From the HBD Archive
From: hplabs!gatech!mailrus!uflorida!ucf-cs!sdgsun!paul (Paul Emerson)
Subject: Hops Growing
Date: 1990-05-03 15:48:46 GMT

In regards to the recent hops growning questions, I thought I would share
my growing experiences.
I live in Orlando Florida and I have been growing hops for the past
3 years. I've only grown Cascade, which seems to have done quite well
here despite the high temperatures in the summer.

Hops rihzomes (roots) are usually sold and planted in the
spring. I bought 5 rihzomes and planted them in various locations around my
property. Only one survived. The sun was just a little too hot and direct
for my other locations. My survivor is on the shaded West side of my house,
so it isn't baked 12 hours a day. I try to keep the soil moist by
flooding the growing area when needed (every other day here in the summer).
The first year I the vine got about 15' and the yield was about 1/2 oz. The
cones were ok, but not of the density and size I have seen from commercial
growers. The vine dies back in the winter. I cover up the exposed root
clump until spring when I expose it a bit and start to water. The second
year the growth was about 40' and could have been longer but I pruned the
vine so it would branch out and I could get a greater yield. Like most
plants the growth near the growing tip gets more of the good stuff. So
the cones tended to get smaller and less dense in proportion to the distance
from the growing tip.

As for a trellis, I used a rig illustrated below:

^
/ \
/ \
/ \
/ \
-------------
| | | | |
| | | | |
| | | | |
| | | | |
| | | | |
| | | | |
| | | | |
| | | | |

This consisted of a pole with strings hanging down and is suspend from
two others that meet at the top. At the apex I have another line that
runs through a pulley down to a stake at the ground. This whole thing
is attached to an eye screw attached near the top of my chimney. The
design allows me to raise the climbing trellis higher each year while
being able to lower the whole thing for harvesting. I have also sometimes
tied horizontal stings to form a net like arrangement for some lateral
growth.

Usually I harvest cones when they are full and are swollen with their
yellow sacks. I generally cut a vine off at a branching point allowing
other areas to get more nutrients. I continue this through the summer.

Last year I got about 6 oz from my single vine. I spread the cones out
on a screen in a raise frame and let them air dry for a few days. Then
I seal them in freezer wrap and foil; label them and into the freezer.
It's not a large quantity but there is the satisfaction of having done it
yourself.

A friend has informed me that Barley, Malt and Vine has a book on growning
hops.

- --
Paul J. Emerson SDG Division of SAIC
Senior Technical Manager 450 Lakemont Ave.
UUCP:{ucf-cs|tarpit}!sdgsun!paul Winter Park, FL 32792
CIS: 72355,171 (407) 657-1300

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