I'm not sure about growing hops in the south, despite the success stories I've heard from fellow members of the Bluff City Brewers. I read an article in Brew Your Own magazine about growing them in containers and I had a pitifil looking plant so I decided to give it a try. My father-in-law designed the planter (and pretty much built it), I bought some potting mix and went over to my neighbor's house to dig up the hops. The plant started out as a rizome that somebody forgot to pick up at Midsouth Malts a couple of years ago and Kevin had put it in one of his planters and forgot about it.
To my surprise the thing has been growing right up the strings I attached to a small wooden rig I built to hold up the hop bines. I even had to rig up another, taller one, because the bines got so long.
But after seeing the hops growing at Phil and Jody Kane's place a week ago, I am a little bit disappointed. Phil has some pretty good hop cones on his plants already. Mine are just forming (I hope). I have dutifully watered the box daily. I have weeded the box. I have disuaded my dog from watering the box (I think it's too tall anyway). But I see only a few sprouts where the cones should be.
It might be that I have too many bines for the root system. It could be that the Memphis summer is just too scorching for the plant despite the serious amounts of water I have given.
The problem needs more study. Because free hops could do a lot to help the home beer budget.