Anyone growing Hops for pleasure?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by flameonglass, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. flameonglass

    flameonglass Member

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    Location:
    salt spring
    Hello all.
    I am new to this forum. I took Horticulture many years ago in Kamloops (at what was then Cariboo College) from a great instructor named Steve Wong. I moved to Salt spring a few years ago & am busy trying out new plants I could never grow in Kamloops like Bamboo etc. Transplanting big clumps of bamboo today I remembered how much I liked the looks of Hops. Anyone here growing them? Any tips?
     
  2. tallclover

    tallclover Member

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    I grew golden hops as an ornamental in an urban setting. The thing went wild and had underground runners that popped up everywhere. It devoured a climbing rose, some clematis and a bay laurel. You live and learn. Now that I'm living in the country, I'm thinking I'll try again, and plant it where it can take over an dead tree and my mower will keep define its boundaries.
     
  3. flameonglass

    flameonglass Member

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    Thanks.
    Do you know if bees are attracted to Hops?
     
  4. tallclover

    tallclover Member

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    I don't recall ever seeing any bees on the hops.
     
  5. Growing Hops

    Growing Hops Member

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    Hops are an amazing plant to watch grow. They can grow up to a foot a day! You must know what you are getting into though, they are very invasive. Each spring you just dig a radius from the hop crown or root stock and chop and pull up the hop rhizomes (lateral running roots which self propagate) - pull the ones outside of the radius you dig around the crown. If you do that, you have contained them - not that difficult.

    I chronicled a year of growing hops last year - first year hops. I am sure you will find several tips that will help you successfully grow, care for and harvest your hops.

    Hops can be used for beer/ales, cover/privacy, aroma wall, stress reducing tea and sleep pillows. Hops are very useful.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2010
  6. flameonglass

    flameonglass Member

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    I read your account on growing hops. Noticed you mentioned the deer did not bother your vines. I have been wondering about this as it is a huge problem here on SSI.
    Thanks!
     
  7. Growing Hops

    Growing Hops Member

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    I may be lucky, but I have not had deer eat my hops. They do snack on my tomato plants. Every night the deer empty my bird feeders so they are here - I have counted up to 5 deer in my yard at one time. I buy bird seed in bulk and go through about 100 lbs a month - maybe the bird seed offering is enough to keep them from eating my hops and going easy on my tomatoes?

    Anyway, I have not had experience with deer bothering my hop plants. I'll check around and see if others have had problems. If so, I guess the standard deer deterrents - fence or liquid fence would be in order.
     
  8. spinner63

    spinner63 Member

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    Hiya
    My partner grows hops, and I would warn against it. As other's have mentioned - they are invasive and hard to control. Not mentioned so far - the vines are very allergenic. If you brush against them, you will have itchy welts. The leaf is pretty, and I like the flower - but I would tear them out given my choice and go with another plant. For bees - they seem to love my raspberries, and of course budliea - but niether of these are vines.
     
  9. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor

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    I've never had the contact allergic reaction to hops - it might be a personal thing. I grow brewer's hops at very high altitudes (3,000 meters plus) both for their beauty and use in brewing.
     
  10. growing4it

    growing4it Active Member 10 Years

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    I've planted several hops here in the Lower Mainland. I haven't found it to be invasive. One location is the narrow space between concrete patios on sandy soil and the other in heavy organic moist soil.

    I am convinced that ladybugs like hops vine - I always find LOTS of ladybugs on my vines.
     
  11. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor

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    That's because aphids love hops - so they always draw ladybirds in places where there are ladybirds to draw. Mine get covered in aphids and I get assassin bugs instead.
     
  12. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    So if I'm reading your post right, hops can run like bamboo or black locust?

    I've tried scarlet runner beans, and those were fun. Hops crossed my mind. If I grew hops, it would be for fun, not for use. Suppose others could come by and harvest.
     
  13. cindys

    cindys Active Member

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    I have a Golden Hop Vine (Humulus lupulus 'Aureus') on one of the posts of my pergola and have had it there for 5 years. I have it growing with a Clematis Jackmanii (purple) - a combination I saw in a plant book and just had to try out. Yes, the hop does try to escape its boundaries, but it is not that difficult to deal with. At this time of the year, when it is just beginning to put out shoots, all you have to do is pull out the ones that have escaped whatever boundary you have decided to let them inhabit. It is not hard at all...and once you have done that for the year, it is done. And the combination of the clematis and the hops intertwining up the post is terrific.
     
  14. vickieg

    vickieg Active Member

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    My husband makes homebrewed beer. He planted several kinds of hops in our yard. The first year they ate 3 of my rhubarb plants. Now they have attacked an oak, a birch and the neighbors laural (yippee! that thing is spreading everywhere). He has no problem handling the vines to harvest the hops but I break out in a rash if I even look at them. They are vigorous and invasive - the Kent valley just south of Seattle used to be a prime commercial hops growing area so they really do well in our zone 8 climate. They are still grown commercially in Yakima, WA where they climb 15 - 20' high trellises in a matter of weeks. I suppose there might be some ornamental ones that are less aggressive and I have to admit, they are an attractive plant.
     
  15. Growing Hops

    Growing Hops Member

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    I do not have a problem containing my hops - just pluck any unwanted sprouts/bines that I don't want to grow. I apparently am not allergic to, or bothered by hops like some people are. I can harvest for 3 hours straight and just have a little wear and tear on my hands.

    Hops make a great cover for pergolas, gazebos and arbors.
     
  16. BroncoBrownie

    BroncoBrownie Member

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    Does anyone know where a person can get hop plants for home brewing? I would like to grow a couple varieties as I take on home brewing later this year.
     
  17. Chris Green

    Chris Green Member

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    Location:
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    I lived in a house in Clearwater, B.C. for a while that had a hop plant growing beside one of the doors. It did well, with no attention at all.

    In the past, people very frequently used hop tea to make bread, especially in Quebec when nearly everyone had some kind of outdoor clay oven*.
    This practice has fallen off since the 1920s or so, when it became easier to buy bread than make it 24 loaves at a time, but I thin we will see a revival of it one of these days.

    *Source of that factoid: Chapter III of the book

    The Bread Ovens Of Quebec,
    BOILY, Lise, and Jean-François Blanchette. 1979,
    Ottawa: National Museum of Man. 119 p.

    Download a copy in parts here:
    http://www.historymuseum.ca/cmc/exhibitions/tresors/barbeau/mbp0501e.shtml
    Or as a whole book here:
    https://leojames.wordpress.com/2010/08/15/the-bread-ovens-of-quebec-free-online-version/

    Cheers,

    Chris Green.
     
  18. zluck

    zluck New Member

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    Hello,
    I was wondering if anyone around Victoria BC is willing to part with or sell some hop rhizomes. I am moving to the peace region and would like to grow my own hops.
    Thanks,
    Zach
     
  19. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

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    Location:
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    i was curious - as my neighbor at the coast had hops - and also I am familiar with a craft micro brewery that has lots of hops planted - and West Coast Seeds advice is to plant in early spring.

    also - I am wondering if the type that grow in Victoria BC will withstand the climate in the Peace - I checked the temp at my friend's farm up there this morning and it was below freezing in the early morning (tho long hours of daylight now - and likely warming up pretty fast as it does in other interior regions of the province of BC at this time of year.)

    https://www.westcoastseeds.com/?s=hops&post_type=product

    ps - are you connected to this project in Gr Prairie? It would be interesting to know what they plant up there. I remember all the hop farms off the freeway in Chilliwack BC - big box stores now.
    http://www.dailyheraldtribune.com/2014/12/10/microbrewery-in-the-works-for-grande-prairie
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
  20. Chris Green

    Chris Green Member

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    Location:
    Savona, B.C.,
    In the late '60s and early '70s I lived in a house at Clearwater, B.C. that had a hop plant growing beside it. That's not the Peace country, but in that era, winter temps did get quite cold. We had temps below -40 for weeks on end, and it dropped down to around -56 F once or twice.

    The cold didn't seem to have any effect on the plant, which still grew nicely in the growing season. The roots may have been getting some heat from the uninsulated foundation of the house- the plant was growing beside one of the doors, right next to the foundation, and the snow pack may have also provided some insulation from the cold.

    I have lived in the Peace country, at Taylor, and would recommend deep mulching with straw and compost: the coil can be a sticky clay content known locally as 'gumbo'. Deep mulched straw and compost will help insulate plants and in time the plant material will break down and improve the tilth of the soil. It will also reduce the amount of soil water loss, which can be important in that region, which has been suffering droughts.
    Deep mulching can cure a lot of ills. :-)

    Straw (wheat, rye, oats, etc.) bales should be quite cheap up there. :-)
    I believe you can also get a slightly longer growing season by doing some straw bale gardening, too. The bales can be used as mini greenhouses, with the addition of a poly plastic cover.

    Straw's also a great building material, as witnessed by the spread of Straw Bale houses in the past 20-25 years. What few people know is that the oldest SB building in Canada is the Bad Heart Church, on the Bad Heart River near Sexsmith, ALTA. It was built in around 1953, and is presently used as a small community center.
     
  21. stevew

    stevew New Member

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    Hello, I was so pleasantly surprised to come across your post here, as I was your horticulture instructor so many years ago at Cariboo College! I hope you get this reply so many years later, and that we can connect again!
     

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