Whether you live in the Northwest, Northeast, Midwest, South or California does not matter, hops can be grown in any moderate climate with proper care.
The soil must be loamy and well drained with a pH of 6.5-8.0. Because hops use large quantities of water and nutrients, the soil needs fertilizers rich in potassium, phosphates, and nitrogen. Home growers can use manure compost and commercial fertilizer for this purpose.
Wherever the hops are planted, a minimum of 120 frost-free days are needed for hop vines to produce flowers. When the stems break soil, you must support vines off the ground to prevent disease and ensure proper growth. The vines keep growing until mid-July, when most hops are either in full bloom or past bloom, depending on the variety and location. Healthy vines can produce 1-21/2 pounds of dried flowers per plant.
Hops produce rich, heavily scented, green-golden fruit that is harvested in autumn. The flowers of Humulus lupulus contain the chemicals myrcene, myrcenol, resin, linalool, humulene and tannins, all used extensively in the pharmaceutical industy. Also, another common usage is flavoring for the beer industry.
Hops seeds can be slow to germinate. Use a process called "cold scarification" to encourage hop seed germination. A good method is to put seeds in an equal amount of moist sand and refrigerate from one to three months at about 41 degrees F. After that, plant the seeds at 68 degrees F. for one to two months. If the hops seeds have not germinated, put them back in the refrigerator and repeat the cycle.
Decorative fast growing vine, excellent for porches and screens.