppliers, a lot of them will have guidelines for growing hops, if they sell Rhyzomes.

I got a pretty good guide from Brewing News (had to send in $5)

If you mix up some fertilizer and vermiculite(to help draining) as well as some other nutrients when you plant them you can make up for poor soil conditions.

Moisture levels are important too. They need plenty of water, but if the soil doesn't drain well and the roots stay saturated, they will rot.
The brewing news article was good. It may seem intimidating, buy with the proper set up before planting and weekly maintenance they should grow pretty good.

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Old 10-25-2007, 09:27 PM   #7
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i am a pretty avid gardener when it comes to herbs and vegtables....i assume hops should be treated just as a climbing flowering plant would, like SUPER green beans or gourds, but i am sure there are plenty of specifics to go along with hops as well haha, ill check into it a little more when im at the LHBS this weekend....ive got about 6 or 7 months before i can even being to start thinking about gardening!

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Old 10-25-2007, 10:02 PM   #8
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Does anyone know if hops grow very well in arizona?

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Old 10-25-2007, 10:30 PM   #9
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OK, a lot of things to answer here.

Yes, you can grow hops indoors, but as many have said, you will need a good location with a lot of light. A large, south facing window should do all right. Best bet though would be to start them indoors in january/february, then transplnt them outside after the last frost.

Hops use the day/night cycle to determine when to flower along with temperature to an extent (specifically, the amount of time spent in the dark causes a build-up of a compound. When this compound reaches a critical level, they flower). Cosequently, don't expect to start some hops now and have them flowering by christmas unless your using a dedicated grow room with grow lights on a timer.

If they are going to be indoors year round, you will need to be diligent in training/pruning the vines to fit your room, as a full grown plant can easily get 20' high. A large pot will be needed to get a decent harvest (5 gal or bigger once they are mature plants). Expect later flowering and harvesting times though due to higher indoor temps during the fall.

Any off-the-shelf potting soil should be a good substrate for hops. I wouldn't just use vermiculite though. Naturally, the better your soil conditions, the healthier your plants will be and the bigger your yield will be come harvest.

As far as nutrients go, generally any of the "complete" fertilizers out there should work well; either slow release or direct feed is fine. Higher nitrogen will help during vegitative growth, and higher potassium will be beneficial during flowering, IIRC. The best is supposedly bat guano, but good luck getting that. Make sure that whatever fetilizer you choose contains all necessary micronutrients as well. Water often but make sure you have good drainage.

Keep in mind, hops are a cousin to that wondefully infamous plant known colloquially as "Weed." As such, they do tend to grow like... well... weeds. Generally any climate and any soil will yield at least some results.

@ bigjon88: yes they'll grow in AZ, but expect to use a ton of water keeping them from wilting. A healthy plant can grow as much as 18" a day!!! That kind of growth requires a lot of water.

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Old 10-26-2007, 12:22 AM   #10
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Damn, where is that link to the huge underground pot operation. That would be perfect for growing hops indoors.

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