Hop Tying – Making our Hops Grow!

Hop tying, or training is a crucial activity which we undertake in the spring at Stocks Farm. The hops are strung first (you can read more about that here) and then we wait until the shoots are long enough.

The hop shoots are normally long enough by the end of April, but this is dependent on the kind of winter we’ve had – the hops need the warmth of spring to wake them up from their dormant winter state.

Each hop plant has far more shoots than we need to train, so this is where we need to get involved.

When we reach the hop plant, we look at the shoots and pick the strongest ones to train. For each string, we train two hop shoots. The most important part of training is to make sure that the hops are twisted CLOCKWISE, as that’s the direction that they grow. If we put them on anti-clockwise, they would simply fall off!

We then hope that it’s not too windy, otherwise the hops will fall off and need retraining. If the weather is good, then it’s just a case of monitoring the hops and making sure that they continue to grow well up the strings! The hops climb quickly once trained and by midsummer’s day, they should be at the top of the strings.