Author Topic: Growing Hops questions  (Read 652 times)

Offline WDE97

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
  • Lewiston, ID
    • View Profile
Growing Hops questions
« on: August 26, 2011, 11:50:46 AM »
A few days ago I stumbled into an opportunity to obtain some mature hop plants and have a few questions for those of you who grow your own hops. These plants are decades old, growing up and covering an old homestead barn.   They are extremely healthy and robust looking with lots of cones.  I belive the cones will be ready for harvest in mid-September.  I have not grown hops before, but was planning on starting next spring, so I have done some reading up on the subject. However, everything I can find relates to planting small rhizomes, not mature plants.

So, my main questions are:

1. When would be the best time to dig up and transplant these mature plants? 
2. Are there any suggestions on the best way remove them, transport them, and replant them?

Thanks!!
Robert H.

There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.    - Steven Wright

On tap: Oak Aged Bourbon Stout, Flander's Red, IPA, Belgian Pale, Northern English Brown Ale.

Fermenting: Flander's Red, RIS.

Aging: 4 Flander's Red Ales, Belgian Dark Strong, RIS.

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Growing Hops questions
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2011, 12:27:18 PM »
Dig the crowns when they are dormant, but you need to make sure the ground is thawed too. :)  Mark them so you'll remember where they are.

And don't move the whole thing, just hack off a good chunk, I wouldn't go with anything bigger than 12" in any direction.
Tom Schmidlin

Online morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5688
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Growing Hops questions
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2011, 12:41:40 PM »
If the person giving is hopeing to get rid of the hops by letting you take them they have a nasty suprise coming next spring. Hops are almost as hard as horseradish to really get rid of. just one little piece of rhyzome left will regenerate into the same of monster after a few years.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline WDE97

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
  • Lewiston, ID
    • View Profile
Re: Growing Hops questions
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2011, 02:48:04 PM »
Dig the crowns when they are dormant, but you need to make sure the ground is thawed too. :)  Mark them so you'll remember where they are.

And don't move the whole thing, just hack off a good chunk, I wouldn't go with anything bigger than 12" in any direction.

Thanks Tom,

I was planning on digging them up in late September when I harvested the cones, but I will see if the landowners mind me going back later in the fall/winter. 

If the person giving is hopeing to get rid of the hops by letting you take them they have a nasty suprise coming next spring. Hops are almost as hard as horseradish to really get rid of. just one little piece of rhyzome left will regenerate into the same of monster after a few years.

Funny you should point that out.  The landowners have been trying to kill them off for a few years. Apparently, someone told them it was illegal to grow hops! :-[  She was happy to hear she wasn't in violation of the law.  However, they are planning on moving the historic shop and building a new shop on that site. Since the plants probably won't survive being under a couple feet of concrete, she was happy I was interested in taking a few and would be able to make good use of them.
Robert H.

There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.    - Steven Wright

On tap: Oak Aged Bourbon Stout, Flander's Red, IPA, Belgian Pale, Northern English Brown Ale.

Fermenting: Flander's Red, RIS.

Aging: 4 Flander's Red Ales, Belgian Dark Strong, RIS.

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Growing Hops questions
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2011, 03:01:21 PM »
I was planning on digging them up in late September when I harvested the cones, but I will see if the landowners mind me going back later in the fall/winter. 
They're pretty hardy, so if Sept is when you have to get them it will probably be fine.
Tom Schmidlin