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Hop Growing in South Florida

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RangerG

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Anyone out there ever tried growing hops in South Florida?

I'm gonna try it. I've grown herbs that aren't supposed to grow to good here - I just kept em in big pots and watered em good twice a day. I was concerned about molds, blights and such with our high humidity.
 

pjj2ba

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Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure, your weather and latitude are not suitable. Hops need a cold dormancy period, and then need a long enough day in the summer to flower. Generally, hops must be North of Latitude 35 degrees in order to flower.
 

clemson55

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Florida is to far South Zone 8 is the furthest I have ever seen listed for Hops. The humidity will be your biggest problem.
 

Joker

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jbreiding said:
from what i have heard mold and squirrels are going to be your worst enemy. that being said, i am still going to try it this year.

Squirrels like hops?
 

david_42

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Only a few bucks lost by trying. Stick to early maturation hops with high fungal resistance. On the plus side, if hops haven't been grown in your area, the specialized bugs & rots should be scarce.
 

BierMuncher

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Stay away from Perle (doesn't like it hot)

Amarillo is very resistant to disease and insects.

Cascade is prone to insects but can be managed.

Centennial is moderately resistant and has good yields.

Chinook should also fair okay.

As long as you manage insects and guard agains downy mildew, I think it's worth a go.
 

pjj2ba

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If you are going to try this, I might suggest you plant them near some kind of outdoor light you can then turn off a couple hours after sunset. The light isn't enough for the plant to grow but there should be enough light to fool the plant into thinking the day is longer than it is. When the plants are big enough, turn the light on EVERY night for a couple hours. You might check the sunrise and sunset times for say Corvalis, Oregon, as hops grow prety well there, and then subject your plants to artificial sunrises and sunsets (adjusted to the East coast time zone of course). Once you see some buds forming, you can stop with the extra light. Oh, and make sure it is an incandescent light, as fluorescent bulbs don't have much of the proper wavelength (660 nm) needed to fool the plant.
 

cheezydemon

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Not enough light in south Florida?

I would sugget growing it inside if you have a place. A 2 story room with lots of light and skylights would be best.
 

niquejim

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The cascades I grew last year did OK. I cut them back after the dry season kicked in and I fed and watered them starting this week. I'll see if they come back then I can tell you better.



I planted them because I like gardening and they are cheap
 

debaniel

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as for growing them indoors, imagining an indoor hop 'grow room' presents some interesting possibilities...


"Yeah, officer, they are all just hops. I swear."



:fro:


Actually, I've considered growing hops here in Sarasota, as well, so I'll be interested to hear how it turns out.
 

pjj2ba

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cheezydemon said:
Not enough light in south Florida?

I would sugget growing it inside if you have a place. A 2 story room with lots of light and skylights would be best.
Nope, not enough light, at least not long enough (sort of). Remember near the equator it is pretty much 12 hrs of light every day, all year round. The further North one goes the more variation you get throughout the year. The payback for long winter nights is long summer days - thats what the hops need to flower. Growing up in Michigan I loved the fact that it would be light until nearly 10 PM at the summer solstice.

I found a nice calculator
For Miami, FL, June 22nd 2008, sunrise 6:30, sunset 8:16 or ~13.75 hrs
For Eugene, OR, same date, sunrise 5:30, sunset 8:59 or ~15.5 hrs, 1.75 hrs more daylight than Miami.

It is actually not the amount of light, instead it is the amount of dark that is critical. Some plants need long nights to flower (Christmas cactus, poinsettia), some don't care (tomatoes, soybeans), and others need short nights like hops (also mums, lettuce, potatoes)

If you can track down a light source that provides lots of 660 nm (red) light, and not much 690 nm (far-red) light it may be possible to simply turn this light on in the middle of the night for 30 min. to fool the plant into thinking the day is longer.

Sorry, my day job is as a Plant Biologist
 
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RangerG

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Wow, pretty interesting info.

Thanks a bunch. I'm gonna try growing em - maybe as a scientific study - at least we'll all know how long it takes Florida to kill em or something like that. I'll use the extra light idea, and water by drip system to try to keep the leaves dry-er. My area is pretty humid in summer and I forsee that as being a problem. I'll get good time release fertilizer. Keep an eye out for bugs.

I've been warned to plant in big pots to keep nematodes off the roots, but squirrels? My cow-dog's gonna not wanna come back in the house.
 
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RangerG

RangerG

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Floida growing story.

There was a guy here in SW FL with a small nursery - Terri's Fruit Trees. He had apple and pear trees that would produce fruit. He claimed that there was a geological anamoly underground that kept a strip of land, including his, 10 degrees cooler. The fruit was told to me by friends to be small but OK.
 

cclloyd

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I was considering trying to grow some as well - it's good to see I'm not the only one willing to take a chance. Losing a few $ if it fails isn't a big deal, I'd be more bummed out about the failing part. I hate when that happens.

Hey pjj - biermuncher mentioned a few types he thought might have a better survival chance this far south - any input from you to that effect?
 

pjj2ba

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I'm not real familiar with the growth likes/dislikes of the various hops. I know the USDA has some info on all the varieties - freshops.com has a bunch of this data on their website. I also recall that the Univ. of Vermont has some info somewhere. Often the various places that sell hops will give the conditions to seek/avoid for the various varieties.

Apples in Florida - cool! I must be an weather anomally. Apples (and pears) require a long enough cold period to induce flower bud formation.

I suspect hop plants will grow like crazy in Florida. Getting them to flower could be tricky. With the humidity so high, keep an eye out for disease. If you can find them, you might look into trying some of the varieties they grow in New Zealand. I know a bunch of the English varieties didn't/don't grow well there so they developed new ones. Maybe these would do better in FL too.

Nematodes could be a problem. It is probably not well documented as only a silly fool would grow them that far south. Many problematic nematodes can't take the cold of further North so scientist porbably haven't checked for it. Plant some mustard NOW in the spot you are planning to put the hops in. Chop down the mustard before it sets seed and bury it right there. Plant your rhizomes. Mustard shoots contain compound that have been shown in field trials (real published data in scientific journals) to do a pretty darn good job of detering nematodes. The shoots must be turned into the soil for this to work. I'm not sure if the benefits would last any more than a year. Now for subsequent years I don't know. This is fairly recent results (not my area) so there's a lot to learn still. Now I wonder if one could take some prepared yellow mustard, add it to water and water with it and get the benefit. This is not something a commercial farmer would do, so this will probably be left to the the small grower/gardener to explore.
 

niquejim

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niquejim said:
The cascades I grew last year did OK. I cut them back after the dry season kicked in and I fed and watered them starting this week. I'll see if they come back then I can tell you better.



I planted them because I like gardening and they are cheap


Just an update; they are about 2" tall now and not there 2 days ago:rockin: , so I assume one can grow hops in south Florida. It's not the ideal place, but I'll take what I can get.:D


Edit: I got several oz's last year so I'll see if this year is better.
 

cheezydemon

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niquejim said:
Just an update; they are about 2" tall now and not there 2 days ago:rockin: , so I assume one can grow hops in south Florida. It's not the ideal place, but I'll take what I can get.:D


Edit: I got several oz's last year so I'll see if this year is better.
Right on! I hope they work out. As mentioned, they should grow well, it is the flowering (and therefore the entire point of growing them) that is in question.

Also vernalization, or a cold dormancy, seems to be really important. That is evidently why few people in southern states grow hops.
 

SilverKing

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any updates on this? it was a long time ago, but I'm thinking of fooling around with the same idea.

I rent, so I don't have a yard to plant in. I was thinking a pot on the balcony. More for fun than anything.
 

kevinmiller55

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Well I tried out 2 plantings each of Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Glaciar, Horizon, and Willamette.

The only ones that really actually prospered were Cascade and Willamette. Both grew up 1/4" rope to the full height of 8 ft. Being their first year neither produced too much, but I did get a couple handfuls of Cascade and one handful of Willamette. I plan to get more Cascade and Willamette this year and hopefully have enough at least dry hop with.

GOOD LUCK, and yes you can grow hops in Florida. I live in Cocoa, FL.
 

Pick

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I would like to try some too. Cold dormancy should not be a problem in my location. This year, especially. But no telling what will happen next year. Our last frost is usually April 1-5.

Where are you getting rhizomes from?
 

Pwrflpills

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Hey guys, I'm all the way down in Broward County and I'm compelled to give this a go as well. I'm renting though, so I think I'm going to go with a container and just try one, maybe two, pots to keep the costs down since it's an experiment and it's going to run me approx. $35-40 per container.

Do you think I should plant 2 rhizomes in the same pot? I've seen conflicting views on this and would hate to have 2 successful rhizomes in the same pot and have to cut one back. Just seems like a waste.

Thoughts?
 

JarrodH

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They come in rhizomes which are parts of the root and not seeds. You can get them pretty much at most home brew websites like morebeer.com or freshops.com
 

Pick

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Mine just came today from Rising Sun Farms. Got 8 Cascade. Now how deep do I plant them and how far apart?
 

osky777

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here are some shots of my nugget hops over the last few days. i planted one jumbo and one regular rhizome from freshops on 3/26, now have over 20 sprouts coming up. i am in the tampa area.

4/3/10


4/6/10
 

osky777

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latest pic. so yes, there is a chance to grow some hops vines. now will they produce any cones? or just dry out and die once summer hits full swing? that is the question...

 

Pwrflpills

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Hey guys, I'm in Broward County and have containers of Cascade and Centennial. Both are doing great and are in the 7ft range. The cascade are already putting out hop burrs directly from the main bine and both are shooting out sidearms. Pretty excited.
 

phishfood

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Nematodes could be a problem. It is probably not well documented as only a silly fool would grow them that far south. Many problematic nematodes can't take the cold of further North so scientist porbably haven't checked for it. Plant some mustard NOW in the spot you are planning to put the hops in. Chop down the mustard before it sets seed and bury it right there. Plant your rhizomes. Mustard shoots contain compound that have been shown in field trials (real published data in scientific journals) to do a pretty darn good job of detering nematodes. The shoots must be turned into the soil for this to work. I'm not sure if the benefits would last any more than a year. Now for subsequent years I don't know. This is fairly recent results (not my area) so there's a lot to learn still. Now I wonder if one could take some prepared yellow mustard, add it to water and water with it and get the benefit. This is not something a commercial farmer would do, so this will probably be left to the the small grower/gardener to explore.
Thank you SO much for posting this.

We have a desperate war raging with nematodes in our 2 vegetable gardens. The areas were almost pure sand when we started maybe 3 years ago. I have amended heavily with clay, muck, and compost. I have solarized for 30 plus days in late spring, added cottonseed meal, planted marigolds, cursed at them, hired a witch doctor to put a hex on 'em, and still the little *******s damage our plants.

I am going to give this mustard plant idea a serious try. What considerations should I keep in mind to grow these plants?

PS: To stay slightly on topic, I have entertained the idea of growing hops, and if nematodes are a problem for these plants, I would have to do a lot of work to combat them.
 

SwampSquash

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Thank you SO much for posting this.

We have a desperate war raging with nematodes in our 2 vegetable gardens. The areas were almost pure sand when we started maybe 3 years ago. I have amended heavily with clay, muck, and compost. I have solarized for 30 plus days in late spring, added cottonseed meal, planted marigolds, cursed at them, hired a witch doctor to put a hex on 'em, and still the little *******s damage our plants.

I am going to give this mustard plant idea a serious try. What considerations should I keep in mind to grow these plants?

PS: To stay slightly on topic, I have entertained the idea of growing hops, and if nematodes are a problem for these plants, I would have to do a lot of work to combat them.
The only way to grow in florida and avoid the todes is a Earthbox! Google search and make your own! SO worth it!
 

Sacrilicious

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Osky, are you still posting here? Do you have an update for us now a year and a 1/2 later? I too am in S FL and looking into trying this out...
 

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