Homegrown Hops

Villa del Lupulus (Homegrown Hops)

Phase 1: Villa del Lupulus

P1020355Hops I have grown in the past, though some constant moving over the course of a couple years really hindered any progress in that regard. I recently received four hop rhizomes from Fresh Hops in Oregon. Two each of  Crystal and Sterling. I chose these two because, well, your mother! Kidding, I like both these hops, and they work very well in the styles of beer I happen to brew the most, which are Belgian/French ales. Of course I have a little extra space, and will expand in the future with some different varieties. These will hopefully be going into the ground within the next week. Here is picture of the box that I will be planting in. The picture may not do it justice, as this thing is pretty damn huge, and weighs about 5 tons. You will notice that the posts in the ground are not that tall (at least not tall enough for your average hop bine. As the project comes along, I will be securing wire that will run from the top of each post to the adjacent building, giving the hops plenty of room to stretch out.  Before any of that though ... neccesito SOIL!

Update: April 24, 2014:The humongous box has been filled with soil and my rhizomes were planted approx 5 days ago. I have already had breakthrough on two of the rhizomes, one each of crystal and sterling. There are four total rhizomes. My next step will be setting up wires and a trellis system for the bines to grow on. Each rhizome is ~5 ft from the other, and all were planted in slight hills. The watering schedule for the rhizomes in their infancy is light and often. Thankfully, we have been getting little bits of rain rather frequently the last few days, which has been nice for both the rhizomes and northern California in general.