Growing a hops plant is an obvious next step for every home brewer– now that you make your own beer, why not grow your own ingredients? Hops plants are relatively easy to grow, as long as you have the space, and they have a fantastic payoff if you harvest and brew with them. Even if you’re not a brewer yourself, growing hops in your garden is sure to endear you to any brewers in your life and ensure that you get some home-brewed beer in the near future. Of course, they’re also quite ornamental too. Keep reading to learn more about growing zone 8 hops in your garden and selecting hops varieties for zone 8 conditions.
Can You Grow Hops in Zone 8?
Yes, you can! As a rule, hops plants grow best in USDA zones 4 through 8. This means that in zone 8, you really don’t have to worry about your plants not making it through the winter. You should, however, make sure to get your rhizomes in the ground as early in the spring as possible before temperatures rise.
Hops rhizomes are usually only available to purchase between March and May in the northern hemisphere, so buy them as early as possible and plant them as soon as you get them (some websites will allow you to pre-order).
Best Hops for Zone 8 Gardens
Since there isn’t really such a thing as “zone 8 hops,” you’re free in this zone to grow the varieties you want. Many gardeners agree that Cascade hops are the easiest and most rewarding to grow because they are high-yielding and disease resistant.
If you’d like a little more of a challenge or just more variety, especially if you’re growing your hops with beer in mind, then take a close look at Alpha Acids. These are, essentially, what determines a hops flower’s bitterness.
Also, get a sense of hops that are commonly used in beer. If you’re planning on following a recipe, it’ll be nice to have a familiar, easy-to-find variety on hand. Some popular hops varieties are: