Hop Rhizomes Update

I finally got around to planting my hop rhizomes last week. I was probably too cautious, waiting until it seemed like the worst of the frost was over, but they’re in the ground now. My main reference was an article in the March/April 2009 issue of Zymurgy titled Give Your Homebrew Terroir: Grow Your Own Hops by Ali Hamm. Cascade hop rhizomes in the groundFollowing Ms. Hamm’s instructions, I dug a couple of holes 1 foot deep and about 5 feet apart. Because we have voles in the neighborhood, I lined each hole with 1/2-inch wire mesh to keep them away from the rhizomes. I used potting soil sprinkled with mycorrhizal inoculum to improve the hops’ ability to draw in water and phosophorus. I planted two rhizomes in each hole, Cascade in one and Nugget in the other, both with their young shoots angled upward. I covered the mounds with a layer of mulch to help keep the weeds down. Now I just need to tend them and wait until late summer. I don’t expect them to produce much this first year, but like so many aspects of homebrewing, a little patience brings great rewards!

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