How to Grow Hops at home
Learning how to grow hops at home can be a very rewarding experience. The perennial nature of the hop plant makes it suitable for planting all year round. Whether you just want to beautify or add variety to your garden or are considering starting a small home brewery, the hop plant which grows fast and up to 25feet long is one sturdy alternative to the regulars that you might want to consider. Here are a few tips that explain how to grow hops in your garden.
Find out where to purchase the planting seed called rhizomes in your neighbourhood. There are a couple of online stores that you can order the hop rhizome to be shipped to your home.
Hops vines – bines grow laterally and need a lot of sunlight a day so, choose a location in your garden that has vertical space and gets the most sunlight.
The roots – rhizomes grow very quickly and crawl all over the garden. If you are planting different species, you will have to space them considerably and trim the roots ever season.
Hops do best in a rich and aerated soil with good drainage, till the soil properly to loosen the particles. Place the rhizomes – root side down, a few metres deep and make a ridge or mould around it. To prevent weed, cover the ridge with mulch or straw. The life cycle is between late spring and late summer. The roots then continue the cycle the next season.
When the vines – bines start growing, you need to provide support (trellis) for it as it grows laterally. A strong rope or long bamboo stick attached to the ground would suffice.
You may need to water your hop plant daily if there is insufficient natural irrigation. Train the best bines to grow in whatever direction you want and trim off the rest.
Hops may not mature all at once; you will need to pick the ripe ones independently and store them away from sunlight to dry. Mature hops have a strong aroma and are dry to the feel while leaving a yellow powder stain on the finger. Storage is best done in an airtight container placed in the freezer.