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Hop Growing

Hops can grow on a wide range of soil types, although in general they grow best on deep well drained non-acid loam’s. Good soil moisture and fertility are essential in order to sustain the prodigious aerial growth of the hop plant each year. Bines usually begin to grow from the underground rootstock in early April. These healthy bines of appropriate vigour are selected for a procedure known as ‘training’ are induced to begin climbing the strings, which they do in a clockwise direction. When 2-3 bines are established on a string, all surplus shoots should be removed, usually completed by the end of May. 

Planting Instructions

On receiving your plants remove the plants from the bag, check to see if they are moist, if they are not place in a bucket of water for 1 hour, then plant it in your garden.

  • Dig a hole 9 – 12 inches deep. 
  • Place the plant in the hole with the crown of the plant, the bit with the shoots on, 2-3 inches below surface level. 
  • Cover all the roots and crown with good quality well mulched soil, or John Innes No3 compost. 
  • Firm in gently. 
  • Sprinkle some general fertiliser around the surface. 
  • Water in only if the soil is dry. 
  • Plants should be spaced about a metre apart.

Support

Hops can be grown up strings, poles or on a fence with wire support. Fertility can be improved with farmyard manure or proprietary brands of general fertiliser such as growmore.


Disease and Pest Control

Hops are susceptible to mildews, aphids and red spider. These can be controlled with various garden sprays available from most Garden centres.


Harvesting

Pick the hops off the bines in early to mid September. Drying should take place immediately after harvesting, this can be achieved with very satisfactory results by placing the hop cones in an airing cupboard. Store in a dry place. These can be used for brewing your own beer or Hop pillows (only a small amount put in your pillow will help you sleep). If required for floral decoration do not remove hops from bine, but cut the whole bine off in September and hang to dry in a warm airy place. Remove all leaves off bine before drying. 


Pruning

In the Spring, select the number of shoots required, max 8 per plant, and remove all surplus. Remove all growth above ground any time between late Autumn / Winter.This will help reduce carry over of pests and diseases.


View our video library for addition information on growing your hop plants