Useful information

Useful Information
You are a prospective or advanced hops grower? You'd like to know more about the cultivation and care of hops? Why not browse a bit in our given information?
 
To provide answers for your questions as quickly as possible you will find the most freqently asked questions collected on this site. 
In case you should have another question, don't hesitate to contact us. Our hops experts will be happy to assist you. 
            
When is the best time to plant hops?
The most suitable time to plant hops is in spring, starting at the end of March for older plants and in May or autumn (end of Septemer to November) for unwooded young plants. That way the plants can hibernate and will sprout the following spring. 
 
Is hops a perennial plant?  
Our products are without exception perennial, female cultivation hops, Humulus lupulus. Contrary to that the Japanese ornamental hops is an annual plant which is sown.
 
How to hibernate hops? 
In autumn all parts of the plant that are above the ground should be removed. The  plant's roots can easily stay in the ground and need no further protection.
 
How to differentiate between male and female buds?
Gender can be determined by looking at the hop cones. Only female plants grow the well-known cones. Male plants develop their  anthers in loose panicles. Until hops is flourishing it is impossible to determine its gender. Pictures of male and female inflorescences can be found on any botany page. 
 
How to find out whether a hop blossom has been fertilized?
After having been fertilized the seed, the so-called "nutlet" develops. 
Pictures of hop seed can be viewed on the botany page!
 
Is it possible to brew beer with your hops?
Certainly! Our hop has been developed for beer brewing!
The Hallertauer hop varieties are the most popular ones all over the world!
 
Is it possible to cultivate hops in containers?
Yes, it is. But the plants require more care, especially concerning the supply of water and nutrients. If that can be automized, the cultivation in containers should not pose any problems. 
 
What kind of care is required?
To grow strong vines and big cones it is necessary to allow 2-3 times a maximum of 3-4 sprouts to grow up a climbing aid. All other sprouts must be removed. Hop winds clockwise, a wrong turn can curb its growth until the winding direction has been corrected; avoid damaging the sprout's "head"! In case the head has been damaged a sufficient supply with nutrients including water is required.
 
Is it necessary to cut the plant in autumn?
In autumn hops moves all nutrients from leaves and wines into the rootstock. All parts of the plant that are above ground will first change to yellow and then to brown before they dry. Since this doesn't look particularly pretty, it is advised to cut off the shoots just above the ground. To give the plant the opportunity to store nutrients, it is recommended to leave about 50-80 cm of the shoot until it has completely died.
 
What can be done to stimulate growth?
Water the plants regularly and nurture them well according to their additional growth. Whether you choose synthetically created nutrients (artificial fertilizer) or organic material remains a matter of choice. It is important, though, that the plant only receives nutrients when they are required. Since nitrogen in the form of nitrates is unfortunately water-soluble, this nutrient is the main issue.   In short: supply your hops the same way as you do vegetables, multiplied by their mass increase; the healthier the plant, the fewer problems you will have with it!
 
What to do in case of problems with diseases and vermin?
This is a difficult topic. Modern varients are quite resistant to diseases. Additionally, chances to catch diseases away from the Hallertau are low. In case of calamities measures similar to those taken for wine and beans might help. Sometimes the use of  beneficials is advisable. 
 
What to do when the plants have been infested by aphids?
If you want to use the cones, aphids must be fought as early as possible. This can either be done by conventional chemical products or using organic home remedies.
 
If the first, I would advise you to buy an adequate product at a professional garden center. Most products that can be used on vegetables like beans and wine are compatible with hops.
 
In case of the second, you will have to gather information on how to prepare e.g. a brew of nettles. Out of my own experience I'd recommend to spray the plants with cold water and a drop of diswashing liquid (to break the surface tension of water). Try to purchase a good label due to its normally being better  tolerated by the plants. 

I would like to grow hops in my garden. But my neighbour has warned me that the hops plants emit a sticky, sirupy liquid which might ruin my new wooden terrace. Is that true?
The following is true: if the plant is hurt (especially during care and when harvesting) a see-through liquid emits at the damaged areas. It is rather watery than sticky, though. This liquid will stain your clothes - and those stains are quite nasty, because they only become visible after you take the clothes out of the washing machine! 
 
The sticky liquid could also be something else: if the hop plants get infected with aphids one often only realises this when the aphids start reproducing in the upper part of the plant. This is often realized quite late, because by then the upper part of the plant is out of the general range of vision. The aphids' excrements rather emit a sticky liquid called honeydew, which was probably described by your neighbour.  If the worse comes to the worst black fungi spread there, too. This is the point when you will get a lot of cleaning to do on the terrace. But if you succeed in keeping your plants healthy, I see no risk for a spoilt terrace. 
           
When and how can I sow hops? I have found hop seed from a vine and would like to grow it in my garden on a trellis.
You will find no information on sowing hops on our pages since hops is generally vegetatively propagated. This is done to maintain its characteristics including its gender which will not be possible in case of using seed. If you want to sow hops you need to be aware of the fact that you might grow sickly and  poor, or worse, male plants. Especially the last is forbidden in areas where hops is commercially grown. Plus, you will most probably not harvest a single cone after three years of work!
 
If you still plan to sow hops, you should do that in spring, from March onwards. The seed will only sprout after the effects of cold. If you have not stored the seed in a cool place, I recommend to put it into the fridge for three weeks. Sowing works the same as for other plants: seed box containing sowing soil, sow, cover and water. For sprouting higher temperatures are required. 
 
I own two hop plants from your garden center  (Hallertauer and Magnum) and although I planted them quite late this year (end of Mai/beginning of June) they are thriving and are full of magnificent cones. Actually, I only wanted to grow the plants for decoration, but now I'm considering to try brewing some beer. Unfortunately, I don't know how to see whether the cones are ripe. I've read that they will get sticky, when they are ripe and that they certainly are not yet.
           
To harvest hop cones only makes sense when the cones are firm as well as closed and the Lupulin (yellow powder) inside the cones gives an aromatic smell and has indeed become sticky. This should take place between the end of August and the beginning of September.  
 
After having blossomed the cones develop. At the beginning the cones' leaves point upwards; afterwards they begin to lie on top of each other, like the scales of a fish until they have an almost even surface. Inside the cone the Lupulin ripens along the spine, which contains a lot of oils and resin and thererfore is a bit sticky. The Lupulin cannot be seen from the outside.