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Today we purchased our first hop plants via – Cardiff Hops. Our 2 plants of  Prima Donna (also known as First Gold) come courtesy of Sam Holt who does some pretty amazing work in the agricultural world!

Cardiff Hops is a fun new project to get more people growing hops in the city and surrounding areas of Cardiff, Wales. Following on from success with Brixton, Cardiff Hops will support interested parties to source, plant, grow, harvest and use the hops.

A little unsure as to how this all works we asked Sam for some more info:

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I assume you may look after it for us until we can get there to pick it up?

I manage Riverside Community garden and we would look after it for you until come visit us and share a cup of tea and look around our gorgeous garden.

Will we get to keep it forever?

Yes

What height/length does it grow to?

Dwarf Hop = 2.5m-3m

Will it grow again the following year?

It is perenial and as long as it is well looked after – well watered but has good drainage, grows in sunny spot away from very strong winds, fed well each spring, it will grow back each year and get bigger roots that can be split on year three into many.

What is the average yield from a single plant?

Good question I do not know the answer as it was our first year last year and harvest ranged from 0 in year 1 to 1.5kg so we shall know more in year 2.

Can we cut the rhyzome back to plant for future years?

Every winter you cut the growth back to the ground – best do this in 2 stages.
After 3 years dig up the rhizome and split it into many rhizomes.

Can it stay in a container to grow each year?

A dwarf hop can survive in a 50cm diameter container square,rectangular, circular it is not shapist; just as long as it has 50cm depth or more to hold around 40Litre plus of compost. Each year top dress/mulch the container with well rotted compost/manure, and mulch with straw or just compost to feed and encourage soil life to support the plant. After 3 years refill the container as you split the rhizome.
Your container needs good drainage so add hole in the bottom. Hops don’t like their feet(roots) standing in water but do like watering. 

If you are in our vicinity or in London you can add it to the community brews that are made by taking your fresh picked hops along on brew day each group is different so depends where your hop ends up to where I suggest you join and share in the beer that is made. If the hop ends up abroad then you can brew your on beer or make hop pillow to aid sleeping or hop garlands.

Link to Cardiff Hops (Facebook Page)

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