Most people want to plant stuff in the spring and summer, it is a reason to get outside after they have been ignoring their garden for half a year. But in many was autumn is a much better time to start planting, and this includes hop plants. If you are a brewer looking to grow your own now is the best time to buy and get the plants started. It might seem weird seeing as hops die back in the autumn, not sprouting again till spring so you’d be surprised to hear more experienced gardeners say this. But why is it better?
First it gives the plants a head start and lets them establish early. Strong roots are the most important part of hops. While the stems will die back every year the roots will get stronger and stronger as the plant ages. So getting the roots in half a year early allows the roots to establish themselves, meaning when spring and summer comes around your hop plant will have a head start. You’ll likely have a strong plant that is already making its way up a fence. This also means you will get a much better harvest in your first year.
Time isn’t the only factor though, the ground is much better for planting right now. In a summer similar to the one we just had the ground will get dry and hard. Rubbish for planting, and makes the work harder as well. Right now the ground is moist and warm, this makes it perfect for a new plant. They’ll be provided with everything they need and not have too much trouble spreading themselves out.
It also makes maintaining the plants much easier. You most likely won’t have to water the hop regularly. It is also easier to dig the hole for your hop and you might even be able to get some garden supplies cheap. If you leave the hop potted it will still need some maintenance, but the damp weather will mean you don’t have to constantly soak it. Make sure you check on it every day and if it looks dry then give it some water. You may also want to consider planting it is a larger pot.
Right now we have a larger selection available, some new plants but others which have established themselves over the summer. If you plan on growing your own hops now is the best time to act.