1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Hop rhizomes

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by RumHam, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. RumHam

    RumHam Aficionado (125) Virginia Feb 15, 2013

    My LHBS is taking preorders for hop rhizomes, $5 each. Anyone have experience growing these. I'm in northern VA outside DC and I've heard cascade is the most foolproof for this climate. They are offering cascade, centennial, chinook, nugget, n brewer, willamette, fuggles, and mt hood.

    Anyone have experience growing these? What all would I need and what should I know before ordering?
     
  2. I have no experience with this, but from what I've seen and read, nearly everyone that homegrows hops, grows more than one variety (at least the first year). That way they can see what does better in their area. Temperature and climate are not the only factors in hop production. Soil, planting location etc..., can play a big part in the amount of yield.
    If folks in your area say cascade grows the best, then go with some of those, but I would pick one or two other varieties that you like and plant those as well.
    This, of course, all hinges on the amount of available space you have for growing.
     
  3. benidy

    benidy Aficionado (130) Missouri May 4, 2008

    Contact your local homebrew club. I'm sure there are brewer/gardener's in the area that can help.

    For what it's worth, I used to live in central Indiana and had great success with Cascade and Chinook. Centennial and Willamette were constantly under attack from a variety of garden pests. After 3 years of struggling with them, I nuked them. I have heard that Nugget is pretty hardy. Nugget and Sunbeam (?) are the most common varietals that you will see at garden centers.
     
  4. benidy

    benidy Aficionado (130) Missouri May 4, 2008

    If you can find some one growing hops in the area you might be able to get your rhizomes for free. My chinooks went hogwild. I had to cut them back every year and would have gladly given away cuttings to anyone who asked.
     
    hopdog09 likes this.
  5. Im sure i could look this up but ill ask. Here what would be the best way to support the hops should i build a arbor or is there something better
     
  6. JrGtr

    JrGtr Savant (390) Massachusetts Apr 13, 2006

    I'm starting my second year on some rhizomes. First year, they got a good 10 feet tall. I built an A-frame type rig with nylon string for the bines to climb up. Seemed to work pretty well.
     
  7. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Advocate (540) Vermont Mar 10, 2006

    I run strings from our barn roof to the ground. The bines get a good 15 feet high. If you are using open space, a couple of 10-15 foot poles with a wire strung between them is a good platform for your twine. Putting eyelets on top of the poles and tying off at the bottom so you can lower the wire for harvest is very handy.
     
    Docrock and BrockGibson31 like this.
  8. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Advocate (540) Vermont Mar 10, 2006

    Cascade seems to do great everywhere. I've grown it here in VT, as well as UT and CO and have seen other peoples' plants just about everywhere. Centennial also does well here. My attempt at Mt. Hood curled up and died before the end of May.
     
  9. This year will be my first time planting rhizomes. After some research I'm going with the "teepee" method. Basically you get a 12-15 foot pole/tree/straight object and put it into the ground, probably with some cement mix to make it sturdy/solid. You tie/attach some strong wire or yarn to the top of the pole and take the yarn to the ground and stake it into the ground say 7-10 feet away from the base of the pole. You do that 3 times in different directions so it is like a teepee shape. Plant 3 rhizomes which are the same variety at the base of each string and train the bines up the yarn as they grow.

    This will be my first time so ill see how it goes. I may attach some to our barn also as skivtjerry mentioned above, but I'm fortunate enough to have enough room for as many teepee setups as I can do so ill probably mainly do that.

    I see an increase in weed wacking in my future.
     
  10. Sixam2

    Sixam2 Aficionado (110) Washington Feb 19, 2013

    How was your first year production ? I am going to map out about a 20' X 20' area in my garden for hops.. Probably 3 different varieties.. Do you get just 1 harvest ? Just like brockgibson31 I could look it up online but I like this forum much better.. Thanks
     
  11. JrGtr

    JrGtr Savant (390) Massachusetts Apr 13, 2006

    Not a single cone last year :) That's OK, wasn't expecting much. From everything I hear, first year you're lucky to have a handful, if that. Second year is when to expect more production, third is when they really take off.
     
  12. I hear if you get the crowns instead of rhizome they will actually produce in the first year. Crowns are a 1 year old plant and are available on eBay thru Great Lakes hops. I can't personally attest to this but a friend of mine who has a few different hop crops says crowns are the way to go if you want hops in the first year.
     
  13. Sixam2

    Sixam2 Aficionado (110) Washington Feb 19, 2013

    Thank you ... I also found that northwest hops.com can sell me crowns..
    I want hops year 1 !!
     
  14. Ill have to look up that site. Yea if first year hops is possible.... Why not??
     
  15. If rhizomes do not grow, you just saved yourself some money (crowns probably won't either). Usually people buy 2 and plant on the same hill. Key is getting them into the ground asap and soaking in a little Xplant solution overnight. I have had cones on first year bines, but not a lot. Where I live Chinook, Nugget, and Cascade seem to do the best (the other 8 varieties have survived, but not necessarily thrived.
     
  16. Thanks for the advice on supporting. While were on topic would it be best to start the first year in some kind of isolated box or pot?
     
  17. benidy

    benidy Aficionado (130) Missouri May 4, 2008

    Put them babies in the ground! You want to let them build up as much root in the 1st year as possible.
     
  18. I've been growing for about 20 years now...my set up is this..first a section of culvert (24" diameter min.) cut about 12-18 inches and placed on its end in the ground with about 2-3 inches above ground. This prevents traveling of the roots once the yard is established. Next, get a couple of chain link fence stringers (top rail) that have the post/socket feature..they usually come in 10ft lenths...cut the socket end of one about 24" long..this is your main post it gets set in the ground..socket end up..the other pole slips inside that one..the top of the remaining pole you can put a eyelet..s-hook or whatever to attach the string or ss cable (which is what I used) and then anchor those to the ground, flaring out from the main pole close to the hop mound..plants grow up the cable then when it comes time to harvest you simply pull the top pole out of the socket and lay it accross a couple of saw horses..harvest and reset the pole..doing this I can usually get two or more "harvests" as usually you have some hops that are "done" and others still getting ready, and you don't have to get up on a ladder or cut them down..I live in Michigan and chinook are by far my best producers..but I only have three varieties, MT. Hood, Sterling and Chinook...I'm thinking of ditching the MT. Hood..not doing well and as someone said ...bugs seem to like 'em
     
  19. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Aficionado (215) Texas Jan 27, 2013

    I just ordered some cascade , centennial and willamette rhizomes .. Going to try this texas climate out and see what I can get to grow. Hopefully it all works out.
     
  20. Sixam2

    Sixam2 Aficionado (110) Washington Feb 19, 2013

    Let me know how you set it up.. I'm thinking about getting some starters or crowns so I can harvest something this fall..
    You'll need lots of water.. TX can get hot.. Lol
    In case you weren't aware
     
  21. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Aficionado (215) Texas Jan 27, 2013

    Yeah in my 35 years of being here I have noticed a little bit of heat here and there .. ;). I will report all findings and results !. Im going to plant them at my mom's house since she has really tall trees that are in and out of the sun light. I want to stake the plants about 20 feet away from the trees and run the twine into a tall branch at an angle. IF it doesnt work I gained experience and lost 9 bucks.
     
  22. benidy

    benidy Aficionado (130) Missouri May 4, 2008

    I didn't think hops would grow well that far south. Wrong day length--am I wrong?
     
  23. stakem

    stakem Champion (880) Pennsylvania Feb 20, 2009

    Hi there. I just wanted to chime in with some constructive criticism regarding what you posted.

    3 rhizomes per string is overkill. Regarding line, certaintly dont use yarn because it is weak and dont use wire as it will damage the bines and be difficult to train the hops on to. You want to use a type of string that is fiberous so the bines can cling to it. I use hemp twine and even that sometimes breaks if i allow more than 2 bines to climb each string. If you put 3 rhizomes in the ground, you are going to have a mess on your hands. I put 1 cascade rhizome in the ground 4 years ago and I cant kill it even if I wanted to. I live in central PA and planted it infront of a shed I have and it now sprouts up on all 4 sides of the shed, not just infront of it where I originally placed it.

    If you do the teepee sort of setup, you can make harvesting very easy if you rig all of your lines from the ground to a ring or carabiner. Then affix the ring or carabiner on its own rope and pulley sort of like a flag pole that you can raise and lower it. That way you dont need to cut and retie anything.
     
  24. That's a great idea with the carabiner thing to make harvesting easy. I misspoke previously as i meant to say 3 rhizomes per Pole and one per twine. Thank you very much for the feedback !!!
     
  25. SeaSparrow

    SeaSparrow Aficionado (160) Texas Sep 4, 2010

    My buddy down here on the Texas Gulf Coast is successfully growing Cascade, Centennial, and Zeus... I'm going to give it a go this year too.
     
  26. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Aficionado (215) Texas Jan 27, 2013

    At one of the local brew houses (katy,Tx- No label brewery ) They had several stringers outside the beer garden with hops growing. At the time we went the cones were out and full .. we picked some and rubbed them together .. smelled like beer !
     
  27. benidy

    benidy Aficionado (130) Missouri May 4, 2008

    Texans: Mark me educated...
     
    jncastillo87 likes this.
  28. Docrock

    Docrock Advocate (510) Illinois Jan 21, 2012

    Cascade are pretty hardy and have had pretty good success in Southern Michigan, just need lots of water.....working on auto watering system for mine with rain barrels and solar powered timer..
     
  29. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Aficionado (215) Texas Jan 27, 2013

    I hope to have results to show at some point.
     
  30. tngolfer

    tngolfer Aficionado (225) Tennessee Feb 16, 2012

    How many rhizomes or crowns do you all buy at once? How do you know if you get both a male and female? Is it a wait-and-see if cones develop?
     
  31. All rhizomes for sale are female...or should be...2 of the same variety are usually planted together on the same hill for a little insurance.
     
  32. tngolfer

    tngolfer Aficionado (225) Tennessee Feb 16, 2012

    Thanks.