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Growing Hops

By Dave Squires

 My method of growing hops is simple.  Use lots of water, Miracle Grow, and composted cow manure mulch.

Here are the steps after the first year to get the rhizomes established. The second year is when you get the super growth. So this is the second year procedure.

  1. Put in some 12 foot to 16 foot 2x4s from the local lumber yard either as an A frame or straight up on a solidly planted fence post.
  2. Run inch rope of some kind between the tall posts. Then tie vertical stringers down to the ground and tie off on plastic tent pegs or wood stakes next the hop shoots in the spring. Hop shoots should be about a foot high by then.
  3. Train the shoots to start up the rope. Once they get going look out! They can grow 3 inches a day.
  4. Get some bags of composted manure from Walmart and put it around the hop vines as a mulch. Make it about 6 inches deep and a foot or more out away from the main vines where they come out of the ground.
  5. Water every day or every other day and once a week use Miracle Grow mixed in a 5 gallon bucket of water. Use about a cup of Miracle grow each time and dissolve it in the water first. Then pour it around each plant.
  6. Keep doing this through the summer and you will have massive hop vines and a lot of hop cones in late August.

Keep training all new shoots to climb up the ropes.  Hang more ropes on the main cross rope if you like for individual vines.  The main thing is to water the heck out of them as they grow really fast and up to 25 feet long.  Keep the water going until the hop cones mature.

My second year, I got about 2 pounds of dried hops from 6 plants. Next year ought to be a huge harvest because they are really established now. I expect it to be 2 to 4 times as much next year.

 Happy hop growing,

Dave Squires

 

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