Texas Hop Garden

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EdWort

EdWort

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My hop wire was facing East South East, but had plenty of shade from the south.

Yours may get too much sun. Mine dried up terribly in the triple digit temps we had for over a month.
 

Brewme

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Wow! Fast reply! I have lots of options (big yard) and I can pretty much have them with any exposure except fun sun South East. South East would be possible with shade in the afternoon.

What is your thought for the best direction in my area. My LHBS said west facing, but they have steered me wrong before. Thanks!
 

southern_brewer

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growing your own hops is a fun project on its own .

Living in Australia we are lucky that quarantine has left a lot of the bugs that can effect hops in other countries .

i have a 50 foot transmission tower that i have a boom coming off and a few rope like strings on halyards so as they grow up near the top i can let out more string and they keep growing up .

the only thing you might have a problem with with your 14 foot high structure is getting to the top to pick the hops with out dismantling your setup each time you should look into a halyard . might make it a lot more simple in that regards .

hops i grow

pride of ringwood
cluster
hallertau
goldings
tettnang
 

matt1776

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Those of us in central Texas are under a serious drought, but I was curious if anyone was actually successful in their hop growing this season?

Also, what do you plan on doing differently next year? Full sun or just early to mid-day sun? etc....
I'm in San Antonio. Wondering if hop growing would work, or if it's just a waste of time. It sounds like 2007 was great in Central TX, but it seemed to be an above average summer for rain. 2008 was way below average. I'm wondering what hopswould do in average S TX conditions, or if it would all be a frustrating experience. Any thoughts?

Matt
 

nobber

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looks like the hill country are you going to be able to keep out the deer?
 

quickerNu

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All of my posts were 08- my only season. I had trouble with my Nugget in a big pot, but my raised bed cascade and centinnial did great. However, the nugget is already sprouting, so it must have put all of its effort into growing roots.
I'm sure it varies depending on variety, but as long as they are getting plenty of water they love the sun. My best plants faced southwest, had the morning to soak up water and could bear the western sun. Oh, and deer don't like hops in my neighborhood.
 

stephelton

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I'm wanting to try growing at my condo, but I don't get much sunlight on my tiny patio. The "flower beds" that exist get no more than 2 hours of direct sunlight, but a tall plant might get as much as 5 hours direct sunlight (this has been recent observation; the summertime may see prolonged sunlight.)

What are peoples' opinions here about the need for sunlight? Do I stand a chance, or would I be wasting my time?
 

ddc

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Wow, so I just read this thread and my only question (thus far) is exactly what stephelton's asking. I too live in a condominium with a small patio. I get about 5 - 6 hours of direct sunlight and have grown tomatoes and plumeria's in the past.

Thanks,
Dave
 

quickerNu

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What will it hurt to try? I doubt you will get a huge harvest, but I bet you would enjoy it. Then you could apply your skills better if you ever have more space!
Mine are coming up! Centinnial

Cascade

Nugget
 

Mettius

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Last year we tried to grow hops here in Austin TX (this would be 2008).
We ordered late from freshops (May) so perhaps it was too late. We did get 5 out of 9 Rhizomes to sprout, but I forgot to water one day and they burned off. The rest never poked out, and it looks like we lost all of them.

Last year was dry and was a scorcher. So I'm guessing we didn't water enough. I used a sprinkler for 15 minutes/day. I guess I need to go with a soaker hose or a drip irrigation system this time.

My main question is how much water to use? I've read that you don't want the plants sitting in water, but I fear my efforts not to over-water them weren't enough.

My second question has to do with shade. According to all the hops literature I've read, they want "full sun". But perhaps full sun in TX is too much for them.

Last question. Which varieties do better in hotter climates like Austin, TX?
 

heyimback

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thanks to all for the info! i was checking out at the lhbs a month ago and signed up for a rhizome on a lark, i've started preparing a bed on the west side of the house, might need to rethink that.:mug:
 

sladobruk

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I've been wanting to grow hops for a while and after doing research and reading this forum, I've decided to try it. Since this is my first attempt, I'm starting with just two rhizomes; cascade and nugget. I'm in Houston and the soil around here is not very good (heavy clay, poor drainage) and I'm not sure what area of the yard is suitable, so I'm going to plant them in large 20" pots which will allow me to provide good soil and the ability to move them if necessary to adjust the amount of sun and shade. Since it gets pretty scorching down here in the summer, I had a feeling that the morning sun would okay, but they'd need to protected from it in the afternoon. However, after reading some of your posts and looking at your pictures, it looks like those of you also in Texas just had them out in the open with full sun. I plan to use a drip irrigation system that I already have for other plants, which should keep them well watered.
 

sladobruk

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Planted a Nugget and Cascade rhizome in pots over the weekend and the Nugget has a two inch shoot above the ground this morning and a second smaller one. Nothing from the cascade yet, but that rhizome was a lot smaller and didn't have as many fresh shoots on it. Very encouraging!
 

AnonyBrew

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After a sad attempt last year, seeing some of mine starting to shoot out already I felt compelled to update here.

I planted 8 varieties last year and I am nowhere near a green thumb. I think 2 of mine died last year (fuggle & northern brewer) and one never got out of the ground, Sterling (also presumed dead). I too thought "full sun" meant full sun and mine are there. However, after last year's debacle I realize in Texas you want something less harsh, like only morning sun & shaded in afternoon/late afternoons.

I also think with our soil you need to build a planter & control the soil/fertilizer mixture. Making sure the planter is well drained. Then you won't need to worry as much about over watering them.

Having said that....mine are still left in the ground & I have no idea how much water will be too much or not enough. Wish me luck on my 2nd year plants.

The survivors are: Cascade, Chinook, Perle, Hallertauer, and Nugget. Go hops!

P.S. I have Mt. Hood & Zeus first year rhizomes in a pot right now & am giving them to a friend with a green thumb hoping for better results.
 

drunkrhino

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i am in houston too. i built a raised garden in the back yard and bought a garden soil mix to fill in the beds so i didn't have to rely on potentially poor soil. i read and heard that chinook and cascade are the easiest to grow in any climate so i got one of each from the LHBS. we'll just have to see what happens when the heat comes.
 

buzz2978

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Just ordered my first set of cascade roots to plant in louisiana. Wondering if it may be a bit late in the season for this? Should be in the ground by next week. Another thing, can I train the bines horizontal after the first 5 ft in order to keep it like a hedge? Any help is appreciated.
 

AnonyBrew

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Just ordered my first set of cascade roots to plant in louisiana. Wondering if it may be a bit late in the season for this? Should be in the ground by next week. Another thing, can I train the bines horizontal after the first 5 ft in order to keep it like a hedge? Any help is appreciated.
I wouldn't worry about it being too late. Just don't expect any production this year.

Many people train their hops horizontally.

I'm definitely no expert, but I've read hops like to be planted in well drained areas and down here in the south I'd watch out how much summer sun they get. I was thinking about moving mine to the morning sun side of the house where they would get shade in the late afternoon heat.
 

Schlenkerla

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I wouldn't worry about it being too late. Just don't expect any production this year.

Many people train their hops horizontally.

I'm definitely no expert, but I've read hops like to be planted in well drained areas and down here in the south I'd watch out how much summer sun they get. I was thinking about moving mine to the morning sun side of the house where they would get shade in the late afternoon heat.
Don't! If you can keep up with the watering they will be OK. Do you have some bark mulch to cover the roots? This helps lock in some of the moisture. I strong believe once the root base is established watering is less of an issue unless its excessively hot or dry for a very long time. I also water a little more during the cone formation. They will need more water at this time. I barely watered mine last year. This is year no. 4 for mine.
 

drayman86

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Not bad for an 8'x8' foot of space.

This trellis is really quite simple to build, and inexpensive too. I picked up all the necessary supplies, including lashing rope and climbing twine, at Lowes today for about $35. I was able to assemble it myself, and will post a couple of pics tomorrow.

Thanks again for the pics and instruction, Ed.
 

AnonyBrew

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A few of my 2nd year hops are doing much better this year than last. I'm not sure if it's because the weather's been less harsh thus far or just the fact that they have an extra year of root growth.

The best performing hop is my Chinook at about 12ft. long right now. 2nd pic is some actual baby cones on it.





My others are Nugget at about 5ft, Perle at 3ft. Cascade at 2ft, & the Hallertau is still only 10". Seems like higher alpha acid hops are doing best. Not sure if that means anything.
 

quickerNu

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Yeah for Soper! Much better. Here is my one sad little cascade this year. Maybe I will build a proper size trellis when I buy a house....



And Yes, I doo need to mow and get all of the bermuda out of the bed! Busy Darnit!
 

KopyKat

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No pictures yet. I planted a jumbo Mt Hood and two Goldings rhizomes with a 20 plus foot trellis. They are in raised beds with a mixture of potting soil and garden soil with bark mulch on top. I planted them, I think, about the first week in April. The Mt Hood is at about 15 feet and the Golding is only 5 feet or so.

I have been using a drip irrigation system under the mulch and they seem to be thriving. The Goldings are slow growing but they were regular rhizomes. the Mt Hood is putting on precursors to cones I believe.

These are on the south side of my house in Round Rock and have full morning through mid afternoon sun and shade the rest of the day thanks to a line of 30 year old Hackberry trees on the west side of my property.
 

Southpaw

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I planted four different types about 3/31. I purchased them from ThymeGarden.com at a very good price. Being in deep south Texas salt and alkalinity is a problem so I had to prepare raised beds as well. The usual garden soil, potting soil and sphagnum moss mix. I got them going on on Greenlight starter solution and root hormone. My best growth so far have come from nugget and cascade. Cascade actually is growing about 6-7 inches a day and is amazing to watch. My nugget plant is about 16 ft. and the cascade is catching up quickly.

I save rainwater in barrels and then distribute it as needed which is sometimes about 2 gal. a day per plant. They need lots of h2o the first year if you expect to see any cones at all. So far only the nugget has produced cones that look usable. The cascade was planted later and is just now starting to put on cones but it looks like it want to make lots of them. My willamette is about 13 ft. and no cones yet. I did plant centennial but in a bad spot so it needs transplanting to get more light.

I have some pics which I will post as soon as my son shows me how.
 

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Awesome thread. Thanks for the info & experiences gents. I'm thinking of training some hop plants to cover the 2x6 rafters under my corrugated polycarbonate patio cover. This would get morning and day sun up until 5:30 - 6 pm. I also like the idea that it would cover the patio during the summer only and I could cut it back in the winter time for full sun. I have an unused 10-15 gallon (read: big enough) heavy plastic pot that sounds perfect for the job. Would it be advisable to plant in the fall or always spring?

It's too bad I didn't do this is Feb/March as we've had plenty of rain this spring for good initial growth, although it's REALLY getting hot now. I have plenty of spring flowers that 2 weeks ago were in full bloom that are all brown and withered now.

Also, sorry for the length, one last question. Have any of you had issues with dogs? I have two 2 year old 75 pounders who have continuous access to the patio and they are young enough to want to chew on new things. If anyone has experience with their dog(s) chewing on the vine repeatedly then i'll need to puppy proof it. I'll be a happy camper once my lab mellows out (the flip the switch scenario), but everyone has a different story, 1 year, 2 years, 5 years, never.

- Penn
 

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I was skeptical at first about growing in SA but I saw some fresh cones at the Todd's LHBS last fall that someone had brought in.

I believe there's a perfect spot in my backyard that gets full sun all-day-long. Only thing that worries me is the trend towards 100F temps and zero rain. It was hot hot hot last summer and even worse this year. I think we've crested 100F nearly everyday since mid-May.

With zero experience I'm thinking watering is the key around here. It'll be impossible to over-water them in this heat.

So when the rhizomes become available again next year it'll be Cascade and Chinook probably.

There will be questions...
 

amercuric

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Just a thought: cultivate and select for a heat-tolerant Texas hops variety.

Get hops seeds. Plant them, and you will wind up with some males. Reproduce the hops, and collect the seeds. Plant the cultured seeds. After that, select the best-growing individuals by letting them reproduce again and repeat the process. Hooray biology.

Yet with all the beef out there, you Texans probably already know that. ; )
 

AnonyBrew

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Has anyone picked their hops yet? I'm going to pick some Perle & possibly Cascade as well today. Some of the hops have browned on the vine from this year's extreme heat. I've been watering them like mad & all except Hallertau are doing well.
 

mwhc22

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any kind of consensus on the amount of sunlight hops should have? i am living in SLC, UT as well. IN the summer it gets like 100+ and anything facing south and/or west gets blasted with sun without some type of partial cover. would it be ok to face them on a slightly west facing north side of a house? they would still get hit pretty good in the afternoon... but wouldn't bake from morning till night.
 

davis073005

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Really big ones.

Looks great, Ed!
everything looks great I just built a trellis 18' tall with guy wires to hold 140 plants of course I do plan to sell some but I have to say from my understanding hops need a min of 15 hours of day light to bloom and I am at 14.8 they bloom well here in IL but will they grow in texas? I think your to far south I had a crazy Idea to grow hops in northern mexico on my friends farm but he only gets 10 hours of light a day in peak summer the farther north the more hours of light you get
 

bmwbrewer

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I was skeptical at first about growing in SA but I saw some fresh cones at the Todd's LHBS last fall that someone had brought in.

I believe there's a perfect spot in my backyard that gets full sun all-day-long. Only thing that worries me is the trend towards 100F temps and zero rain. It was hot hot hot last summer and even worse this year. I think we've crested 100F nearly everyday since mid-May.

With zero experience I'm thinking watering is the key around here. It'll be impossible to over-water them in this heat.

So when the rhizomes become available again next year it'll be Cascade and Chinook probably.

There will be questions...
Radtek, I'm wondering if you're still thinking of growing this season. I'm just outside of 410 on the northwest side and debating whether to construct something with full southern exposure in the backyard or doing a trellis up the east north east side of the house. With this past summer's heat the locals should have a good idea whether hops are San Antonio realistic or not.
 

BrownBomber

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Has anyone tried just throwing a rope over a very high tree branch and just letting them climb that way?
 
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