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7 Steps to Growing Your Own Hops

Interested in growing your own hops? Start planning now, and then follow these seven simple steps.

Dave Carpenter Nov 4, 2015 - 6 min read

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Good hops aren’t hard to find. Chances are your local homebrew store carries at least a dozen varieties, probably many more. And even if it doesn’t (or if you don’t have a local homebrew store), Internet commerce offers the promise of hops delivered right to your door in as few business days as you’re willing to pay for. But with a little planning and some TLC, you can also grow your own.

Growing your own hops is a rewarding and surprisingly easy way to make your brew uniquely yours. A full treatise on planting a hops garden can easily occupy several volumes, but to get started, you need to master only seven simple steps.

1. Buy your rhizomes in March or April.

Think ahead. What hops do you want to grow? Some retailers offer presales as early as January, but preordering usually isn’t necessary unless you’re after a particularly in-demand variety (keep in mind, though, that many of today’s most popular cultivars—think Amarillo, Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe—are patented, proprietary, and not for sale). In many cases, you can simply put your name on a list at your local store, and someone will call when the rhizomes arrive. Once you receive your baby hops, keep them in the refrigerator until it’s time to plant.

2. Plant the rhizomes once the ground has thawed and your area has safely passed beyond the specter of winter.

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