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Hops

Hops plant Lubera

If you buy and grow a hops plant, Humulus lupulus L., as it is botanically called, you will open up completely new culinary horizons for starters, delicious meals, healthy side dishes and, of course, home-brewed private beer just a few months later.

   
 
Dwarf Hops 'Gimli'

The dwarf with large fruits

From £19.40 *

No image available Golden Hop 'Aureus'

Humulus lupulus 'Aureus', the climbing plant with the golden leaves

£19.40 *

Hop 'Cascade'

Humulus lupulus 'Cascade' - the hop for craft beer and IPAs

From £19.40 *

Hop 'Comet'

Humulus lupulus 'Comet', the variety with the fragrant, huge hop flowers

From £19.40 *

Hop 'Hallertauer mittelfrüh'

Humulus lupulus 'Hallertauer mittelfrüh', sometimes tea, sometimes asparagus, sometimes...

£19.40 *

Hop 'Hallertauer Tradition'

Humulus lupulus 'Hallertauer Tradition' - the uncrowned favourite of all aromatic hop...

From £19.40 *

Hop 'Kent Golding'

Humulus lupulus 'Kent Golding' - the classic, English aromatic hops from the 18th century

From £19.40 *

Hops Goldliesl

Pure female, yellow-leaved and yellow fruiting

£19.40 *

Hops Merkur

Humulus lupulus 'Merkur' - the first mildew-resistant hops

From £19.40 *

   
 

More useful information about Hops

At first glance, but completely undeservedly, the 'green gold' has a certain outsider role in private gardens, as it is often assumed that the plants are primarily suitable for commercial cultivation, would be good only for brewing beer anyway, and that cultivation in our latitudes is difficult. However, these unjustified prejudices, which may have deterred you from buying a hops plant in the past, can be completely refuted. Hops are good and very easy to cultivate even in the home garden, and if you buy a hops plant from the Lubera® assortment you will find lots of different varieties that are interesting in terms of taste and growth.

A look at the Lubera® hops plant assortment

Let us briefly introduce three of the most popular varieties from the Lubera® range:

Hops 'Merkur': provides uncomplicated cultivation in the home garden with vigorous growth; easy to care for, high-yielding and mildew-resistant; an aromatic hop variety which is also suitable for brewing beer;

Hallertauer ‘Tradition': the most sought-after breeding variety worldwide with a distinct aroma; attractive and strong growth with beautifully coloured, very aromatic cones; particularly high resistance to diseases and pests;

Dwarf hops 'Gimmli': a newer dwarf hop variety which is also suitable for smaller gardens (3 to 4 metres high); forms many medium-sized umbels; a fragrant, aromatic variety with a high ornamental value; extremely resistant to many diseases.

In the Lubera® plant shop you will also find the oldest and most typical English hop variety 'Kent Goldling' or aromatic varieties such as 'Comet', which give craft beers from the American West Coast to the microbreweries that have recently appeared in our country their strong character.

Hops plant Lubera

Why a hops plant can also grow without problems in your garden and produce countless hops

The all-important rule for the successful cultivation of these plants is relatively unaffected by climatic and soil conditions but depends on the light conditions and the length of the day at the location. The change from the vegetative growth period of the hops plant to the generative phase (flowering and fruit set) occurs at a day length of between 16 and 18 hours. If the length of the day then decreases in time, the hops continue to develop their flowers, i.e. the hops, to maturity, so that between the 35th and 55th degree of latitude in our northern and southern hemisphere they find almost optimum growing conditions. And by the way, you can of course, as is usual with all Lubera® plants, rely on the fact that you are buying a hops plant from us that is easy to cultivate; it will grow healthily and provide excellent yields for many years.

Requirements of the hops plant and its cultivation in the home garden

Despite its imposing stature, hops are one of the perennial plants that regenerate and sprout anew every year via its strong rootstock. It is not unusual for a hops plant to produce consistently good yields for up to 25 years, often well beyond that, if it is visually attractive. Buying a hops plant is thus (almost) a decision for your whole life and it will remain perceptible far beyond the boundaries of your garden fence - visible and perceptible through the strong scent of these admirable, beautiful and useful plants. And there is another special feature that is characteristic for this plant species: while hops use trees and shrubs for their development in the wild to help them grow almost indefinitely, in the home garden they need a high scaffolding with ropes and wires or at least a sufficiently high fence or pergola for their unhindered development and later for optimal care and harvesting. By the way, varieties for commercial cultivation often grow up to 30 centimetres a day, so you can almost watch them literally shoot up into the sky. But don't worry, if you buy a hops plant for private breeding, the development is not quite as rapid, but just as steady - not only above ground but also underground.

Location and soil

The soil should be well rooted, humus-rich and sufficiently permeable for cultivation. Lean soils are best enriched with sufficient nutrients, such as aged compost, and mixed in well before planting. Regular natural additions of this kind in early spring and at the end of May, but also sufficient, regular irrigation, will support the growth of the hops plant considerably. Exposed locations for the green climbing artists are, by the way, sunny south-east or south-west locations.

Buy hops and plant - that's how it works!

When you buy our vigorous Lubera® hops plants, you get the yellow-fruited 'Goldliesl', the English aromatic hop 'Kent Golding' as well as all other varieties from us in a spacious 5-litre container and with an already strongly developed root system. Loosen up the soil at the planned location in the garden in a large area; dig a planting hole into which the young plant is inserted so deep that the surface of the root ball can be filled with soil to a height of three to four centimetres and at the end of planting is level with the garden soil. If you intend to plant in a pot, choose a plant container as large as possible (at least 50-100 L) and fill it with a high-quality potted plant soil. Although these substrates are not always a bargain in terms of price, your hops plant will thank you for this additional investment with a long life over many years. Hops can be planted almost all the time; a planting date in the spring, with the first shoots appearing at the same time, is certainly an advantage.

What does a hop year actually look like?

If the days after the winter get a little longer again, the hops plant will also start its new growing season. When a well-established two to three-year-old hops plant is mounded up in February with the surrounding garden soil to a height of about 20-30 cm, the first underground hop shoots can already be dug and pricked at the end of March and beginning of April. This works in the same way as harvesting asparagus, i.e. as soon as the shoots appear on the surface of the mound, the hop asparagus is pricked as low down as possible. This is an absolute delicacy! In the gourmet kitchen, it is simply steamed in butter.

Of course, the hop asparagus harvest must not continue indefinitely, otherwise, there will be no fruitful shoots. So, leave at least three to five of the new hop shoots to grow further. They are responsible for the development of the hop umbels in the next weeks and months and mature into cones of different sizes depending on the variety.

If you follow this rule, you can also harvest/cut back some fresh above-ground shoots at the beginning of May. These can be used to make tasty wild herb salads or can be used as a side dish, similar to spinach.

For the remaining shoots, a climbing aid is now required. You can make it easier for your hops plant to start growing if you carefully guide the fresh shoots at a length of 20-50 cm to the climbing frame so that they quickly find a hold and can start growing with their jet shoot. The soil can optionally be mounded up again above the root when the hop shoots have grown to a height of about one metre. Adding a good handful of compost or fertiliser ensures healthy growth and creates the basis for good harvest results.

Depending on weather conditions and location, the harvesting of the hop cones begins from mid-August to mid-September. If you buy a late-ripening type of our hops, such as the craft berry variety 'Cascade', the cones are ready for picking towards September.

But of course, you can also let the hop cones dry slowly and naturally on the plant - this way you can enjoy the spicy, resinous hop scent in your garden for longer and use the deciduous cones and shoots to make beautiful decorative material for flower arrangements and other handicrafts.

During the late autumn weeks, the hop tendrils have to be cut just above the ground. For overwintering, it is advantageous to heap up the hops plants - even if they are hardy - with an additional humus supply. This then also makes it possible to harvest hop asparagus again later...

All in all, this means that the hops require considerably less care than most hobby gardeners assume, so that apart from the numerous possible uses of the abundant shoots, flowers and cones to be harvested before buying hops, there is actually only one important question:

Which diseases and pests can be expected?

Before we start listing them, you should know that the hop varieties in our shop have excellent resistance to diseases. Nevertheless, hops, like other plants, show certain susceptibilities depending on the weather and climate, which can but need not, lead to diseases. In addition, pests such as aphids can be very successfully controlled with beneficial insects (ladybirds and others), so that a certain degree of self-regulation by nature can certainly be assumed. Both powdery and downy mildew leads to very annoying malformations in hops, primarily at the shoot tips, and the danger of wilt disease can never be completely ruled out, especially as we have been dealing with fundamental climate change in recent years, particularly in sensitive growing regions. To prevent wilt disease, sufficient irrigation must always be provided - especially in a very hot summer. Hop plants with their up to 5-8 m long shoots simply need a lot of water...Thus, the risk when buying hops based on professional cultivation in the home garden is neither greater nor smaller than it is with other crops. So, you can look forward to the variety of culinary, mental and health uses that the "green gold" has to offer.

Hops offer almost infinite possibilities for use

Folk medicine already has countless examples of how the components of hops can be used for internal and external applications (e.g. tea preparations, tinctures, ointments, compresses). Today, the use of hop preparations is also a topic in the field of cancer prevention, the treatment of gynaecological diseases and many other scientific studies in the medical field. Furthermore, the calming and sleep-promoting effect which can be achieved by using hop oils is undisputed. And finally, the flowers, shoots, sprouts and umbels of the hop can be transformed into refined and extraordinary delicacies in the form of healthy starters, soups, side dishes and even main courses.

Buy hops and enjoy them just a few weeks later...

There you go:

For four people you need the following ingredients:

1 kg mealy potatoes;

150 to 200 ml milk;

100 grams of rocket (cut into strips);

two handfuls of chopped hop shoots;

150 grams of black olives (in rings and pitted);

in addition: 20 grams of butter, some nutmeg, ground pepper and salt;

The preparation:

Cut the peeled potatoes into small cubes and cook them until soft under steam; then turn them with the warmed milk through a food mill or press them with a masher into a paste and season them; fry the hop shoots and rocket and mix everything together with the olives; heat up again for another one or two minutes. The mashed potatoes are excellent with steamed fish.

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