Time to order Hops Rhizomes 2011Sunday, March 6th, 2011
It is time to order hops rhizomes for spring planting. The sooner you plant hops rhizomes, the sooner you can start growing hops vines and enjoying home grown hops in your beer. This year I will plant a few new varieties around the site where my brew shed is going up.
Hops Rhizomes Ready to be Planted
Hops are propagated by a root cutting called a rhizome (as opposed to seeds or starters). The rhizome is planted in the ground and grows to become a complete hops plant. The new plant is essentially a clone of the mother plant. All rhizomes come from female plants which produce hops cones for brewing. Male hops plants have seeds in their cones, and are not the best for brewing with. It takes at least two years to get to full cone production. In the first year there will not be much of a harvest, maybe a half ounce of dried cones at best (in my experience). In the second year, get a bucket when picking the cones! The best time to plant a rhizome is right now, in late winter / early spring.
If you are going to buy rhizomes this year, make sure to check out:
I ordered from The Thyme Garden before and have had good experiences. Here is a link directly to their hops page. They are an organic nursery and herb farm in the coastal range mountains of Oregon. They can’t ship to Washington because of a quarantine, but they do ship everywhere else in the US except Hawaii. Their prices are very reasonable, especially when you consider you are getting high quality organic hops.
I would plan the hops yard and dig the holes for the rhizomes the first nice day after you place your order. That way when the rhizomes arrive you can get them in the ground quickly, rain or shine. The surest way of killing the rhizome is to leave it in the fridge for weeks.
These Brewer’s Friend articles should be of interest if you have never grown hops before:
I highly recommend growing hops. It is really fun and satisfying all around. Everybody loves to talk about hops even non-drinkers. The vines look great crawling up the house, shed, or custom designed trellis. Hops vines on the house, yeah, that is how life should be. Not to mention, beer made with your own hops is something to be proud of. Enjoy!
Brewer’s Friend received hops rhizomes from The Thyme Garden for review as part of this article and link exchange.