Hop to it!

Oh joyous day- the hop rhizomes i ordered over the winter arrived today!

I’ve been homebrewing beer on and off for the past 12 years, and i recently started kegging it using old 5 gallon soda kegs.  This  eliminates the few hours it takes to bottle the beer, freeing up some time to do things like grow my own hops!  I have brewed with fresh hops before, and the taste is far superior than using the usual hop pellets or oils, giving a much more complex flavor without being overpowering.

I personally don’t like overly hoppy beers, so i went with lower acid varieties- used more for aroma and flavor than bitterness.  For the first year, i plan on simply trellising them onto the pergola (they’re planted next to it), as they should only get 8 feet long.  The following years, the bines should get upwards of 20 feet long, so i plan on dropping some rope from the roof down to the raised bed.  This will also shade the side of the house, cooling it down a bit during the blazing summer months.

I’ve never grown my own hops before, so this is certainly an experiment.  From what i’ve read, they require even, high moisture and rich soil as they are fast growers (up to a foot a day!).  I dug gallons of compost to each planting spot earlier this winter to let the soil mellow a bit, and plated the hops rhizomes as soon as they arrived, so they didn’t dry out.

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About Ryan

Urban gardening at it's best (sometimes it's worst)! Adventures and learnings from going 100% lawn free in a D.C. row house.
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