Pictured: fava beans, radishes, rosemary and cilantro
It’s almost hop planting season! We’ve been training our clumsy green thumbs with some veggies out in the backyard, and so far no plants have been harmed. I’ve been known to even let fake flowers wilt in the past, so I’m particularly proud of our little greens. Let’s learn how to grow beer hops, the flavour that makes so many beers pungent in the same way terpenes in cannabis bring flavour to herb smoking.
The first thing we need to identify is a location for growing hops. The area you choose needs at least 6-8 hours of sun a day. In addition, hops need vertical space since hop vines can grow over 25 feet into the air. Also, we need to prepare well-aerated soil which is full of nutrient and has good drainage.
Spring is the best season for planting the hop. The first step is digging 4-inch holes in each mound and placing the root side down horizontally, then covering the mound with straw or mulch to prevent weed growth.
Your hops will be ready to harvest by late summer, but the harvest date will also vary depending on your location. Ripe hop cones are twisted and placed on a flat surface out of sunlight in a single layer of paper. They are then placed in a sealed bag and stored in a freezer. The last thing you need to do is cut the bines to an inch above ground level.