Hops are a hardy perennial bine needing both a male and a female plant for pollination. The hops is a bine, as opposed to a vine, because it winds around instead of using tendrils to climb. After she is pollinated by the male, the female produces a cone that is used in beer-making. The bines die away at the end of the season and will emerge the following year from the crown of the plant. You can grow a variety of hops for different brewing projects—just be certain to plant your bitter hops in a different site from your aroma hops, as they may spread and mix.
Plant hops in full or partial sun and in fertile soil.
Sow seeds in well-turned soil, and cover with less than a third-inch of soil.
Thin seedlings to 6 to 12 inches between plants and apply compost or fertilizer.
Gently wrap each bine around a strong, coarse cord at a 45-degree angle when it is between a foot and 2 feet tall to train it.
Water your hops bines generously, and apply compost halfway through the growing season.
Harvest the cones from your hops when they are light green to yellow and have a dry, papery feel.
Things You Will Need
- Compost or fertilizer
- Strong, coarse cord
- Plant hops in the autumn for spring flowers, in the spring for summer flowers and in the summer for autumn flowers.
- If you plant hops in the autumn in a cold climate, cover the area with a 6-inch layer of straw or leaf mulch to protect them. Do not remove the mulch until after the threat of frost has passed.
- You can also use a trellis to train your hops. Taller is better. Your hops vine will grow to the top of its support system and then produce side shoots and cones. The taller the plant the more shoots and cones it will produce.
- Hops are hardy and will spread. Be diligent about keeping your hops from spreading by pulling up the runners.