Home & Garden

Gardening in NoCo: Hop Dreams

Beer lovers, put this on your fall garden to-do list.

For those of us who take our beer and our gardening equally to heart, it’s time to make room for a few more plants. Growing your own hops is a self-sufficiency point of pride for the DIY/brewing set—there have been shortages in past years, what with droughts and demand—but you can add to that the fact that good organic hops can go for up to $25 a pound. A single hops plant produces a couple pounds of hops per season, so a handful of plants can keep a home brewer happy. But you’ll need to plan well.

Fall planting should happen between September and early October in a sunny, south-facing location with well-drained soil, but not scorching sun. Over their 25-year-plus lifespan, plants will climb up to 30 feet and require a trellis system for support; backyard gardeners often run strings from their rooftops down the sides of their homes for a low-investment trellis option. Want to get started? Windsor Gardens sells High Hops’ own rooted out plants (not hop rhizomes, which are also commonly planted) for $14.98 for 4 1/2 inch pots, and they’re generous with the expert advice. thewindsorgardener.com

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