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-   -   Attn. First year hop growers (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f92/attn-first-year-hop-growers-70915/)

hopboy 06-30-2008 10:01 PM

Attn. First year hop growers
First year hop growers have many questions. First, hops need patience. First year you won't see much growth. Second maybe full grown. Might be third year before you get flowers. Before you know it they will take over your flower bed or yard.

Next, they need sun light. The more sunlight the better the growth. The north west part of the U.S. is one of the largest hop growing regions of the world...long daylight hours...great for growing.

Followed next by water. How much water truly depends on whether they are in a planter or in the ground. How much again depends on soil and humidity. I live in Colorado and my hops drink as much water as I can give them. Never seems too much and the more water the better the growth...again its in Colorado.

Finally, nutrients. You want good plants? Production? Don't skimp on good soil and good pooh! When I cut mine down in the fall I cover with either new top soil or peat moss, or cow manure and then do the same in the spring as they start up.

BE PATIENT! Mine are 15 years old and soon they will break my window and kill me for my wife...those hop bastards!


Milhouse 06-30-2008 10:06 PM

Thanks for the good advice hopboy.

HomerT 07-01-2008 01:07 PM

Good to know. This is my first year, and one of the two I planted died shortly after it poked out. The other has taken over my house....




HomerT 07-02-2008 01:33 PM

I was on a ladder last night, and I believe I have quite a few flowers begining to grow on this vine. Curiosly, they all appear to be on the top 1/3~1/2 of the vine. Is this normal?

SteveM 07-02-2008 01:40 PM

Another question - do we cut 'em down to the ground at the end of the year? I've heard this was done but I sure would like to hear from someone who has to worry because his plants are doing so well that they might run off with his wife.

GilaMinumBeer 07-02-2008 01:55 PM

Some generally good pointers but, alot has to do with your specific zone and soils conditions.

I planted 10 new rhisomes this year and 8 of them have exceed the limits of my 14 foot tall trellis. Furthermore, they are all blooming as well. Best guess estimate appears that there is already about 2 to 3 pounds of wet cones forming on these first year plants.

So, to say not to "expect" a lot of growth or blooms is valid but, the opposite is entirely possible.

As for sun, that too is a "generally valid" statement which is largely dependent on your zone. Right now in Zone 7 on the 35 parralell we are having nice warm, mild, somewhat moist climate conditions but, very soon we will be having windy, dry, blast furnace type heat. Triple digits in July is not a rarity here. Couple that with full sun exposure and you get marginal burning, sometimes mildly scorched leaves. Even with routine waterings.

If it gets too hot and dry in your area it's entirely possible that the moisture in the upper reaches of the plant can evaporate before the plant can replenish. Thus, in that climate some shade is benificial.

Not much to argue about with respect to nutrients. But be warned with chemical fertilizers as too much, especially in hot conditions, can burn easily.

One thing I practice that it seems few others do is "Foliar Feeding". That is a dilute mixture of fertilizer (compost tea prefferred) applied in the evening when temps are cooler (but not too late that the water will stay on too long) directly to the leaves. I use a 2 gallon garden sprayer. This promotes healthy green foliage to all parts of the plant and can provide a boost to those parts that take the longest to reach via normal root system pathways.

Good Luck.

cuinrearview 07-02-2008 11:23 PM

Curiosly, they all appear to be on the top 1/3~1/2 of the vine. Is this normal?

This is normal, and as we get closer to harvest you'll notice the leaves below yellow and die.

hopboy 07-03-2008 08:10 PM

The buds/flowers will be in the top portion.

During hot/dry/windy weather I water a little more.

When they become brown or "die" you can cut them back to the ground.

I have 4 hop beds. My oldest bed runs up to my roof and gets cut down every fall. This bed is used as shade for 4 windows and a back drop for a patio.

In my other beds the hops grow on "welded wire" fencing. These are new beds ranging from 1-3 years old. These hop beds act as a natural privacy fence between my yard and two neighbors. I am leaving the hops on the fence to see if will become a natural lattice.

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