Whether you’re a homebrewer, a gardener, or both, you’ll want to check out my new article at Homebrew Talk. It even has pictures of my hop plants growing all over my backyard deck!
Growing hops at home is a lot easier than you probably imagine. You don’t need much real gardening experience to do it — I didn’t really have any when I first started — and once hops make themselves at home they are damn near impossible to kill. They’ll thrive all on their own without you having to do much, but they won’t take over your whole yard, either. They’re not like, say, mint. They’ll stay in their spot and do their thing each year without much help from you.
They do take up a lot of space, however. They’ll grow 15 feet without a problem, and can climb to 30 feet under the right conditions. When they get bushy and full, that’s a LOT of plant.
For a lot of you, that may sound like growing your own hops is a no-go. As I wrote on Homebrew Talk:
Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with space enough to grow their own hops. These aggressively growing bines can climb to upwards of 30 feet tall, spreading out bushy limbs covered in the fragrant hop cones we know and love. Most growers built tall poles or trellises for their hops, which require materials and yard space.
So how do you do it if you don’t have a lot of space?
The trick to realize that almost anything can be a suitable growing area for your hops, if you get a little creative. Surf over to “Growing Hops With Limited Space” at Homebrew Talk to check out advice and pictures by Mr. Eric (me) that will help you get a good hop harvest even if you don’t have much space to work with. Like my deck, for instance:
So go check it out! cheers!