Author Topic: Hops in a pot  (Read 530 times)

Offline brewmasternpb

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Hops in a pot
« on: August 23, 2010, 09:49:35 PM »
I have a question about my hops that I have growing in Pots.  They did very year this year, for 1st year hops in pots.  During the Winter, I was advised to bring the hops into the garage, because they are more likey to freeze (than if they were in the ground).  I also read that I should keep them dry... This sounds weird to me, I feel as if I should give them some water.  Can someone answer that?  Keep in mind, I live in Colorado, where it is very dry.
Dave Malone
The Greater Denver Yeast Infection

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Hops in a pot
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2010, 10:14:55 PM »
It's a tough call, it depends on how warm your garage is.  Personally, I would leave them outside and just pile dirt/mulch/hay around the pots to help insulate them.  Hops are tough and handle the cold reasonably well, even the shoots typically survive overnight freezing temps.  You can check this weather data for Yakima Washington, the average low temp is below freezing for 4 months (but it warms up during the day).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakima,_Washington

It really depends on where you live in Colorado and what your weather is like.  If they're going to be under a couple of feet of snow I would not worry about them at all.  But you said it is dry, so I'll assume exposed ground.  It would be tempting to bring them in somewhere if it were going to get absurdly cold for long periods of time, but if it's only going to get down to 20 or so overnight I would leave them outside.  Maybe put them all together with some bales of hay around and covering them to protect them from the coldest winds.

If you have an inside area you can keep them that will be warmer but still under 40, that would be good I think.  Otherwise if they get too warm they might start sprouting in your garage.  As for watering or dry in your garage - they shouldn't need much water when they are dormant, so I would water only very minimally.  Although it certainly rains for months on end in the Seattle area during the winter, and the hops come up every year, so I wouldn't worry about it too much.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline tubercle

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Re: Hops in a pot
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2010, 10:16:42 PM »
I have a question about my hops that I have growing in Pots.  They did very year this year, for 1st year hops in pots.  During the Winter, I was advised to bring the hops into the garage, because they are more likey to freeze (than if they were in the ground).  I also read that I should keep them dry... This sounds weird to me, I feel as if I should give them some water.  Can someone answer that?  Keep in mind, I live in Colorado, where it is very dry.
Do you plan to continue growing them in pots?

  If not, dig them up as soon as they go dormant and plant them. Hops are cold hardy and will survive in the ground.

  If so, dig a hole and put the pots in the ground, this will help regulate the temp as if the roots themselves were in the ground. Put a little much on them.

  If it get too dry during the dormant period I would give them a little moisture from time to time.

 Recreate the conditions in the Pacific NW where they grow the best.
Sweet Caroline where the Sun rises over the deep blue sea and sets somewhere beyond Tennessee

Offline brewmasternpb

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Re: Hops in a pot
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2010, 10:28:25 PM »
I do plan on growing them in pots, but I don't have hay bails, and I don't have a spot in the yard to dig a hole.  I do have a shed that is just as cold as outside, but protected from the wind.  Maybe I'll put them in there if it gets really cold.  It doesn't sound like overwatering during winter would be a problem, but I won't water as much as I do in the summer.
Dave Malone
The Greater Denver Yeast Infection

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Hops in a pot
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2010, 01:54:29 AM »
The shed could be good, it will at least keep them somewhat warmer, or at least cut down on temperature fluctuations.  Do you have power in the shed to possibly keep them a bit warmer if need be?  If you built a small box around the pots and lit a single light bulb inside on the coldest days it would keep them warm enough throughout the winter.

Or you could always rig something in your garage that would still keep them cool, or put them in a keg fridge if you have the space.

It doesn't take much to keep them protected, they are fairly hearty.  A good layer of mulch is sufficient if they are in the ground.  So anything you can do to mimic that will help, including covering them with leaves.

I'm sure you'll come up with something.  Since they're in pots, you could also move them to a friends house where the pots could be buried or where they might have some way better able to protect them.
Tom Schmidlin