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.