From the HBD Archive
From: Carol Miller-Tutzauer <RIACMT@ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu>
Subject: Growing Hops
Date: 1992-05-05 15:32:00 GMT

From: riacmt@ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu (Carol Miller-Tutzauer)
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.brewing
Subject: Growing hops
Date: 5 May 1992 10:04 EST
Distribution: world

Ok... my husband is the homebrewer; I'm the gardener. He
wants to grow hops, but keeps procrastinating on getting
information I need for getting them started. So, here are
some questions. The more I can get answered the better, but
I'll muddle through even if y'all can't answer everything.

1. Growing pattern -- I understand they are vines. Is it
preferable to have them grow straight up? I could set up
tall poles driven into the ground about a foot or so. Is
this the preferable way to grow them? Also, we have vinyl
siding (very rough) on the house. Will they grow up the
side of the house on their own?

2. When should they be planted? We are in New York (Buffalo).
Do they need to go into the ground soon? And how long before
we can expect harvesting? Will they even bear hops the first
year?

3. Light requirements -- For growing in New York state, how
many hours of sunlight per day are required? Is this direct
sunlight or is indirect ok? Does amount of sunlight affect
yields?

4. Soil requirements -- Anyone know the preferred soil PH level?

5. Root (rhizome) depth -- how much depth of soil do I need to
provide for the hop plants?

6. Recommended planting distance -- how far apart should I
plant them. I gather they grow side to side. Would growing
one plant per 1/2 whiskey-barrel planter work? These are about
18 inches deep and about 2 ft in diameter. We could then move
them mid-day to give them more sun.

7. Fertilization schedule? Anyone have any suggestions on this?
I usually put a layer of manure down, then soil, then plant.
About the time the plant's roots get down to the manure layer,
it is the right time for a little food boost. I know bulbs
also like some food below their roots. I have never grown
rhizomes before, so I'm clueless here.

8. How many should we plant? I realize yields probably won't
be great the first year, but what do you all say about someone
who brews approximately 1 batch every 1 or 2 weeks?

9. How do you "winter" the hop plants? Let die then cover with
straw? Bring inside? Let dry out or trim down? Give them
a fertilizer boost before wintering?

10. Watering requirements -- (Almost forgot this one.) Do you
need well-draining soil? How often should you water? Generally
I make a ring-like pit around plants that will hold and cradle
water. I also mulch so as to retain water. (I use straw.)
Is this a reasonable strategy?

You can send to the digest or email. I will keep an eye on this
digest for the next week or so.

(By the way, my husband -- and the guilty procrastinator -- is
Frank Tutzauer! Are you out there, Frank?)

Carol
Homebrew widow ;-)

email: riacmt@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu



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