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HOPS (Humulus lupulus), is a native perennial familiar to those who brew their own (...See More)

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HOPS (Humulus lupulus), is a native perennial familiar to those who brew their own beer and ales because it is the unique female flower (cone) which are used as a flavoring, stabilizer and natural preservative. The hops are actually the female "strobiles" of the plant. The hops vines are called bines and are usually grown up strings called a "hopfield" or "hop garden." It is a  wonderful garden decorative that will quickly fill a stout arbor but then die back to its rhizomous roots in winter, only to burst forth again in spring. They can grow as much as 1-3" a day! (You can sit there with your cold glass of ale and watch it grow and contemplate life.) Interestingly, hops belong to the same family as cannabis (hemp). Plant in sun or mostly sun. They do take time to establish to maturity but well worth the investment. If you are a home brewer, one plant of hops can yield up to 1 kg of dried hop flowers or "strobiles" per plant. 50 Seeds (a mix of male and female). PLEASE NOTE: Cannot ship to CA, WA or OR.

MEDICINAL AND OTHER USES: Important: Hops have strong estrogenic properties, so if you are in treatment for breast or ovarian cancer do not ingest hops tea. Hops are used as a flavoring, bittering and stability agent in ales and beers. They have an antibiotic effect that enhances the action of the brewer's yeast. They are also brewed as tea. Hops variety as well as growing conditions will determine whether your hops are sweet or bitter, floral, herbal or citrus, etc. You can't really determine the variety without genetic testing, but it will be a unique flavoring agent. Hops are also used to flavor non-alcoholic beverages, frozen dairy desserts, candy baked goods, gelatins, puddings, cereal beverages, mineral waters and tobacco. The fragrant hop is also used in the perfume industry. In Belgium, the young bleached tops are eaten as a vegetable. I recently discovered my otherwise hyperactive pooch harvesting my hops. Now I know why he has calmed of late LOL! Romans ate the young shoots like asparagus. In China, Hops are used medicinally to treat leprosy, acute bacterial dysentary and pulmonary tuberculosis. Extracts are used in various skin creams and lotions in Europe, although ironically, many experience contact dermatitis when picking the Hop, so wear protection and don't grow in a high traffic area where folks can accidentally brush against it. I think there is no question that hops have a sedative effect when brewed as a tea (especially in combination with valerian and chamomile), and some believe it to be an aphrodisiac. Finally, dyers use it to produce a fine brown dye.

GROWING TIPS: Provide a cold stratification period for the seeds before planting in 6-8 weeks before last frost inside, or grow in a cold frame and prick out seedlings to successively pot up until ready to plant. Hops like a rich (mix in a lot of compost) soil that has been deeply dug. Plant each pre-started rhizome a couple of feet apart and mulch well in between the plants to prevent weeds and keep moisture in the soil. The seeds you are receiving have been cold-stored so you will want to do that as well if you are not preparing immediately. For best results, refrigerate for 90 days, then mix seeds with moist sand and refrigerate for another 90 days. Then sow seeds in usual way. The vines can be very thirsty, so water frequently, but always let the plants dry out in between, as wet feet will rot the rhizomes. Water only at the base of the plants to prevent disease, and in humid climes, carefully prune off all the leaves from the first couple of feet off the ground to improve airflow. Just the leaves; don’t damage the vines! They can be subject to mildew in rainy climes so be prepared with a natural fungicide. Shoots appear in early spring at which point, after hardening off, you can position outside after all danger of frost in a rich humusy soil providing strong support. You will not get any flowers/strobiles the first spring as the plant will be establishing its rootstock. But in the second Spring, from mid-March to late May, you will see the pretty cones develop from a moist silky feel to being dry and papery. When the edges begin to turn brown they are ready to be picked. Wear gloves as some are sensitive to the plant. Harvest continues over several weeks. Dry the hops well before using. Don't use fresh as the flavor comes with the drying. Best to air-dry in a dark room or in an oven on very low heat for a few hours. One good method for determining if they are dry enough is to weigh the hops after picking and then subsequently. When they weigh 10%-25% of their original weight, they are ready to use. After three years give the vines a light pruning if you are in an area where the climate does not naturally prune and/or division to keep growth vigorous.

CHERRYGAL HEIRLOOM GARDEN SEEDS & PLANTS is a small family supplier of heirloom seeds. Our vegetables, herbs, flowers & other garden ornamentals are offered in small, inexpensive packets with only identifying information on them (no growing information). We do, however, offer as much growing information as we have available within this listing for each variety, so if you need it please print now because when a variety sells out the listing will disappear from our site.

All seeds offered are FRESH stock, with high germination rates, tested by the growers and myself. Varieties are specially selected for home gardeners. If you want the flavor you remember from grandma's kitchen garden or the beauty of her cottage flowers, or if you are seeking that rare medicinal herb or ornamental but don't want to pay nursery prices, choose CHERRYGAL HEIRLOOM SEEDS.

All CherryGal Heirloom Seeds are heirlooms (dating at least 100 years) or vintage (mid-20th Century or older) varieties, with an occasional modern variety included which I believe merits special attention. All CherryGal Heirloom Seeds are OPEN-POLLINATED. This means saved seed will be true to the parent. Don't be dazzled by the never-ending array of hybrid seeds promoted by gardening suppliers. First, such seeds will not produce seeds that grow true to the parent -- you have to keep buying the hybrid seed (get the picture?). Second, most hybrids are developed for market – not home -- growers with an emphasis on extended shelf life, storage and shipping qualities -- NOT flavor, texture, fragrance and all those other elements that home growers seek. So if you are tired of flavorless tomatoes or crunchy strawberries, give heirlooms a try.

All CHERRYGAL HEIRLOOM SEEDS come from reputable growers (with a preference given to small independent farms) and wherever possible ORGANIC suppliers (so noted). We do not knowingly offer any genetically modified seeds, and customers should understand that in order to be designated “certified organic” a seed is by law not genetically modified. By buying CHERRYGAL SEEDS you are supporting the growing worldwide movement of SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE and with a little practice you will be able to save even more money in the future by growing these open-pollinated varieties and saving seed for next year.

With the massive consolidation of seed companies that has been underway for the past decade, it is more important than ever to support small, independent suppliers such as CherryGal. Often linked with chemical companies, and fervent in their promotion of frankenseeds (GMO), a handful of world-wide corporations now control seed production. Such companies do not care about the environment let alone the consumer. Click here for an informative graphic.http://www.cornucopia.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/seedindustry.pdf

IMPORTANT – PLEASE READ: CherryGal Heirloom Seeds are guaranteed to be fresh to the year indicated on the listing and packet but are NOT guaranteed as to results. Sorry, but there are too many variables in gardening that can impact germination so please do not ask for a refund, replacement or to return unused seed. I always recommend that if you are new to gardening, or to a particular type of plant or variety, that you grow just a few at first to test your germination method. Email with any questions - I always respond promptly. Having said all that, we think you will be pleased and would like to hear about your gardening success!

SPECIAL NOTE TO MARKET GROWERS: We market to the home gardener, but we are happy to fill your order for multiples of any variety available. We do not offer bulk discounts – our seeds are already heavily discounted. Also, we will not accept responsibility for crop failures, so please keep that in mind as purchase constitutes acceptance of 100% of the risk involved in growing any seed offered at CherryGal.com.

SHIPPING: This is important! Practiced gardeners know that the best time to order seeds is as early as possible in the season. I do not list varieties for sale that are not in hand, unless it is noted as "coming." I also add/subtract varieties all season long as inventory fluctuates, so check back often. We are constantly improving our fulfillment procedures to decrease the amount of time from order to shipping. We have added a SHIPPING BANNER to the front of the site and on every listing page which will give you the current time frame for shipping seeds. In off-season, seeds ship very quickly - usually the same or next business day. But as the prime season comes on, shipping can slow. Please consult this shipping banner before you purchase, so there will be no disappointments! We fulfill orders in the order received. Choosing priority or express shipping does not influence the speed with which your order is processed, only the speed with which it moves through the postal system. I package my seeds for shipping in a manner appropriate to the amount and type of seed - larger orders and larger seeds require more packaging. Whether you choose first class mail or priority shipping, your seeds will ship using a delivery confirmation number which will be supplied to you. Our checkout system is keyed to the US Postal System. For small seed orders, I recommend choosing FIRST CLASS mail at checkout. Larger orders (over 13 ounces) can ship either parcel post, or you may find PRIORITY MAIL to be less expensive, depending on your zipcode. (I gave up trying to figure out the US Postal System rates a long time ago). Please enter your shipping address correctly and if you can add the Plus Four Zip Code extension, that is extremely helpful.

I appreciate all my CherryGal.com customers, but have a special affinity for my seed customers. If you have a problem, please email me, using the contact links that are all over the website. Calling is likely to be a frustrating experience, as I do not have the staff to answer the phone, and depending on the time of year, I often don't even have the time to listen to messages. But your email will be promptly responded to.

Lastly, keep an eye out for my end of season sale which starts in June until all inventory is sold. It is always a bargain and helps us clear the shelves each season so that I am offering you only the freshest seeds year to year. Happy Gardening and don't forget to share your garden surplus with your local food bank. (There are just so many bags of zucchini you can leave on your neighbors' porches in the dark of night before they they catch on LOL.)

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For all items tagged "Ships Now" including seeds, we process same to next business day (M-F). For non-seed items that are not "ships now," please check additional info in the item listing. If you need an item by a date certain or if you have any questions, please email us using the contact link on the website. We respond to emails very quickly, usually in a matter of hours. Calling us toll-free at 888-752-0022 during normal business hours/days (9-5 M-F) is also an option, although during the growing season you will not likely reach us directly. Please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible.

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Wednesday 16th of April 2014 09:56:24 AM