Author Topic: Hop trellis options and a few other questions  (Read 7401 times)

Offline j.petykowski

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Hop trellis options and a few other questions
« on: March 05, 2013, 06:05:44 PM »
So this Spring is coming up quite quickly, and I have been rummaging the internet for places to order plants or rhizomes for a hop trellis, which is in the drawing stage as of now. I only plan on growing four types of hops, probably all around American; Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, and Willamette. I have my reasons.. Well, anyway, I would like to know:

1. Where is a good website to purchase hops? (I purchased a Centennial plant from High Hops in Colorado last year, which grew beautifully by the way) which brings me to number 2..
2. Plant or rhizome? What have you had best luck with?
3. My yard sees plenty of sun, and living in suburban Chicago that's pretty lucky. Would it be best to do 8 feet up coir yarn, and then 8 feet horizontal with coir yarn to my garage, or just straight up pole with coir coming down from the "T"-eed top? I'm looking for ease of harvest over any reason, which makes me think option 2 might be tough.

Any insight on any of these question would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Jonathan

Offline fmader

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Re: Hop trellis options and a few other questions
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2013, 07:25:05 PM »
Unfortuntely, I don't think that you'll be able to get your hands on any Amarillo. It is a proprietary hops. Others would be Simcoe and Citra. There are a handful that aren't available to the public. Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong, and then tell me where to purchase rhyzomes for these beauties  8). I did pre-order rooted hops rhyzomes from the Thyme Garden way back in October. They should be shipped within the next couple of weeks. They seem like they would be a solid option and had great customer service when I was seeking information. I ordered 6 or 8 centennial rhyzomes last year from Midwest Supplies and only had two grow. The two grew nicely and one yeilded an ounce or two of hops. Not much to brew with, but they garnished beers nicely lol. But here is the link to the Thyme Garden....

http://www.thymegarden.com/site/561124/search/site?keys=hops
Frank

Offline j.petykowski

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Re: Hop trellis options and a few other questions
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2013, 07:39:48 PM »
Unfortuntely, I don't think that you'll be able to get your hands on any Amarillo. It is a proprietary hops. Others would be Simcoe and Citra. There are a handful that aren't available to the public. Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong, and then tell me where to purchase rhyzomes for these beauties  8). I did pre-order rooted hops rhyzomes from the Thyme Garden way back in October. They should be shipped within the next couple of weeks. They seem like they would be a solid option and had great customer service when I was seeking information. I ordered 6 or 8 centennial rhyzomes last year from Midwest Supplies and only had two grow. The two grew nicely and one yeilded an ounce or two of hops. Not much to brew with, but they garnished beers nicely lol. But here is the link to the Thyme Garden....

http://www.thymegarden.com/site/561124/search/site?keys=hops

This is news to me, I am pretty new to this whole ordeal. So, thanks for the info on the proprietary hops, I probably should have looked for those specific types of hops before I posted. Probably would have come across it at some point. I will check out this website, thanks a bunch for the link.

Offline fmader

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Re: Hop trellis options and a few other questions
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2013, 07:58:00 PM »
Yeah, I learned the hard way too. I made a list and shopped for them with no luck. Then found out they there are several popular hops that are privately owned. I'm new to growing hops too. Last year was the first year. I started them with a tomato plant cone and then up a rope. I have been brainstorming a trellis too. But since most of my hops are new, I may go with just ropes again this year. We started by using well water to water them. Our well water is high in alkalinity, which we find out that you don't want that for hops plants. It also counteracts the fertilizer. So, we started catching rain water and using it to water with. We also fertilized with acidic Miracle Grow. The plants started to grow much better once we figured that out. We also mounded our dirt to plant them in. One thing that we are going to do differently this year is to work in some composted manure into our soil before planting. I have two centennial plants and a US Gold in the ground. I ordered Cascade, Mt. Hood, Magnum, Willamette, Zeus, Chinook, Nugget, and Perle from the Thyme Garden....all but one or two of them are rooted. Again, I don't know how good their product is, but it seems pretty legit.
Frank

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Re: Hop trellis options and a few other questions
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2013, 08:28:58 PM »
According to "Hops," for commercial growers low-trellis systems reduce recurring costs like labor but are less productive unless you are growing a dwarf variety.  With a low trellis you can make multiple harvests and you don't cut down the hop plant until the first frost allowing nutrients to go back into the roots.  It is faster to cut down a straight string and to harvest all the hops. 
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Offline flars

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Re: Hop trellis options and a few other questions
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2013, 12:22:03 AM »
So this Spring is coming up quite quickly, and I have been rummaging the internet for places to order plants or rhizomes for a hop trellis, which is in the drawing stage as of now. I only plan on growing four types of hops, probably all around American; Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, and Willamette. I have my reasons.. Well, anyway, I would like to know:

1. Where is a good website to purchase hops? (I purchased a Centennial plant from High Hops in Colorado last year, which grew beautifully by the way) which brings me to number 2..
2. Plant or rhizome? What have you had best luck with?
3. My yard sees plenty of sun, and living in suburban Chicago that's pretty lucky. Would it be best to do 8 feet up coir yarn, and then 8 feet horizontal with coir yarn to my garage, or just straight up pole with coir coming down from the "T"-eed top? I'm looking for ease of harvest over any reason, which makes me think option 2 might be tough.

Any insight on any of these question would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Jonathan
Jungs Garden Supply has some of the hops you want.
http://www.jungseed.com/search.asp?search=hops

Offline Roger Burns

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Re: Hop trellis options and a few other questions
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2013, 07:18:30 AM »
Hey Jonathan,

As it was mentioned, there are a few varieties that you can't get unless you happen to have a hop contract with the owner of that trademarked hop. :)  I think the only one you listed that is not available is the Amarillo.

I would recommend a few things:
1.  Try several more varieties.  Not all hops grow well in the same conditions.  I originally planted 10 plots with 9 varieties.  4 years later, I'm pulling out the poor performers and have enough rhizomes from the good ones to replace them.  I'll be down to 5 varieties eventually.

2.  Ask around in your local area (where are you located?) at homebrew clubs, or local homebrew stores, if they are available.  Hops are weeds, and within a year, are producing so many rhizomes that you can't give them away.  Most growers are happy to share.

3.  Or, buy from the closest online store to you, physically.  This might not make much difference, but the viability is likely higher if they do not have to be shipped across the country. 

I have only bought rhizomes (from Norther Brewer, originally) not plants, but they are vigorous growers, and are amazingly resilient.  Buying an established plant likely will speed up the process a little, but the extra cost is not worth it. 

The higher they grow, the happier they are.  The first year, they might only go up 8' anyway, so you don't need to invest much in trellissing, or can use them vertical then horizontal.  I have a friend who just lets them grow on his 4 ' high fence and they flower out nicely, but maybe not maximally.

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Offline Mark G

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Re: Hop trellis options and a few other questions
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2013, 07:41:51 AM »
So this Spring is coming up quite quickly, and I have been rummaging the internet for places to order plants or rhizomes for a hop trellis, which is in the drawing stage as of now. I only plan on growing four types of hops, probably all around American; Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, and Willamette. I have my reasons.. Well, anyway, I would like to know:

1. Where is a good website to purchase hops? (I purchased a Centennial plant from High Hops in Colorado last year, which grew beautifully by the way) which brings me to number 2..
2. Plant or rhizome? What have you had best luck with?
3. My yard sees plenty of sun, and living in suburban Chicago that's pretty lucky. Would it be best to do 8 feet up coir yarn, and then 8 feet horizontal with coir yarn to my garage, or just straight up pole with coir coming down from the "T"-eed top? I'm looking for ease of harvest over any reason, which makes me think option 2 might be tough.

Any insight on any of these question would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Jonathan

I'm located in the Chicago burbs too, so here's my experience with hops:

1. I've been very happy with the rhizomes I've purchased from Arrowhead Hops arrowheadhops.com. They're in Iowa, so the rhizomes you're getting are from plants that were grown in a climate more similar to Illinois. The rhizomes I've planted from them have done really well in the first year. I'm making an educated guess that it's because of the climate similarity. I've also purchased some from Hops Direct hopsdirect.com that have fared well.
2. Never tried plants, but hops are pretty hardy, so rhizomes have always been fine for me. I've only had one fail to grow out of probably about a dozen.
3. I'd say the second option is better. They want to grow up as much as possible, so let them.

A final bit of advice... Have a plan to combat Japanese beetles. They seem to have a preference for certain varieties (Willamette and Centennial in my garden). They only want to eat the leaves, but I'm sure it slows the plants' growth down. I just spray with water daily to knock them off.

Not sure where in the burbs you're located, but if you need any rhizomes, I can cut plenty off my plants and give them to you. My Goldings and Willamette have huge root systems, so I could cut lots from those. My Chinook may be ready for some cutting too. PM me if you're interested.
Mark Gres

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Re: Hop trellis options and a few other questions
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2013, 08:00:07 AM »

A final bit of advice... Have a plan to combat Japanese beetles. They seem to have a preference for certain varieties (Willamette and Centennial in my garden). They only want to eat the leaves, but I'm sure it slows the plants' growth down. I just spray with water daily to knock them off.

Not sure where in the burbs you're located, but if you need any rhizomes, I can cut plenty off my plants and give them to you. My Goldings and Willamette have huge root systems, so I could cut lots from those. My Chinook may be ready for some cutting too. PM me if you're interested.

I'm by the City.  I have never seen Japanese beetles on my Cascade, CTZ or Goldings.  I do get white fly on my Cascade.

I can give you a cascade rhizome.  PM me if you're interested.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Hop trellis options and a few other questions
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2013, 08:44:51 AM »
i am also out in the burbs of chicago.  i grow my hops up the side of my house with a 10 foot high support made out of about 10 dollars worth of 1/2 inch conduit



i grow santiem, magnum, and sterling. last year i was able to cut out a few rhizomes for a neighbor. if you live out this way i should be able to give a few
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Hop trellis options and a few other questions
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2013, 09:19:34 AM »
I've ordered from Thyme Garden, Hops Direct and this year I ordered from Arrowhead Hops. I'm a pretty bad gardener and Texas summers are brutal so I've had to buy several rhizomes of the same variety to try to get some solid plant growth. The rhizomes from Thyme Garden and Hops Direct do well. I think as long as the rhizomes are in good shape it doesn't really matter where they are coming from. I prefer the rhizomes that have grown out a full year before sale because they take off better and seem to grow back quicker than the usual rhizome but I checked on Thyme Garden yesterday and it looks like they are already sold out of most of the second year rhizomes.
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Re: Hop trellis options and a few other questions
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2013, 09:40:49 AM »
I would warn you to not be too ambitious about planting a lot of hops, at least at first.  They take a few years to take off.  The first year you'll get very little, but the yield will increase after that.  I have a single Cascade plant that's a little over 10 years old and it's not unusual for me to get over 20 lb. of wet hops from that single plant.  That makes picking, drying and packaging them a PITA.  I do live in the middle of prime hop growing territory in the PNW, so maybe I get more growth than a lot of other people do, but when I'm out there picking hops every summer I'm damn glad that I only have the one plant.
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Offline Roger Burns

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Re: Hop trellis options and a few other questions
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2013, 10:12:30 AM »
Forgot to mention, if you plan on planting more than one variety they need about 5' between them, and over time, they will try to intermingle.  This can be avoided by sinking in some barrier between the plants.  I did not do this and have a battle every spring and summer to keep the sneaky rhizomes from moving under the sod.  They can easily grow 10' in a season.  More underground than above ground growth if the weather is hot and dry like last year.  Oh, I'm in SE lower Michigan, so YMMV.
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Re: Hop trellis options and a few other questions
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2013, 10:34:29 AM »
I would warn you to not be too ambitious about planting a lot of hops, at least at first.  They take a few years to take off.  The first year you'll get very little, but the yield will increase after that.  I have a single Cascade plant that's a little over 10 years old and it's not unusual for me to get over 20 lb. of wet fresh hops from that single plant.  That makes picking, drying and packaging them a PITA.  I do live in the middle of prime hop growing territory in the PNW, so maybe I get more growth than a lot of other people do, but when I'm out there picking hops every summer I'm damn glad that I only have the one plant.
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Re: Hop trellis options and a few other questions
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2013, 11:24:31 AM »
An aside:  could we get a 'hop growing' section in the AHA Forum?

Much thanks.