Growing Hops In. . .


Iowa City, IA
Last year I purchased 4 different rhizomes: Cascade, Centennial, Chinook and Northern Brewer. I planted them on 4/4/2010 and on 4/23/10 I noticed shoots growing from the Centennial, Chinook and Northern Brewer. The Cascade never grew, but I think it wasn't a very healthy rhizome to start. I removed the sod where I planted the rhizomes, mixed in about 100 lbs of compost/manure mix, planted the rhizomes according to directions, and covered w/ straw. As they grew, I trimmed the shoots to leave the 3 strongest/healthiest shoots. The Centennial & Chinook did very well and reached the top of my 12 foot poles. I think they would have grown taller if I had a taller set up. They both had very large cones with lots of lupulin. The Northern Brewer only ended up growing to about 6-7feet and despite trimming the shoots, ended up looking more like a bush. I would say I got about 2 ounces dried weight in cones from each of the three hops.

This year I ordered a Zeus and Hallertauer rhizome that both look great. Looking forward to getting them started & having a large crop this year. I plan to set up some guide wires/lines to allow them to reach 25 feet this year!
Thanks & cheers! Luke

Overwintering Hops in Michigan
Mark: What do I do to over-winter the rhizomes? Do I dig them up?
Rolfe, The Thyme Garden: If it gets real cold there I would probably put a bunch of mulch over them for winter and pull it back when it starts to warm up in spring before the hops start to sprout. You can leave a couple inches on them for food.
Mark: In the fall I covered the plants with about 24" of maple leaves and uncovered them at the beginning of May. I think they look great.
Thanks, Mark
May 2015

Second year growth in Southeast Michigan
Cascade hops, second year Perle hops, second year


 Thought I'd share a photo of my 1st year Brewers Gold Hops that were purchased from you and planted May 2nd.
 They grew to my 18ft.wire and headed across and down a few more feet. This is my first attempt at growing hops and I'm very pleased with the stock I purchased from you.
  I'm located in Western Michigan. The Willamette grew almost equally as well and the Cascade was the least hardy.
  Plenty of flowers on all. Now I need some Sage advise on when to harvest, any suggestions?

 Thank you,

Wayland, MI
(2011) Hop report! We live near Wayland, MI, which is in southwest Michigan, about 1 hour east of Lake Michigan and 1.5 hours north of Indiana (halfway between Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids).
We planted two Cascade and two Fuggles rhizomes from you early this year. All sprouted and grew consistantly. We weren't sure where the best place in our yard would be, so we put one of each in two different locations. As it turned out, one spot didn't get as much sun as we thought, so those two grew more slowly (we are going to move them to a better location in the spring), but the other two grew quite well in a very sunny location. The Cascade even had some flowers! I have a feeling the Fuggles in that spot would have as well, but something ate it, so we'll have to work on critter deterence next year. Thanks for the great plants! Cate

(2014) ***Update from Cate: Hi! We purchased Cascade (two) and Fuggles (two) hops from you a few years ago. All are still alive. We have gotten crops from the Cascades the last two years. Unfortunately, something keeps eating the Fuggles, which also seem to grow slower (or dislike the conditions more). We are going to move the Fuggles closer to the house this spring to try to ward off whatever thinks they are so tasty. Cate

Minneapolis, MN
Hey Thyme Garden Crew,
I just wanted to thank you all so much for providing me with such quality hops! I know you have to say not to expect much on the first year of growing but with the rhizomes I received from you guys I ended up with a little over 5 ounces in year one! I cant wait to see what happens this year! I ordered a few more from you this year and they are all out of the ground climbing away already! Thank you so much again, and keep up the good work! -TJ

St. Paul, MN

Hey there Rolfe!

I ordered two kinds of hops from you the spring after moving into my new home in St. Paul, Minnesota; Chinook and Northern Brewer.

I planted each of them at the base of part of my deck so that they would have something to climb on. Both plants did well, despite a summer of drought, but he Northern Brewer took off like nobody's business!!!I think it may have had something to do with being placed at the bottom of a slope, which meant that it's roots got a lot of rain run-off and stayed moist despite the hottest summer I've ever experienced in this state.

Both plants did well. I got 6 strobiles off the Chinook, which surprised me, given that it was their first season planted.But the Northern Brewer was a whole different story. I never got so many blossoms at my old house even after 4 years of growth!

Pictures to prove it!!

Thanks for the great hops, Heather

Sauk Rapids, MN
Iron Deficiency Mystery
I'm having some issues with two of the six plants that I bought from you. I trimmed the diseased looking leaves from the live plant to try and prevent it from spreading if that was the case...seems to be a nutrient deficiency (my guess) unless that is the way that Cascade grows...It seems to be yellowing from the top down. No leaves seem to be drooping or damaged. The first three are obviously drooped and damaged... the leaves were distributed only on one bine of the plant though. (July 2015)
So its the end of the season and I finally got the problem with the yellowing of the hops leaves figured out. After letting the problem go, the hops bines eventually died.  New suckers took its place, but production was eliminated and it only grew to 5' the problem was an iron deficiency denoted by green veins and yellow leaves in between. The problem will be solved for next year though.  I'll be putting in an order for 100 Centennial rhizomes before spring with you.  These were the testers for the soil.  Acidic sandy soil with a dish of compost dug into it 18" down= Chinook as the winner for first year @ 1.25 wet lbs of product on a 9.5 ft trellis.  The Chinook outgrew its trellis and would have easily gone to 15' if it had had the space.  Commercial organic production starts in the spring @ the 43 parallel in MN 
- Joe 
October 2015
Got the rhizomes, and just wanted to say that in response to your request, I will tell you how I planted them and will keep you updated throughout the season:
We live in Bellevue Nebraska, roughly 10 miles south of Omaha.
Planted all the rhizomes around a new metal trellis we installed on the side of the house in well drained soil, not sure of PH level but its on the side of a garden that grows roses, lillies, daisies and a rhododendron bush, so I'm pretty confident it will do fine.  I mixed the native soil with some bagged potting soil that was advertised to be good for fruit bushes and trees.  I watered them with some miracle grow mix as well.  They went into the earth roughly 10 inches or so, with bud's facing up.  I then covered them with some cedar mulch.
Will send pics and updates as they grow sir. - Jim

12/2014 This is my fourth year with hops.  Lincoln, Nebraska.  Cascade consistently do well.  I have volunteer hops springing up all over the place.  I have them growing on the west side of a metal shed 12 feet tall. They could easily grow another few feet if I could string them, but they just reach the top and lean back down.  The vines produce large cones.  My Halentauer (sp?) have never produced.  The vine finally made it to the top of the shed on the twine I have for them, but it is definitely a puny plant compared to Cascade.  No new suckers at all.  Wouldn't recommend it for my growing conditions.

Northwest North Dakota
First year growing hops. Planted Nugget and Cascade both are growing very well. Only expected them to be 6 feet tall the first year they are almost 12 feet now.
- Tim
July 2016

Hello!I just wanted to give you some feedback on the hops rhizomes I ordered from you last year. I ordered one of each: Fuggle, Mt. Hood and Nugget. Our growing zone is 3-4 and the Nugget really did well—it was the first one out of the gate and grew to be 4-5 feet tall. The Mt. Hood also did very well, while not as quick to emerge as the Nugget, it grew very comparably once out of the ground. The Fuggle really struggled, but it was probably in a bit of a shady/weedy area of the garden. I have them covered with straw and I am keeping my fingers crossed for spring (the incredibly mild winter we’ve had so far doesn’t hurt either)! - Amy

   We received a slip of paper in our hop bine order last spring that asked if we could send a report on how they grew for us, so this is my report.  We ordered hops from Thyme Garden last spring. The hops we ordered were: Yakima Gold XL, Cascade XL, Centennial, and Fuggle, one each. 
  We live in southeast Oklahoma, near the town of Clayton.  Our latitude and longitude are approximately 35.6 N and 95.3 E.  Our terrain is hilly, and we live about 500' above sea level.  This is an area of mixed pine and hardwood forest.  Our topsoil is fairly deep, about 18 inches.  We had our soil tested for growing fruit trees a couple of years ago, and it tested to a 6.2 pH level, and the soil was found lacking only in a small amount of potash.
  We planted the hop rhizomes on April 6, one day after receiving them in the mail.  The site we chose has a southern exposure and receives sunshine all day long.  The Yakima Gold rhizome already had sprouts growing, which I left exposed above the soil when it was planted; it was putting on leaves 2 days later.  The Cascade and Centennial sprouted on April 9, and the Fuggle came up on April 12.  By May 17, the Yakima Gold was 6 feet long, while the others were 3 to 4 feet long.
We had an unusually wet spring, receiving over 22" of rain  in May alone.  We normally receive in the neighborhood of 50 inches of rainfall annually.
By June 2, the Cascade and Centennial had begun to put on blooms, and the Yakima Gold was now 10 feet long.  On June 8, the Centennial had its first hop cones.  June 23, the Cascade had cones, and the Yakima Gold was beginning to bloom.  The Fuggle was struggling; small plant and no blooms.
We had no rain at all for 41 days straight in July and August, with the day time temperatures hovering around 100 degrees.  I resorted to deep watering the hops twice a week with the water hose during this time.
  Picked the first hop cones on July 30, from the Cascade, Centennial, and Yakima Gold.  Small harvest, but it's a start.  All the hops were getting stressed from the heat and no rain.
By the end of August, the rains came again, and the temperature began to moderate. I was occasionally picking a few ripe cones, primarily from the Cascade and Centennial.
Last time I picked any cones was October 20.  Our total harvest of cones was as follows:
Cascade--3.6 ounces; Centennial--6/10 of an ounce; and Yakima Gold--1/2 an ounce.  So a little over 4  1/2 ounces total.  I did not expect to get ANY cones this first year, so I was not disappointed.
  In November, we used our small harvest of hops to help flavor a batch of IPA that we brewed.
At the end of November, all the hops were cut back to the ground and mulched in for the winter.
  Our hop cones were small, no more than an inch in length.  Overall, we were pleased with  the plants.  Fuggle did not do well for us this year, but as it originated in England, that was not wholly unexpected.  I think our summers are a little too hot for it.  The other three varieties all seemed to thrive, and other than some leaf drop during the hottest period of our summer, did fairly well.  I know this is pretty far south to be trying to grow hops.  I do expect them all to do better next year, as their respective root systems will be better established.
I hope you found this report informative.
Sincerely - Carolyn

I would just like to drop you a note.  I ordered Saaz hops a year and a half ago and I am very happy to let you know I will get a crop from them this fall.  It is not a large crop but it is the first year. I am in zone 4 and they made it through our harsh winters. I mulched them good in the fall and it worked. Again I am pleased with my purchase.
- Gary
September 2016