ARIZONA, NEW MEXICO & TEXAS
We're at the 33rd parallel. Hops are said to grow between the 35th and 55th, whether north or south, so I'm about 100 miles out of range. I've been attempting to grow them here for about 4yrs now. I've attempted both in the ground and containers, having more success with containers just because I can move them around a bit if necessary. Last year was the best year I've had as I actually got a crop. I ended up with 1.75oz after drying. I've never been able to get actual hops growing before just the vines.
The biggest issue I've had is getting them to survive over the winter. They either get to much water or not enough but always end up rotting in the ground. This last year I grew 5 different varieties; CASCADE, CENTENNIAL, CHINOOK, NUGGET and MAGNUM. Magnum by far did the best. I've tried centennial every year and it seems to do well here, that's why I stick with it. Cascade did really well here too. All these varieties did well here until it hits about 105F, then growth practically stops. Once it gets over 110F and stays there for a bit you'll start to lose them. If hops are grown in the areas they're supposed to be, they need all day sun, but I've found here in PHX, they need shade all afternoon, and lots of water. I watered everyday, usually about 1 gallon per container. I had 2 plants sitting on a Southern exposure, and the other 3 on an Eastern exposure. They all did equally well concidering the East side got full afternoon shade and the South got heavily filtered afternoon shade from a mature mesquite tree. I also tied the lines up to the roof line, so for the South side they ran up 8ft and the East side ran along a slope, so about 8ft up to 15ft. Once they all hit the roof line, I cut them off and they all sent out shoots sideways and filled in a bit. They had a 50/50 mix of potting soil and homemade compost. They were also heavily mulched with alfalfa.
I am growing in containers due to poor soil here. I am in southern Arizona and the elevation is over 4000 ft. Our hottest days have been into the low 90s, and its only getting hotter. I trained the bines onto the twine early due to the high winds here. They've been getting water nearly every day, however I'm going to back it off a little bit, as the soil is very moist, and I'm having overwatering issues on my other vegetables. I hope this information helps. I'll send another update in a month or so. - Alex
2 Crystal (replaced Centennial)
4 Mt. Hood
Spouse failed to water; Centennial died; others grew up to ~ 4'.
Bought Crystal from you to replace Centennial; other site not selling Your rhizome looked good; shoots were just forming when planted. Looked great when opened; day later mild mold showed; not worried as had same last year.
Photos today show Cascade going nuts, others (Magnum & Willamette) doing well. Wondering if Cascade is that much more hardy or if soil stayed warmer near north fence.
FYI: This area produces most of the US's cotton. Semi-arid. Much grows well here with irrigation if acidic soil not preferred. Winters much milder here than even TX Panhandle, which itself is milder than Great Plains.
Last year's plantings broke ground same time oak trees budded a couple weeks ago.
Fully confident hops will do well here. Planning a 12' tall horizontal cable from which to hang twine, 2 bracts per plant, plants 5' apart. Expect to have nice shade from afternoon heat.
I appreciate your good service and interest.
Coincidentally, tonight I went to local homebrew club meeting to show photos. Met a fellow who has had superb results for about 6 years with Cascade & Chinook; he said his Kent Goldings did poorly. He said the stalks grew up to about two inches in diameter at the base.