Growing



Prep and Planning

  • It's best to plant between March and May, but you can put your rhizomes in the ground any time of the year. 
  • If you're planting early, mulch is a good idea but do not use too much. 
  • The hop rhizome should be planted 1"-2" below the surface of the soil and it is very important to face the eyes of the rhizome in the up position. This is where the vine will actually break the surface.
  • When the vines break the surface, the vine will naturally tend to grow clockwise up the string or trellis.  If it should happen to grow counter-clockwise, try to train it back around.  Otherwise it's unlikely that the vine will follow your string.
  • Hop plants love natural sunlight and need as much as they can get.  However, do not use reflective devices to increase heat/light.  It will kill them. 
  • DO NOT overwater. Overwatering is the most common mistake among growers.

 

Care and Growth

  • Once your plants reach 7'-8' feet tall, we recommend hilling them.  By hilling, we mean to just pile some additional dirt around the base of the plant. This helps maintain both moisture and temperature, as well as preventing mildew. 
  • The vines will continue to grow with only moderate need for fertilizer.  We like the pelletized, slow-release fertilizers, and we use 16-16-16.  Now don't over fertilize, but don't let them starve. We occasionally increase the nitrogen content near the end of the growing season.  By this point, your hop plant will have established feeder roots and will be well on its way to finding its own water and nutrients.
  • Its very unlikely, but some regions may benefit from some additional soil amendments or conditioners.  You can contact your local extension service, or e-mail us for our recommendations. 
  • In large scale production we use preventative spraying measures for pests and bugs. These are generally aphids and spider mites. The extension service is a fantastic resource for both organic and non-organic solutions. Horticultural oils are all-natural, very effective and pretty easy to find.