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Messages - b-hoppy

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Hop Growing / Re: IV International Humulus Symposium Yakima, WA.
« on: August 13, 2015, 11:14:54 PM »
Sorry, I forgot to include the link:  There's some really cool stuff going on behind the scenes in the industry, plus the possibility of irradiated hops on the horizon?

Ingredients / Re: Downey Mildew and Michigan Hops
« on: July 28, 2015, 07:26:40 AM »
I'm betting the new hop farm in central Indiana (Sugar Creek Hops) has to be in the same boat. We've had double the normal rainfall for 3 straight months now. Not very hop friendly.

I happened to see this picture they posted a while back and it's hard to tell, but there's some very pale (lemon yellowish) pockets of foliage which sure look like the beginning stages of downy: This is a very good example of why it's important to keep the lower vegetation cleared away from the crowns as that's the location the infection usually gets started.

Hop Growing / IV International Humulus Symposium Yakima, WA.
« on: July 24, 2015, 10:18:09 AM »
Sounds like a pretty good time with some excellent topics covered, anyone going?

Hop Growing / ATTN: Michigan Hop Enthusiasts
« on: July 17, 2015, 10:22:27 AM »
Cool event put on by MSU Extension.  Looks like the timing is such that some of the early varieties may be ready to harvest.  Check it out if you're in the area.

Hop Growing / Re: Hop Growning and Yellow Leaves
« on: June 08, 2015, 06:42:41 AM »
It the upper portion of the plants look o.k. and the yellowing is confined to the lowest leaves, that's a common occurrence.  I remember seeing a somewhat technical explanation suggesting the plants may begin to draw nutrients from the older leaves.  I don't know if this is accurate but it happens every year on mine, some varieties more pronounced than others.

Hop Growing / Re: Hop Growning and Yellow Leaves
« on: May 27, 2015, 08:27:47 PM »
It's hard getting a good idea of the amount of yellowing from the pictures but the individual leaf shown may just be a fluke as the discoloration appears somewhat random.  Your fertility looks to be good as the dark green grass at the base of the pots suggests a little N leaching (possibly). 

Here's a pretty good resource for hop problems with nutrient deficiencies shown near the end:

We've had spells of about a week here and there where the daytime temps would reach 70-75F and nights down as low as 30F.  This brought growth to a standstill and did cause some of the new growth near the tips to discolor somewhat but the recent increase in temps have things back on track.  Every year brings new issues!

Hop Growing / Re: Thinking about growing hops
« on: May 15, 2015, 09:54:23 AM »
Thanks Jeff.  Gardening is such a ubiquitous hobby that many folks overlook the fact that people (myself included) actually earn degrees in plant related fields, haha!  And Denny, it's really a treat to be able to talk to like folks like Jason who are working off of 4-5 generations of experience.  It's all good~

Hop Growing / Re: Thinking about growing hops
« on: May 15, 2015, 07:43:21 AM »
 I was fortunate to enough to meet and pick the brains of lots of hop folks over the years, and one of the first was Al Haunold back in the early 90's. He was the head of the breeding program down in Corvallis for about 30 years until he retired in the late 90's and is responsible for many of the public varieties being grown today. Here's a really good article that explains what hops are, how they grow and a bit about breeding: From what I've learned from growers and merchants in Oregon and Washington, this transcript from a presentation from Jason Perrault of Select Botanicals is spot on (and a little more): There's tons of really high quality info out there but you have to do a little searching. Hoppy Trails~

Ingredients / Re: Using your back yard creek
« on: April 19, 2015, 07:29:45 AM »
I'm sure the brewers in California are looking at ways to become more creative with their available water and may even be looking at cleaning up and reusing their waste water like this:

Hop Growing / Re: Container hop growing
« on: April 06, 2015, 10:40:25 PM »
So after a couple years, what the best thing to do? Dig them out, cut the rhizomes back and replant a small rhizome?

Pretty much if they're grown in the earth, after about 3 years it's time to start doing some serious pruning.  Certain varieties are much more vigorous than others, but it's always a good idea to dig a trench around them in the third year.  You can trim back any rhizomes that are making their way away from the crown and you can keep them in check. 

Containers are a different story.  I've started a few rhizomes in 5 gal buckets and the roots pretty much destroyed the drain holes after their first growing season (as I found out when I went to move them).  In a bigger container like a half whiskey bbl, I'd say dig the whole crown out at the beginning of the third year and trim it back hard.  You'll know how much to trim once you get it out of the soil and see what you're dealing with.  For the most part, they don't care and will continue to grow no matter how much you abuse them.

Hop Growing / Re: Trim back first shoots?
« on: April 04, 2015, 10:08:01 AM »
I just saw a post from HopUnion (I think) on their Facebook page that shows a tractor traveling along the rows with a gas flame unit that burns off the new growth from each crown. No cutting for them.

Right on!  The organic growers sometimes utilize 'fire' as a non-chemical way to control weeds, so if they have the equipment, why not utilize it?  Everyone has their own way to accomplish this task so it's all good! :

Hop Growing / Re: Trim back first shoots?
« on: April 04, 2015, 08:41:37 AM »
Just a follow-up about removing the early shoots from a disease prevention angle.  For those of you on facebook, here's a page that deals with hop growing in the PNW:  For those who aren't, the following was taken from their page recently.

"Thorough removal of surface crown buds and shoots in spring is of utmost importance in the PNW for delaying both mildews. Many reports coming in of unusually high levels of powdery in Washington for early April, which emphasizes the need for aggressive pruning to eliminate overwintered mildew. Above is a yard in Oregon that was crowned very well--powdery mildew will not survive here and must blow in to get started"

Hop Growing / Re: Trim back first shoots?
« on: April 01, 2015, 09:38:56 AM »
The closer you can get them back to the crown the better.  If you end up leaving a little 'nub', additional buds will form near it's base and you'll end up having a crown that looks like a chia, ha!  This is another good reason to shave the top buds off of the crown once it's pretty well established.   

Hop Growing / Re: Trim back first shoots?
« on: March 31, 2015, 11:25:51 PM »
In the first year, especially if you started with rhizomes, you're better to just let everything grow.  The only energy that rhizome has is what's stored inside of itself and it has to use that limited amount of energy to do two things, grow roots and also grow shoots.  The roots will enable it to draw nourishment from the soil in the future and the shoots will enable it to produce additional energy to help sustain growth.  Hops are very very efficient at being able to produce way more energy than what they need to sustain their top growth, so any that's left over ends up being sent back to the crown to be stored and used the following season.  After harvest, being that the plants are still alive but really aren't making any new growth, any photosynthesis that's occurring will be used to allow them to blast off the following year.  When the plant first takes off, those simple sugars can produce some really wild and uneven first growth (bull shoots included) which can lead to a lot of variability when harvest time comes as some will climb faster than others.  Removing the first surge of growth at this time and training the shoots that come later will help with more uniformity at harvest.  Home growers don't really have to be too concerned with this issue.

One other reason for cutting back the first growth is to help with disease control.  I guess the overwintering spores of downy mildew will kind of hibernate in the fall buds that form (near the surface of the crown) and those are the first to blast off in the spring.  If left to grow, the resting spores will begin the disease cycle all over again and provide inoculum for further infection as the season progresses.

There have been years that I didn't have time to deal with mine early on and I ended up removing the first two (sometimes three) flushes of growth of growth and still had good crops.  Have fun and don't forget to beat 'em back into submission about every 3 years, they kinda like it!

Hop Growing / Re: UK Hops at 42.42N
« on: March 20, 2015, 08:10:13 AM »
I had to look up the zone where I live, it is 5b. . . .

There were a few mornings back in the college days when that happened to me, been pretty good lately though, haha!

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