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Old 10-26-2013, 02:19 AM   #1
dlhutson
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I am considering attempting to grow my own hops and have no idea where to start. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. What hops should I grow? Just the one from my favorite beer? Can I grow many varieties?

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Old 10-26-2013, 04:27 AM   #2
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Where do you live? The region you are located in will strongly determine if your climate can support the successful production of hops. The Pacific Northwest proves to be the place to be in the US.

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Old 10-26-2013, 05:18 AM   #3
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Nashville, TN

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Old 10-26-2013, 06:21 AM   #4
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There are three things you need to grow hops: plenty of sun, something tall for them to climb, and a growing season longer than, say, you get in Alaska (no, seriously, SWMBO and I stopped by a brewery or two between various outdoorsy excursions on an Alaska trip a couple years ago .... their hops were sad little plants).

It's not true for commercial production, but just for a few bines for personal use, your local garden supply store and garden hose can easily make up for anything you're missing in terms of rainfall or soil quality. Heck, I do OK in 10-gallon pots in chilly, foggy San Francisco, you'll do great in Nashville.

For the hobby grower, hops are grown from root cuttings called rhizomes. They become available in the spring -- if your LHBS doesn't carry them, they should at least be able to tell you who does.

They're tenacious beasts -- wait until after the last frost (is there even frost in Nashville?), stick the rhizome under a couple inches of soil, make sure there's plenty of water, fertilizer, and sunlight, and set up 15-20 feet of twine for them to climb, and stand the heck back. You may not get much in terms of cones the first year, while the plant is putting energy into turning that sad little rhizome into a full root system, but a couple of bines should give you more than enough for flavor and aroma additions on a batch of beer once you hit year two.

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Old 10-26-2013, 11:53 PM   #5
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Thanks that is extremely helpful!

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Old 10-27-2013, 01:41 AM   #6
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One thing I learned is to plant them shallow, 3-4" deep and they drown and die (same garden other plants thrived in). You can do multiple varieties, but plant them a distance from each other- you won't believe after a few years how big these bines can get.

Cheap investment, high return, very high bragging rights, I recommend planting your own hops for sure!

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Old 10-27-2013, 01:52 AM   #7
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Something for them to grow on - off of the ground. You can go typical style with some twine reaching 20 feet high or you can use a lower trellis and let them get bushy. Yooper has some photos around of her bines growing on lattice-work structures, arbors, etc and they get bushy and would be easy for harvesting. I currently grow up 25 feet of twice but I'm considering a lattice-like structure for a bushy aesthetic (plus the cones of course! )

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Old 10-27-2013, 02:13 AM   #8
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What could I plant in that can be moved? We will be buying a new home next year.

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Old 11-02-2013, 01:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlhutson View Post
What could I plant in that can be moved? We will be buying a new home next year.
Well you could still plant them but honestly I'd just wait until you move and start them there. People have successfully container planted but hops need very large containers for their roots. If you plant them in the ground then you have to fight to get them out, moved, and replanted without killing them. Not impossible but a pain.

If you are moving in spring then I'd purchase some rhizomes and plant those once you move.
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