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Old 02-19-2008, 02:28 AM   #1
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Default Some tips for growing hops

I've had some Cascade and Willamette hop vines growing for 7 years and thought I'd pass on some tips for those of you thinking of growing your own.

1) They spread. No really if you don't contain them they will spread...everywhere

2) They grow quickly during the spring so be prepared to have their trellis/string or whatever you are going to use ready and in place quickly after you see them sprout

3) The vines have a very rough surface that will give you a nasty "rope burn". Don't grow them somewhere people walk through or where kids will play unless you plan on keeping them pruned back - see also tip #2

4) Here in the PNW aphids attack them. Ladybugs are your friends. The vines are soon covered in ladybug larvae and hardly an aphid to be found

5) You can train them and they will go horizontal if you keep winding them around something.

6) A food dehydrator is great for drying the cones when you harvest them. Just use the lowest setting - and do it inside if you want to smell hop nirvana.

I'm sure others will have lots of tips and will hopefully add them.

GT

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Old 02-19-2008, 04:04 AM   #2
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I live in michigan, & would love to get into growing my own. Sorry for the dumb questions, but I don't even know the basics...Can you start them from seed? (& if so who carries them) or do you have to locate "rihzones" are they called? all the infos' probably right under my nose, on this site, but...

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Old 02-19-2008, 08:34 AM   #3
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You'll need to plant rhizomes. I think there's a little bit of basic hop info on www.freshops.com .

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Old 02-19-2008, 01:03 PM   #4
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Any idea of the yield on hops, as in, how much should be planted to get at least a modest harvest... (vs. time involved)?

I like the idea of training them horizontally, if feasible.

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Old 02-19-2008, 01:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beergears
Any idea of the yield on hops, as in, how much should be planted to get at least a modest harvest... (vs. time involved)?

I like the idea of training them horizontally, if feasible.
I have heard that by the 3rd season you can harvest between 1 and 3 pounds of dried hops per plant. The time involved in harvesting is considerable as you have to hand pick all of those cones, however the rest of the season is fairly easy.
The first year I only got about 1-2 oz per plant but I did not water them and I have read not to expect much if any harvest the first year. I am thinking about setting up a rain barrel watering system for this year, I will have to see what kind of time and resources I have this spring.
Craig
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Old 02-19-2008, 01:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k rock
I live in michigan, & would love to get into growing my own. Sorry for the dumb questions, but I don't even know the basics...Can you start them from seed? (& if so who carries them) or do you have to locate "rihzones" are they called? all the infos' probably right under my nose, on this site, but...
Yes hops can be grown from seed but, they are generally grown from the Rhisome as the Rhisome is a part of the host and will create a clone. The trouble with growing from seed is gender. The female of the species are the ones that 'fruit". Plus, the rhisomes you buy have not been near a pollenating male so they are also seedless. A bonus.

Rhisomes will be widely available starting March and will be gone come April. There is a very narrow sales period each year.
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Old 02-19-2008, 01:30 PM   #7
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I'd add that they love the sun. Mine are in about 8-12 hours of partial-full sun...

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Old 02-19-2008, 04:49 PM   #8
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Great thread. Thanks for sharing.

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Old 02-19-2008, 04:50 PM   #9
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Do deer eat them? Here in southeast PA, white tails are everywhere and they will eat almost anything. How about squirrels?

We have no hunting season and few deer predators around this area (though I've seen a couple of very healthy looking coyote recently).

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Old 02-19-2008, 05:06 PM   #10
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swmich here. make sure you water the he!! out of em the first year don't expect much from em till year two, mine only made it to bout nine feet before fall. plant by late april or early may at the latest.

here's some info on small scale farming http://www.crannogales.com/HopsManual.pdf

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