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 Post subject: Growing hops at home
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:23 am
Posts: 56
Hi everyone,

I'm entering my third year of growing hops at home and wondered if anyone had any wise words of wisdom to help me going forward.

I've read the third year is where the plant will be fully​ established and begin to produce good quality cones with (hopefully) a higher yield. I thought my harvest from last year was pretty good a had roughly 450g dried, I let multiple shoots grow and trained them to climb up stings.

This year is looking good and already I have multiple shoots 25cm in length. I attribute this leaving the vines in place during year one and two letting them die back during the winter, the soil is also good quality and must be the right pH. I've regularly dug in my own compost around the rhizomes which they seem to like and they get plenty of sunshine.

Thanks,

Simon


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 Post subject: Re: Growing hops at home
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:49 pm
Posts: 838
I have heard it suggested that only about 3 (of the strongest) bines pre rhizome should be retained so that the plant's energy goes into maximising cones rather than multiple bines. hops like plenty of fertiliser and water and light.

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 Post subject: Re: Growing hops at home
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:06 pm
Posts: 2233
Location: Bristol
I've generally neglected mine. They sprout late (Cascade) but always seem to ripen September-ish.

One gets trained in/around/over a fence& trellis and is a pig to harvest, the other went over a makeshift arbor. This year I have two 25 foot poles for them to go up, it will make picking easier.

Never mulched, fertilised or watered, my soil is about six inches deep then fractured sandstone bedrock.

They are a weed and grow anywhere :)

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 Post subject: Re: Growing hops at home
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:01 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:31 pm
Posts: 117
I agree with Steve I also agree with Roger they are very robust.
As Steve says when the bines are about 1 meter long choose the three that look the strongest and that have the side shoots closer together.
Nitrogen/manure (i use chicken manure pellets from wilkos) feed till june then after then use a potassium fertilizer .
If you send me a email to t1mjv@hotmail.co.uk I will send you a PDF document I found very usefull
Cheers


Last edited by timstaley on Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Growing hops at home
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:15 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:31 pm
Posts: 117
I forgot to say now is a good time gently fork around the crown of your plant and trim of any rhizomes just leaving your original plant.
This will make keeping bines down to three easyier and leave all the water and food for your main crown


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 Post subject: Re: Growing hops at home
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:08 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:23 am
Posts: 56
Thanks for all your replies, this has been most helpful.

Simon.


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 Post subject: Re: Growing hops at home
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:36 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:15 pm
Posts: 86
Hi Simon,

A lot of the information on growing hops comes from "mass production" hop yards. Like Roger's, mine thrive on neglect. From home cultivation point of view, here are some of my thoughts:

Triming back rhizomes and multiple shoots. In a hop yard mildew is a major concern, and hence getting airflow though the bines to prevent fungal infection is important. Although it is often stated 3 shots per root stock and striping the lower leaves will give more yield, I strongly suspect this has more to do with airflow management and hence disease prevention. In practice I trim around 6 shoots at about 15cm of growth, and as the rootstock spreads, I'll let it have multiple crowns. I trim roots principally to prevent them moving sideway into other varieties or the lawn!
Crowning. The theory is that fungal mycelium will concentrate towards the surface of the rhizome. No mildew, never felt the need to chop off the top of the rhizome!
Fertiliser. I dug in horse manure in year one. They haven't looked deficient, so I haven't added anything else. As Roger says, they are a perennial weed, and as such are eminently capable of rooting deeper to find what they need (I pity the person who took over my old allotment plot). Adding fertiliser may in fact draw the roots up, giving problems in drought years.
High trellis for hops. Hops do like to climb so prefer a high trellis. However most wild hops get to clamber through a hedge, so about 2.5m. High trellis enables better airflow, but most importantly allow easier industrial harvesting. My Cascade produced over 1kg dry weight of hops growing on a 1.8m fence last year. The low growth also allowed me to do normal and late harvest on these (reducing the risk that rain would spoil an all late harvest). High trellis is nice if you can, but if the neighbours/significant other don't like, you can grow at a practical height.
Drying. This is often where it all goes wrong. New research coming out of the 'states is that volatile oils start to evaporate at only 40C, which is at odds with how we interpret hop kilns. Last year for the first time I used portable aircon unit and sealed it and the hops in the porch overnight (the hops in a hydroponic "herb" drying net; overnight because I didn't want to risk "light struck"). It worked very well. The sealed room got into the 30's but not excessive. Not everyone has an air conditioner to hand, but the take home is drying cooler with thinner layers of hops.

Wow, that's turned into "War and peace," but hopefully some of it is useful. I grow Willamette, Cascade, Santiam, Fuggle, First Gold and EKG. With the possible exception of First Gold and EKG, which I find less vigorous hops, they seem to like the neglect they receive.


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 Post subject: Re: Growing hops at home
PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:42 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:03 am
Posts: 75
A couple of sources of useful info I've found about growing and using your own hops:

https://www.homebrewsupply.com/learn/ho ... -hops.html

http://suigenerisbrewing.blogspot.co.uk ... .html#more Growing hops podcast

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/ ... ping-beer/

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/ ... rown-hops/


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