Hops are great to plant at home especially if you are looking forward to brewing your own homemade beer. In case you do not know, some beers are made of hops. You can also make different types of beers from the different variants of hops that you plant. But aside from making beer, people also grow hops because they make nice decorative pieces that hangs over trellises.
Hops normally grow during late spring or up to early summer. Since we are already in our mid-summer, you can still check out the steps we have below, so you can prepare your hops next spring.
Here are the different steps on how to grow hops:
- Preparing the place – since hops are plants that climb, you might want to provide trellises or anything where they can climb on. You should also find the perfect place to plant them where there is equal sun and shade. Then of course, your soil should be well-nourished, and should be well draining.
- Planting the rhizomes – hops starts out from rhizomes. They are small root like stems. You can buy rhizomes from farmer’s market or from vegetable garden supply stores, or you can also check independent growers online. Dig holes up to 8 inches deep. Place the rhizomes inside the hole, and cover it with lose soil. Make sure to plant the roots first, and the sprouts point upwards. Make sure that you still have at least an inch of soil at the top.
- Watering Hops – hops love water. But make sure that the soil is well draining, because if not, it will hold up the water, and the hops will die. Water them daily with just enough water that will ensure moisture. After 2 to 4 weeks, you should see sprouts already.
- Pruning Hops– the hops will grow in length, but ideally, you might just want to grow 3 to 4 strands of it, and the others, you will need to prune. Choose the best strands to grow. Pruning other strands will help the best strands to grow better, since all of the plant’s energy will be conserved to them.
- Harvest Hops – You should harvest hops when they are already ripe. you should know when the hops are ready, when they feel a bit oily and sticky to the touch. They should also show green all over, and they should be a bit lighter, compared to the hops that are not yet ripe.
Once you are done with your first harvest, you have to place your hops inside a tight and sealed container. This will prevent the hops to rot. Expect your next harvest in the next day; do not leave your hops in the vine because it can ripen quickly. That’s if you are not planning to use them for brewing beer, and use them for decorations in your garden.
These are the different steps on how to grow hops at home.
image courtesy of epicbeer/flickr