Home Grown Hops For Home Brewed Beer

Many people have become more interested in brewing their own beer at home in recent years due to the number of advantages home brewed beer offers over consumer beer bought in stores or in bars. Home brewed beer is significantly cheaper to brew in small or in large quantities than store or bar bought beer and allows you to tweak the taste of the beer to your precise specifications in the comfort of your home. It also lends you a wonderful sense of accomplishment to do it by yourself. One of the primary components of home grown beer is the hop. The hop plant, which is known by the scientific name of Humulus lupus, has a rich history of human cultivation dating back more than 1500 years. The majority of people who have heard of the hop plant are familiar with it in the context of beer flavoring, but you can also use the hop plant as an ornamental when you are landscaping. This article will provide information regarding home grown hops for both home brewed beer and landscaping pursuits.

The first thing you will need to do when growing your own hops is locate a good spot in your garden to plant the hop plant, which is a rhizome. It is best to have a spot that allows for full sunlight so the plants will grow tall and strong. When you support hop plants by a trellis, they can easily grow more than 20 feet high, but you can also grow them by fences in your backyard without a problem.

You can plant hop rhizomes both horizontally or vertically in trenches that are between two and three inches deep. You should surround the plant itself with a small soil mound so water will be directed toward the plant, since it will be important to keep the rhizome moistened from when you plant it until initial sprouts begin to appear. Once a few weeks have passed you can train the plant to grow with a trellis. Vines can be supported with wire fence that is cheaply available and screwed into wooden fences. You can weave your plants in a zigzag fashion through wire fencing in a relatively small area, say six feet by six feet. The majority of commercial growers will train their hops to grow in groups of five to six shoots on a trellis, but if you do not have enough space it is fine to grow fewer; just remember to cut away any shoots that you don’t need.

Like most plants, it is important to keep from over watering your hops. If you water your hop plants on a regular time interval it is possible to hurt them; this is because when you keep the soil perpetually moist, only the top roots will have reason to spread. If you want the plant to be healthy you will need to have both the top roots and the deep roots growing well. As a result, you should only water the plant when you sense the top soil has begun to dry out. However, you should not wait for the leaves on the plant to start turning brown or purple; just keep an eye on the top soil. It will also be necessary to keep your hops fed on a regular schedule so they can grow the fastest. A good feeding option is a vegetable fertilizer designed for all purposes; you can mix it with water.

Even though you put your best efforts toward raising your hop plants, there are still a number of casualties they may fall prey to. For example, pests, pets, or diseases (not to mention cold weather) may damage them. The most common disease your hops may face is downy mildew, while the most common pests are hop aphids. Ladybugs will eat the aphids while avoiding hot and moist conditions will reduce spore germination. Good luck!