Growing Hops – Part 1 – Arrival of Mount Hood

A few months back I placed an order from Left Field Farms in British Columbia for a single Mount Hood Hop Rhizome.  $6.50 for a 4″ piece of a root – Sure!  Why not!  I didn’t really have a plan when I ordered it, but I did anyway.  Well, it finally arrived yesterday (May 2nd 2012).  I’m quite hopeful but I’m not all too sure if I will be successful.

I can’t plant the rhizome at home since I have no real property and I fear the dreadful Hamilton pollution.  I can plant it at my mothers house, but I would not be able to monitor its growth closely and it would be in a mostly shaded backyard.  I may be able to plant it up north near Ashley’s store, but again, I would not be able to monitor its growth.  So for now I am going to plant this in a planter box in my office.  Its obviously not ideal, but I do have large windows that face direct sun 3/4 of the day, and I can monitor its soil moisture to keep it hydrated (these things need lots of water apparently).  I may even put a supplemental fluorescent light near it to give it more light hours.  I hope that I can at least grow the root structure so that it can be transplanted next year with a better chance of survival with less attention.

I will keep posting with updates on this little project – with the next update being the planting.  Exciting!  At least I will have a little buddy at work that I can look at every day.

What’s Mount Hood?

“Mt. Hood is a triploid aroma-type cultivar, the 1983 result of a cross between the colchicine – induced tetraploid female Hallertau mf (USDA 21397) and the USDA 19058M, male plant. It is a half-sister to Ultra, Liberty and Crystal.  An aromatic variety derived from Hallertau with a refined, spicy aroma and clean bittering. A good choice for lagers. (alpha acid: 4.0-6.0% / beta acid: 5.0-7.5%)” “Typical Beer Syle:  Lager, Pilsner, Bock, Alt, Munich Helles, Wheat”

I would have went with Cascade, but that was already sold out.  So I picked this variety for a few reasons.  Its a noble type hop, so it will be great for Belgian style beers.  Its mild enough that I really can use it in any style of beer.  Also the description from Left Field Farms makes this hop seem like a champion.

“Alpha 5-8% Hallertau type, very vigorous, high yielding, early maturing. Moderately resistant to downy mildew. Good storageability. Very popular hop in the Pacific Northwest, overwinters well.”

So here’s hoping that I will be successful in at least growing a plant, and if the God’s are willing, hop cones..


2 Responses

  1. Pretty sweet! I was trying to order some Cascade rhizomes too, but everyone who carries them is sold out! There are a lot of hop farms on Vancouver Island.. I think beer is a totally booming business right now. We’ve got some friends with an established hop plant here on Texada and they said we could take some cuttings, I’ll let you know how that goes. Hops can be very vigourous, they need somehting to climb but can grow to be like 10 feet tall in a season easily. The plant is actually called humulus and the cones on the female plant are reffered to as the “hops”. It is a vine (or technically a “bine” because of the way it climbs) that is actually related to cannabis. Cannabis plants can actually be grafted on to hops plants. Also similarily to cannabis, it’s the female plant that produces the desirable part, although the hops are not ruined by the pollen that is present with a male plant as pot plants are. Male and female plants both grow from the rhizomes. If you can plant this buddy in a good-sized pot and stick something in there for it to climb, that would be good. The more rhizome you have next year, the better. You could also probably over-winter it inside and take a bunch of cuttings so that you can plant several hops plants when you have a space outside next year.

  2. Good call Jesse! I’m going to plant this baby in a good size pot with rich and well draining soil. I’m going to train the bine alone twine that I will run along the window, back and forth and so on. My window is 12 ft long and 7 ft high, so I think I have plenty of room for growth. It might look a little wierd, but I will just tell people its a living wall and it helps improve the air in the office.

    If I was you I would plant a whole bunch of humulus plants. Plants are fun! Tom agrees.

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