Growing hops in the South presents a specific problem if your area is subject to high humidity. Hops prefer hot and sunny, and although they need a lot of water, they have problems with extra air moisture. This can be avoided by planting the rhizomes as early in the spring as possible so maturity is reached before the hot, humid days of summer sets in. Female hops rhizomes are available at garden centers and from online retailers. A local brew shop may be able to put you in touch with a seller of the rhizomes also.
Choose a growing area that has full southern exposure. Prepare the area where you plan to plant your hops as soon as the ground can be worked. Hops prefer soil that is loose and well drained, so add sand or peat if needed to the area.
Erect a trellis system in the garden area for the hops to cling to as they grow. Hops can grow as tall as 20 to 40 feet high.
Create hills two to three feet apart. Plant the rhizomes, two to a hill approximately four inches deep with the buds facing upwards. Cover with dirt and apply a 1/4 -inch layer of composted cow manure to the hill.
Begin training the hops to the trellis system as soon as the vines are long enough, by gently wrapping the vines around the trellis system.
Water the plants frequently to keep the soil around the hops moist. Do not overwater, as the plants do not tolerate standing water well. As the plants become established, they will need approximately 1 1/2 inches of water weekly.
Harvest the hops cones when they become dry and light. If you squeeze them gently in your hand, they will spring back to their original shape.