Hops are a flowering plant that are used primarily to add flavour and aroma to beer. Hop plants are hardy perennials, and they can be grown throughout the United States. They require plenty of water, sunshine and nutrients and they can be grown in elevations up to 7,000 feet, although they grow better below 3,000 feet. The best way to grow your own hops is to transplant hop plant rhizomes. Home brewing supply stores sell a wide variety of hop rhizomes in the early spring.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Support structure
- Organic fertiliser
Decide which type of hops you want to grow. Many different types of hops exist, each with their own flavouring characteristics. Find out what types of hops are in your favourite beer and grow them if you can't decide which type to grow.
Purchase the hop rhizomes and store them in a refrigerated area until the soil is ready for planting. Each hop plant will yield roughly 0.907kg. of hops when they mature. Use this figure to decide how many hop plants you want to grow.
Find a good place to grow the hop plants. Hop plants require a support system to grow around like a fence, trellis, pole or rope hanging from the side of your house. Hops grow best in soil with a pH of between 6 and 8. Hops also tend grow to 15 to 25 feet tall, so make sure they have all the room they will need.
Dig about 1 1/2 inches into the ground once the threat of frost has passed and plant one rhizome horizontally with the white buds facing up. Make a small mound of soil and fertiliser around the protruding end of the rhizome in order to help with drainage and to give the plant needed nutrients. Plant other hop plants of the same type 3 feet apart from each other and plant differing hop types 5 feet apart.
Water the plant daily. Using organic mulches and fertilisers will help your hops grow to their fullest potential.
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