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General Category => Ingredients => Hop Growing => Topic started by: ultravista on April 30, 2017, 06:06:04 PM

Title: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: ultravista on April 30, 2017, 06:06:04 PM
This year I planted three hop varieties (Cascade, Chinook, and Columbus) from Great Lakes Hops 'crowns'. Each plant is in a well drained 5 gallon plastic bucket with regular watering.

The plants were 'bucketed' two months ago and have grown very little. The Chinook put out a two foot bine then stopped. The tip is there so it was not compromised but it looks as if it just stopped growing.

As an avid gardener, I am capable and confident that my growing practices are OK.

Should I expect more out of two month old plants? Will they start to grow foliage, stop growing, then pickup again?
Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 30, 2017, 07:10:54 PM
Why the buckets? Are you trying to contain them?

Hops need water, but need well drained soil. Too wet in the bucket?

Some have used half of a wooden barrel to keep the hops from getting root bound.

Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: denny on April 30, 2017, 07:48:02 PM
Why the buckets? Are you trying to contain them?

Hops need water, but need well drained soil. Too wet in the bucket?

Some have used half of a wooden barrel to keep the hops from getting root bound.

Beat me to it, Jeff
Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: ultravista on April 30, 2017, 08:17:08 PM
I don't have a permanent place for the hops at this time.

Each bucket gets plenty of water and the plants around the hops look great (peppers / tomatoes).
Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: denny on April 30, 2017, 08:51:14 PM
I don't have a permanent place for the hops at this time.

Each bucket gets plenty of water and the plants around the hops look great (peppers / tomatoes).

Make sure the buckets drain well and hope for the best.
Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 30, 2017, 10:52:16 PM
I don't have a permanent place for the hops at this time.

Each bucket gets plenty of water and the plants around the hops look great (peppers / tomatoes).

Hops are said to like a wet head and dry feet. That means They get enough water in soil that drains well. Does the bucket have drain holes? Dig down a little and see if it is damp/saturated. If it is the roots are waterlogged.
Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: Phil_M on May 01, 2017, 12:56:15 AM
I've grown hops in large planters for 4 years. I've had good luck so far, but I've learned that some rhizomes just never really do well. The first year I had 4 rhizomes, three did fine, and one grew a few feet tall and just stopped. It did better the next year, but still never for more that a few feet long. Last year I dug them up, broke up the healthiest crowns, and replanted them all. This time all four are doing well.
Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: timothyredel on May 01, 2017, 01:06:31 AM
I'm having the same problem, with similar hops. Started quickly but lost momentum. Nugget is struggling, but Centennial and Columbus are doing ok.

Left to right: Centennial, Nugget, and Columbus
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170501/ba6ba6073f89b1be807ddc9cd578b12a.jpg)
Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: ultravista on May 01, 2017, 01:18:35 PM
timothyredel - really? Mine are about 6 inches tall.
Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: timothyredel on May 01, 2017, 03:50:41 PM
Very warm spring here! They look pretty good from the picture,  but some of the bines are pretty weak, and they're slowing down a lot already. So yeah, I don't have a lot to complain about, but while they shot up quickly I'm noticing some lag now.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: timothyredel on May 01, 2017, 03:51:32 PM
Also, these are like 5+ year plants.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: ultravista on May 02, 2017, 12:45:33 AM
What is the drainage on the bottom of those party tubs?
Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: ultravista on May 02, 2017, 01:25:45 AM
Photos posted. These are sad looking plants. Something is eating the leaves of the Chinook. I just sprayed Sevin Spray Bug Killer on it.

The leaves of the cascade look burnt, as if something is in the water. As you can see with the tomato leafs in the same photo, that plant is doing awesome.

(http://www.ultravista.com/assets/images/1.jpg)

(http://www.ultravista.com/assets/images/2.jpg)

(http://www.ultravista.com/assets/images/3.jpg)
Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: timothyredel on May 02, 2017, 11:34:06 AM
What is the drainage on the bottom of those party tubs?
About 12 half-inch holes on the sidewalls near the base so that they're not blocked by sitting on the ground.

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Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: ultravista on May 02, 2017, 01:22:18 PM
These buckets have 5 or 6 holes on the side walls too, none on the bottom.
Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: reverseapachemaster on May 02, 2017, 03:19:09 PM
Aphids or spider mites on the underside of the leaves? When I've seen leaves like that on my plants it's spider mites. They seem to show up when it first gets wet and if untreated they can wear down five foot bines to dead leaves and stall further growth on those bines.
Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: chinaski on May 02, 2017, 04:32:55 PM
How big are the crowns?  Could it be that the plants are stressed because of the mass of crown in a small space?  I am more familiar with starting with small 4-6" rhizome cuttings.
Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: ultravista on May 03, 2017, 01:42:26 AM
The crowns were about 5-6 inches, not too small or big.

Standard potting soil with a little steer manure and rice hulls. The plants get water twice a day along with the other plants in the garden. I have tomatoes on the vine already. Everything in the garden is growing well, vigorous in fact, with the exception of these three hop plants.

There are plants in between and behind these buckets - they too are growing well. No issues.

I hit all of the plants occasionally with Miracle Grow plant food - not too much.

Its not too hot yet so I doubt the soil is too warm right now. Nonetheless, I will repot in larger containers this weekend. I have something like a 20 gallon nursery pot, big and black, with plenty of drainage.

I am surprised at how these look two months after being potted. The crowns were small but did have buds or bines when I planted them.

So what's wrong with buckets & hops? Is it just the smaller volume or something else?

I grow tomatoes and peppers in buckets and they grow like I owe them money
Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on May 03, 2017, 02:16:43 AM
A fully developed drawn will fill a wheelbarrow when dug out.
Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: ultravista on May 03, 2017, 02:31:30 AM
A fully developed drawn will fill a wheelbarrow when dug out.

Drawn?
Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on May 03, 2017, 02:38:02 AM
A fully developed drawn will fill a wheelbarrow when dug out.

Drawn?
Dug out for transfer or disposal. It can get to be unwieldy when loading into the wheelbarrow. Smaller tendrils will go out for many more feet in the ground.
Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: ultravista on May 03, 2017, 02:40:14 AM
Enough to fill a wheel barrow, after one years growth?
Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on May 03, 2017, 02:44:15 AM
Enough to fill a wheel barrow, after one years growth?
Maybe in Yakima. Not in other places.

The buckets will be restrictive after a while. You did get crowns, so they may be feeling pinched.

Have you checked soil pH? Hops like neutral-ish to slightly acidic.
Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: b-hoppy on May 03, 2017, 03:45:45 AM
Enough to fill a wheel barrow, after one years growth?

The picture of the excavated hop crown in the article shows it's size in relation to the blue 5gal bucket.  http://allaboutbeer.com/canadian-red-vine/   Sure it's established, but those rhizomes that are exposed get lopped off every spring so what you're seeing is what that plant produced in the way of rhizomes over one growing season, yes they can get big.  Also, at this time of the year in traditional growing areas, soils are still just gradually warming up and there's a ton of feeder roots being formed.  The fact that your soil is above ground and sitting on a surface that absorbs heat (then is radiated back into the surrounding areas at night) mostly has a huge impact on the hops.  Tomatoes and peppers love the heat on their roots, hops - not so much, especially early in the season.  Just by moving them out into the lawn will help cool things down a little for you.
Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: ultravista on May 03, 2017, 04:49:36 AM
These crowns arrived small, maybe the size of an average mans fist. Nothing substantial for sure. I'll see where I can move them after transplanting into a larger container. I will also know if the root system is large or small. At this point, I am betting on small.

I found a photo online - mine arrive more like the 'hop start' on the left but it had no leaves.

(http://www.homebrewtalk.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=40510&d=1323743240)
Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: ultravista on May 06, 2017, 12:52:21 AM
I spoke with Carrie @ Great Lake Hops today. She suggested that the hops may have gone dormant - they arrived in early February from Michigan where they were dug out of the hard ground while dormant. When I received them, they were planted within a few days.

Carrie thinks that perhaps because they were in a cycle of dormancy, forced out of dormancy (by planting), then went dormant again.

This theory does explain why there was a small growth spurt then nothing since ...

Does this sound plausible? If yes, and these are indeed dormant, what can I do, if anything, to break the dormancy and start them growing again?
Title: Re: First Year Hop Plant Growth is Lackluster - WTF?
Post by: ultravista on May 07, 2017, 02:02:03 PM
Anyone?