Whether you’re looking to produce your own brewing ingredients, craft supplies or simply trying to add a unique, eye-catching plant to a garden, growing your own hops can be easy, inexpensive and rewarding! The most recommended method of planting hops is to use hops rhizomes.
What is a Rhizome
A rhizome is a piece of root that extends horizontally from the main crown of a hops plant. They can be cut and replanted to exponentially increase the number of hops in your farm or garden. A well established crown can produce upwards of 10 quality hops rhizomes in a single season!
The best time to plant rhizomes is in the spring. This gives the new plants the maximum time to establish themselves before the next winter. You can plant rhizomes well into the summer season, but you run the risk of jeopardizing the near-perfect survival rate. Ideally, you should plant your hops rhizomes as soon as the weather looks to be stable and consistently above freezing. The planting process is relatively quick and easy. You simply dig a small hole about 4-8 inches deep, lay the hops rhizome in and bury it with dirt.
What To Expect From Your Rhizomes
Assuming your rhizomes were planted properly and at the right time of year, with minimal care you should see a high survival rate (90%-100%). In year one, with good growing conditions the hops rhizomes can grow up 8-10 feet tall, so make sure the bines have something to climb once they reach the two foot mark! In year two the same rhizomes can reach 15-18 feet and have medium to high hops yields, and by year 3 they should be fully established and yield consistently well each year.
Where to Get Hops Rhizomes
Backroads Hops Farm produces high quality hops rhizomes on their Ontario Hops Plantation. Each plant they cut rhizomes from is at least 4 years old and fully established. You can check out the hops rhizome availability at backroadshops.com/rhizomes and start expanding your hops!