I’ve taken some initiative finally and have decided to grow a hop plant. One hop plant this year just for a test, and to gauge results. Yep, just one.
I am currently renting a house in a decent part of town and plan to move into my own house (our own house since I’ll include my wife with this move) in the next 3 to 4 years. With that in mind, I didn’t want to plant the hops permanently, nor did I want to have 20 feet of hops growing somewhere where my land lord, who lives next door, would have a concern about.
My plan was to copy what Chris Colby, editor of BYO, had done at his house in Bastrop, TX. He wrote an article covering the container trellis method in BYO, as well as had an interview with James Spencer on Basic Brewing Video about this method.
The basic idea is to get a 8′ tall 2″x2″ and place it inside the large container. Place a eyelet on the top of the 2″x2″ and run some twine through it. As the hop grows up the twine and reaches near the top, let out slack on the twine so that the hop plant drops down slightly, giving it again more room to grow ‘up’ the twine towards the top of the 2″x2″.
If all goes well, by the end of the growing season, I should have 15-20 feet of hop plant (probably less the first year) on a twine, of which a good portion is coiled around the container, but off the ground. I can then easily harvest the cones when they are ready.
You can see here to the left my finished container hop trellis. I failed to take any decent close up pictures, but there isn’t much to take a picture of yet. I’ll update the method as the growing season goes by.
It’s been about two weeks since I planted the rhizome (pictured above) and I haven’t seen any growth yet. We’ve had mostly cool wet days since planting, up until three days ago. Now we’ve had some upper 70F days and I’m hoping for a shoot or two to appear in the next week.
So, for this project I just purchased a $5 rhizome from my local homebrew store, Centennial, I purchased two bags of potting soil, mixed in some of my own sandy soil with it, and placed all of that in a large black plastic pot. I placed that inside a 1/2 whiskey barrel since it was sitting around unused. I place my 2″x2″ in the pot, filled it up with soil, and placed my rhizome in it about 4″ deep. I’ve watered just a couple of times since we’ve had cool wet weather until just recently.