Hop is a perennial herb which is used for brewing as well as for its medicinal properties. Its flower, called hops, is often used as a relaxing in herbal tea blends and is used in pillow and sleep aids - in a similar way to lavender. What is most interesting (to me) about hop is that it can grow metres in height, straight up, each year and then dies back completely in the winter. In warmer countries hops it trained to grow up give or six metre long ropes in a single growing season.

Hop grows surprising well in West Clare but enjoys full sun and needs a pole support, strong trellis or similar support. They are fairly frost resistant and actually need a period of cold each winter as part of their annual cycle. It needs a little space - maybe 150cm between it and other plants.  

Hop produces hops cones or flowers in July or August which can be harvested easily by hand. Harvest when the cones feel papery and dry, and leave a yellow powder on your fingers when touched.They can be used straight away or dried and stores.

After care:
Hop like a little mulching in spring to keep down weeds and condition the soil. A mature hop plant will grow very quickly through the summer months. If ti gets in the way, feel free to prune it as much as you like - it will grow back in a few days. No matter how big the plant gets it will die back completely in winter and come again the following spring. 

Visit the SHOP to buy hop and other Burren Berries. 

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