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Hops in a Pot Update

2011 March 29
by Chris

Last week, I wrote a post about planting hops in a container for our balcony garden.  Well, I have a few updates!

The first hop vine sprouted last week, and it is already a few inches tall.  The second one to sprout broke, and it’s growth was stunted.  However, now a third vine has perked it’s head up.  All three vines are from a single rhizome (root of a hop plant).  I planted two rhizomes, but the other one has not produced any sprouts.  I’m not worried quite yet, as it is still early in the season, and since it is in a pot, I can only let a limited number of vines grow anyway.

three hop sprouts

Day 7 - March 28, a third sprout emerges

Additionally, I had to make some alterations to my trellis.  Once I wrapped the hop twine around the 3 garden stakes, I realized that the pressure of the tight twine was pulling the poles in towards each other, causing the rope to go slack.  This would probably result with the heavy hop vine pulling down my fancy twine contraption.

PVC pipe garden trellis

So, I got creative and engineered a triangle out of PVC pipe, cut some holes in the corners just big enough for the garden stakes, and placed it on the very top of my home made trellis. It’s definitely a bit ghetto, but now my hop twine is tight and it should better support the weight of the vines.  Granted, they aren’t too heavy yet, but once we get some warm weather, hopefully they’ll take off!

PVC supporting trellis hop trellis

Speaking of weather…hops should be planted after the last threat of frost.  Since it was in the 70s and 80s down here in NC earlier this month, I figured it was a safe time to drop the rhizomes in the ground.  Apparently I overestimated this March weather.  This morning when I woke up, it was SLEETING!  And tonight there is a frost warning.  I plan to either bundle up my baby hop vines with a warm blanket or towel, or just drag my whole contraption inside (if it will fit through the door)!  Don’t want them catching a cold and dieing on me already!

Hopefully this will be our last bit of cold weather, so my hops can get some nice warm sun and start really growing.  They say it is possible for them to grow a foot a day!  I’ll make sure to let you know if/when that happens.  Until then, here are some pictures of my baby hop vines so far!

hops growing in a pot

Day 1 - March 22

baby hop sprouts

Day 2 - March 23

hope plant sprouting

Day 4 - March 25

hop vine sprouting

Day 5 - March 26. The cool, cloudy weather slows the growth dramatically.

three hop sprouts

Day 7 - March 28, a third sprout emerges


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5 Responses
  1. March 30, 2011

    What type of hop did you plant? I just got mine planted (Cascade and Fuggle) and have yet to put some twine up the side of my house..need to get on that.

  2. March 30, 2011

    Ha, just realized you told me nugget on the last post about hops. Are you planning on brewing anything in particular with them after harvest?

  3. March 30, 2011

    Hi Chance – yep, I planted 2 nugget rhizomes, though only one has produced any sprouts so far. Thinking about doing an all-nugget IPA and maybe using it for bittering and/or flavoring of a pale ale. I could also use it in an amber.

    You’re probably fine without the twine yet. You aren’t supposed to start training them on the twine until they’re about a foot long. Hopefully you’re having some more hop-friendly weather though. We’ve been hit with a frost, some sleet, and a whole week of cloudy, rainy weather, so while the hop sprouts shot up pretty quickly, their growth has since been at a stand-still….waiting for that warmer weather…

  4. Singapore Webhost permalink
    April 17, 2011

    Fascinating. Never could tell this is feasible by doing it this kind of procedure. Yet, it’s a extremely fresh take on things! Precisely what are your thinking on exchanging zones all over ?

  5. Ian permalink
    April 11, 2013

    Hey Chris, love the tutorial! Thanks for sharing. Question — do you know the dimensions of the pvc addition at the top of your trellis?

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