Author Topic: Fourth year of hops  (Read 1191 times)

Offline micsager

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Fourth year of hops
« on: April 02, 2010, 07:17:10 AM »
And I am wondering if other folks are cutting down the first shoots in the spring, and waiting for the next set of shoots, then clipping all but two vines on each hill.  Many of the Hop Gardening websites and books suggest this method, and I've been using it, and it get more hops than I know what to do with.  Just wondering what other folks do.

Offline denny

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Re: Fourth year of hops
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2010, 09:18:23 AM »
I used to do that, but one year my laziness overtook and I didn't do anything.  Didn't even cut back the bines from the previous year.  I think I got about 7 lb. dried from my single plant that year, so obviously it didn't hurt the yield!
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Offline pinnah

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Re: Fourth year of hops
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2010, 11:11:23 AM »
My thoughts:

As far as clipping first shoots,
I have let my first shoots go and never clipped.  Last year a few plants got frost pruned and died back, but the plant threw new and the harvest compared to other years was the same.

A far as trimming to only two bines per plant,
I think it depends on what you are growing them on.

If on a line, it makes sense to limit to two bines. 
If you grow on a fence with lots of surface area, I think it makes better sense to let a bunch of bines go.  I agree with Denny, letting all the bines go does not affect production negatively.


Offline b-hoppy

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Re: Fourth year of hops
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2010, 01:33:34 PM »
i think most of the info. about only letting two or three shoots grow per hill is geared toward commercial production for a number of reasons.  as home growers, our crowns are generally much healthier (more TLC) than the thousands in the hop yards that get mechanically chopped, thinned, sprayed etc..  the thinning of the first shoots helps delay growth to reduce the chances of frost burn and helps to improve air circulation during the growing season to lessen the chance of disease incidence.  most of the new growers have not yet experienced the aftermath of a 5 or so year old crown which was left unattended during the first surge of growth.  after 20 or so years of thinning a couple dozen crowns every spring, i've been able to eliminate about 3/4 of my plants (work) while maintaining the same level of harvest.  just string about 4 poles per crown as they are healthy enough to support the increased number of vines without reduction in yield.


Offline pinnah

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Re: Fourth year of hops
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2010, 07:43:54 AM »
the aftermath of a 5 or so year old crown which was left unattended

 :D, I love that phrase!  The words are just so appropriate for this wickedly prolific weed...Aftermath and unattended.   :D

Thanks for your insight.

Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Fourth year of hops
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2010, 09:28:25 AM »
http://s362.photobucket.com/albums/oo65/rocdoc1/my%20beer%20stuff/?action=view&current=WeeHeavyOctober2009001.jpg
Check out this 5 year old Cascade crown, and I still didn't get it all out of the ground.  Yesterday I noticed hops bines coming up all over the area I dug this out of.  You can see how it would be near impossible to keep this monster down to 2 bines.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2010, 09:30:14 AM by corkybstewart »
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline enso

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Re: Fourth year of hops
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2010, 06:22:13 AM »
http://s362.photobucket.com/albums/oo65/rocdoc1/my%20beer%20stuff/?action=view&current=WeeHeavyOctober2009001.jpg
Check out this 5 year old Cascade crown, and I still didn't get it all out of the ground.  Yesterday I noticed hops bines coming up all over the area I dug this out of.  You can see how it would be near impossible to keep this monster down to 2 bines.



Yup, if you leave any bits still in the ground they will continue to grow and make new crowns!

If we didn't love the hops so much they would be considered an evil weed!
Dave Brush