Growing Up Some Hops

A couple of years ago I made an effort to grow hops. Ordered some rhizomes as well as got a few from a fellow homebrewer. It was a failure. Our soil is pretty bad. A lot of the area I live in used to be nearly swamp land that was filled in. There are lots of pine trees which create a fairly acidic soil, plus it’s incredibly rocky. I had hopes to see hops grow but it never happened.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago. I decided I was going to make a second run at growing hops. I had been inspired by hearing a few success stories from people who with similiarly bad soil had grown their hops in pots. This would allow me to put them in good soil with plenty of nutrients and would give the hops their best shot at growing. So I preordered some hop rhizomes from More Beer and waited for them to arrive. The hops showed up a few days before Easter. I already had purchased some big pots and plenty of potting soil and when they came I went to work. It as pretty simple, filling the pots with the soil and then burying one rhizome per pot. I put them in the middle of the pot under about an inch of soil. I made sure they had plenty of water and then I waited. I checked them daily even though I knew it would take some time for them to develop roots before shooting up through the soil. Still, after the failure of my previous attempt I was a bit nervous about them.

So yesterday before we headed out to do errands I took the daily pilgrimage to check the pots and I was in for a treat! The Cascade, and the Centennial both had tiny sprouts coming up through the surface (there still was nothing to report from the pot with Nugget in it). Of course the weather report was calling for cold weather and the possibility of heavy snow. This made me glad the hops were in pots as I moved them inside until the weather returns to something a little less winter like. Looking outside this morning and seeing a couple of inches of snow made me glad that I decided to bring them inside. Once there is a little more to see I’ll share some picutres and talk about how I am going to set them up to grow in to big beautiful bines!