Hops are tough plants and can be seen self-seeded in hedgerows in the countryside. We have even spotted hops growing out of the brickwork in our yard! Any of the varieties we sell should grow quite happily in any part of the UK and they make a great addition to a garden, big or small.
How to plant your hop plant
You can read more about this here but the basics are easy. Hops will grow well in a loamy soil – the soil in our farm is chalky and provides them with a nice loose soil with good drainage. If you have a clay soil then double dig down to about 2 feet and mix in some general purpose compost and grit to improve the drainage and aeration. The main purpose of this is that hops do not like sitting in water and so if you have a dense clay soil it will help your hop get established.
Make sure you plant your hop the right way up. We do get one or two customers writing to us that their plants are not growing, and it turns out they were upside down. When you receive your plant it should have a few shoots already starting and these will be point up. If you can’t see the new shoots, you should be able to identify the previous years grown of thin and dry shoots. Finally, we always send our plants wrapped in moss and with an open end tied with raffia at the top of the plant.
When you plant your hops make sure that the crown, the thick part where the shoots and roots are emerging from, is planted about 2cm underground.
What to do after you hop plant dies back in the Autumn?
After your hop plant has died back in the Autumn you can cut it back down to ground level. Clear any leaf litter from around the plant and apply a little mulch.
Do I need to protect my hop plant from frost?
No, hops are not only hardy, but they need a cold period – what is known as vernalisation – in order to spur their growth the following spring.
Do I need to mound or earth up my hop plant?
You don’t need to, but you can if you like!
Do I need to water my hop plant?
It isn’t necessary to water an established plant as they get their roots down nice and deep. If your plant is in its first season and you are having a dry spell it would be a good idea to water it to stop it from drying out.