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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: wiley on February 11, 2011, 03:55:24 PM

Title: Rhizome Trimming
Post by: wiley on February 11, 2011, 03:55:24 PM
Two years ago, I (like many crazy homebrewers) decided to test my green thumb in the spirit of self-sustainable brews by planting some rhizomes. Now that the little guys have had a couple of years to get established, I'm wondering when I need to dig up the rhizomes and trim them back.

Any thoughts on timing, frequency, procedures, etc.? I've heard of digging up the entire "ball" and replanting after trimming up the ball, but that seems like overkill....
Title: Re: Rhizome Trimming
Post by: denny on February 11, 2011, 04:23:03 PM
I've had hops growing for over 10 years and I've never trimmed the rhizome.
Title: Re: Rhizome Trimming
Post by: dean on February 11, 2011, 04:43:06 PM
Wow!  Thats good to know because I'd like to let mine basically go wild, creating a wonderful green screen.  Those that do well, I'll take some cuttings and start a few solely for the purpose of beer.
Title: Re: Rhizome Trimming
Post by: pinnah on February 11, 2011, 08:16:53 PM
Denny is right, you don't really have to trim anything on the hop plant,
as long as you don't mind it spreading.  Because it will.  

So,
one reason why you might want to trim,

.....is to control how far the plant can expand.

If you have another variety planted nearby,
you may want to trim those shoots that are headed toward the other plant
to prevent intermingling.  I hear that is bad.

...or if you have lots of friends that you want to infect with some rhizomes.

....or if you want to control where the plant is concentrating it's upward energy

....or if they are taking over the potato patch

 ;)  Early spring, as soon as you can work the soil is the time.

You are right, overkill on taking the whole ball.  Just sink your sharp spade down around the perimeter and rip up the shallow rhizomes that are extending away from the plant.  Roots are deeper, leave those alone if possible.

Cheers to self-sustainable brews....my favorite is a classic recipe using all homegrown Mt Hood and Zeus. ;D



On that note, Denny, is the deer fence up?  Cause I am going to send you some rhizomes this year.  Haha.   :'(





Title: Re: Rhizome Trimming
Post by: denny on February 11, 2011, 09:19:11 PM
On that note, Denny, is the deer fence up?  Cause I am going to send you some rhizomes this year.  Haha.   :'(

Not yet, but hopefully this spring.  Even if it's not, I'll find a place!
Title: Re: Rhizome Trimming
Post by: wiley on February 11, 2011, 09:29:10 PM
Pinnah - that's kind of the story that I had heard... trimming back the rhizomes helps to keep them 'organized' in your garden and you can spread the wealth of homegrown hops!

In the vein of self-sustainable brews, anyone ever tried home-malting? I've done a couple of brews with homemade malt following the guidance from 'The Homebrewer's Garden', but haven't run into any other homebrewers with the frivolity of attempting such feats...
Title: Re: Rhizome Trimming
Post by: Steve on February 12, 2011, 07:42:59 PM
I have my rhizomes planted inside a circle of edging which keeps them contained for a bit.  When they get built up inside the circle I can cut them up to keep them manageable.   I use a sharp half-moon edger to slice through them.   
Title: Re: Rhizome Trimming
Post by: pinnah on February 25, 2011, 04:21:59 PM
Just thought that I would add,

this is the best tool I have found for snipping rhizomes:

(http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c30/pinnah/zeuscutter.jpg)


It is a pvc pipe cutter, and does not crush the rhizome like scissors or a spade can,
and it is much safer than a knife.

Cheers to spring.

oh, and yea, the purple ones are the best.
Title: Re: Rhizome Trimming
Post by: Steve on February 25, 2011, 05:11:20 PM
Perfect!  Nice slices to give away. The purple is very manly and you can see them easily when laying on the ground.
Title: Re: Rhizome Trimming
Post by: corkybstewart on February 25, 2011, 06:42:19 PM
look at those wasted cones on the ground, shame on you.