Continuing and Distance Education 

PSS 096 Home Hops Growing

Dr. Leonard P. Perry, Horticulture Professor Emeritus
Dept. Plant and Soil Science, 212 Jeffords, UVM, Burlington VT 05405
656-2630 (main office, real people during the day) (best, quickest response)

One credit, online

Due Dates: See Blackboard course website

Tests and exercises may be turned in any time prior to the due dates. Late submissions after these dates will be accepted at the discretion of the instructor.  Plan for the unexpected (illness, computer crash, snow storm, ski opportunities, etc). 

meetings: none, completely online, at student's own pace and timing

Required Texts: these should be purchased prior to the course from local booksellers or online--allow enough time for shipping if print versions
 (both also are available in Kindle format for download; both are available as small, inexpensive paperbacks which should make good references to keep)

1. Hop Variety Handbook: Learn More About Hops, Dan Woodske, Createspace Independent Publ.

2. The Homebrewer's Garden: How to Easily Grow, Prepare, and Use Your Own Hops, Malts, Brewing Herbs, Dennis and Joe Fisher, Storey Publ. (also available in Nook from Barnes and Noble)


other readings will be provided as links online or posted on blackboard


1. Learn details on the most common hop varieties, the simple science behind what makes them unique and different from each other, their geographical and historical origins, and their uses in brewing.

2. Obtain the basic horticultural knowledge of proper siting including landscape uses, types of trellises or supports, soil preparation and fertility, planting, subsequent care, ending with timing of harvest and drying

3. Develop a plan for a home hops planting or hopyard, together with 3-year plan and timeline, from planting through subsequent care


How it works:

This course is suited for those students desiring a science elective on an interesting plant, learning some of its botany, history, and horticultural care.  It will be of interest too for any interested in beer and knowing more about one of its main ingredients, or for homebrewers wanting to grow their own hops.  Ornamental uses in the landscape are another benefit of this vine.  

This completely online course is based on the main parts (specific pages to be given) of two small and inexpensive texts, as well as supplemental documents on blackboard from the instructor and others, and appropriate website links.  The two tests will be based on the objectives, one test on each, are open book, untimed and done online.  They are designed to reinforce student’s familiarity with the material, to synthesize various topics, and to problem solve.  

The final exercise will pull together all the material covered, from selecting what hops to grow, how many, spacing, type of support, through care to the ultimate goal—timing of harvest, proper drying and storage.  You will first develop a plan including varieties chosen and why, layout including type of support and siting and spacing.  You then will develop a timeline of what activities are necessary, and when, over the first three years of establishment.  Grading and suggestions on both will be given by the instructor. The result will be a plan, both of layout and over time, ready to be implemented in this or other spring season.  

Email contact between professor and students is used as needed and to share information and course updates. The syllabus on Blackboard, AND the tips, will serve as your contract for the course and should be read thoroughly. Students are expected to follow the UVM Code of Academic Integrity (

Access: Blackboard (your UVM passwords) for dates, tests, plan exercise 

Assignments and Grading: (800 points total)

·         Test 1—Varieties (200 points, 25 questions on Blackboard, based on first text—Hop Variety Handbook—and blackboard links to websites and documents)

·         Test 2—Growing (200 points, 25 questions on  Blackboard, based on second text—The Homebrewer’s Garden—and blackboard links to websites and documents)

·         Plan and Timeline (400 points, 200 each for plan and timeline, emailed to instructor for grading and feedback)
Grades determined on standard 10 point scale ie 90-100=A, 80-89=B, etc. with for example 80-82=B-, 83-86=B, 87-89=B+, etc.

"It is not so very important for a person to learn facts. For that he does not really need a college. He can learn them from books. The value of an education ... is not learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks."-- Albert Einstein

"Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself." --John Dewey

links to Perry's Perennial Pages | UVM Plant and Soil Science Department