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Prima Donna Bare Root Hop Plant
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Growth & Analytical Data
Planting & Growing Instructions
Prima Donna (First Gold)
Bred at Wye College in 1995 originally introduced to the commercial market as First Gold, Prima Donna is the produce of cross-pollination of WGV with a dwarf male. Prima Donna has many of Goldings flavour characteristics but with a higher Alpha acid at 7 to 9%, it crops with a large number of medium sized cones. The hop gives a rich citrus character with flavours described as orange peel and dried apricot producing a well balanced bitterness and fruity, slightly spicy note in ales. Prima Donna has excellent aroma qualities and much of the flavour characteristics of WGV, it has proven success in stronger flavoured summer beers and IPAs. The variety is very suitable as a general kettle hop and also for late and dry hopping in all types of beer.
Bare root hop plants are available from November 1st until April 15th. The best time to transplant hop plants lies during this period whilst the plant is dormant.
Plants in 2 Litre pots are available from May until September but are available for UK mainland delivery only.
Time of ripening: Mid season
Storage stability: Moderate
Wilt tolerance: Fairly tolerant
Resistance to downy mildew: Susceptible
Resistance to powdery mildew: Resistant
Alpha acid (range) 5.6 – 8.7%
Beta acid (range) 2.3 – 3.6%
Ratio Alpha:Beta 2.4 – 3.2:1
Cohumulone (% of alpha) 29 - 34%
Total oils, ml/100g (dry) 0.7 – 1.3
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.
1. Dig a hole 9 – 12 inches deep.
2. Place the plant in the hole with the crown of the plant, the bit with the shoots on, 2-3 inches below surface level.
3. Cover all the roots and crown with good quality well mulched soil, or John Innes No3 compost.
4. Firm in gently.
5. Sprinkle some general fertiliser around the surface.
6. Water in only if the soil is dry.
7. Plants should be spaced about a metre apart.
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.
Hop plants have to be provided with supports for the climbing bines on which the cone bearing lateral shoots are formed. 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.
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.
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.
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