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Old 02-09-2011, 11:01 PM   #1
coldrice
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Default Container Question: Do The Roots Decompose?

So here's one... I'm planning on putting two sterling rhizomes in one of those big plastic 'keg' tubs with the rope handles. I'm an organic gardener of some repute, so i have good knowledge of fertilization and soil structure. But the question is, when the plant goes into its second and third year cycles, do container hop gardeners generally dump out the previous year's soil and build it back anew? If not, wouldn't the previous year's roots get in the way and eventually result in a catastrophic tangling of roots competing for survival? Or do roots not re-establish unless they are seperated from the rhizome? I guess i don't have that much knowledge of perennials, as the bulk of my experience is with vegetables, herbs and annual flowers. I'd appreciate some input here, let me know if this didn't make sense and I'll try to lay it down differently for ya- thanks.

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Old 02-09-2011, 11:30 PM   #2
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I'm fairly certain the pot will go "root/rhizome bound" pretty quick...you'll run out of soil and nutrients and have nothing left but roots/rhizomes.

Without drainage, you also run the risk of the roots/rhizomes simply rotting out.

Without the root/rhizome growth, you'll not get robust cone growth every year and you'll essentially be stunting the plant.

Pots are not the preferred way to go but I'm betting some here have experience and can lead you in the best direction if you are still set on it.

Good luck!

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Old 02-10-2011, 12:09 PM   #3
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If you are going to grow hops in a trug, you need to get the soil mix right.
30% soil based compost ( I dont know if you get John Innes No3 in the US)
20% gravel
20% well rotted manure
30% quality top soil
Dont forget to puncture the bottom of the trug. It will become pot bound after about 3-4 seasons, but if you take root cuttings in the spring you will have a everlasting supply.
Top dress in the spring with well rotted manure.
Dont over water.
HTH Johnnyboy

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Old 02-10-2011, 02:34 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tips... I actually plan on living somewhere permanent within 3 years so i can put them in the ground. I have a large garden now, but I am fearful of the hops spreading too far and taking over (is this a real concern or should I just put them in the ground). The other thing is, say I grow them in a container for 3 years and yields get better and better, etc... then I cut out rhizomes and plant them in the ground soemwhere, is this like year 1 all over again because they are experiencing a new beginning? What is it that makes the plants flourish more in subsequent years? Just root development or is it the rhizomes getting larger? Sorry for the possibly stupid questions, but like I said I really have no knowledge of perrenial growth habits. Thanks.

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Old 02-12-2011, 09:38 AM   #5
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Its easy to replant rhizomes into the ground if they have been growing in a trug. Just dig a whole wider than the trug and 18 inches deeper. Fill bottom of the hole with well rotted manure and dump the hole lot in. Try to keep them at the same surface level as growing in the trug. Back fill with more manure. This is best done in the spring, just as the shoots are emerging. They should crop as well as 3-4 year plants.

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Old 02-12-2011, 01:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyboy1965 View Post
If you are going to grow hops in a trug, you need to get the soil mix right.
30% soil based compost ( I dont know if you get John Innes No3 in the US)
20% gravel
20% well rotted manure
30% quality top soil
Dont forget to puncture the bottom of the trug. It will become pot bound after about 3-4 seasons, but if you take root cuttings in the spring you will have a everlasting supply.
Top dress in the spring with well rotted manure.
Dont over water.
HTH Johnnyboy
What did you mean by taking root cuttings in the spring? Also, if I decided to grow them in the ground, would they be removable next year or would that be an enormous pain? When we move out of this place, I have to solarize my garden area with plastic and plant grass again, anyway. I don't think any rhizome tidbits I would leave behind would survive that. I think I'm still going to do the trug thing, so its transportable, but I'm just curious...
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:53 AM   #7
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In spring, as the new shoots emerge wait till they get to about 4 inches high. Grab one of these shoots and with a sharp knife cut right down until it comes away from the parent plant. Into a 6 inch plastic pot add 50% compost and 50% fine grit or Vermiculite and put these cuttings at the very edge of the pot. Water well, wrap the pot in a clear plastic bag and keep in a warm and well lit place. Within a month you will have new plants, keep potting these on until they are ready to be planted outside.

If you are going to be moving house in 12 months time then it is a bit pointless planting rhizomes into the ground. Plant them in a trug and take the trug with you.

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Old 02-15-2011, 11:16 PM   #8
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This is what happens to a hop plant after a couple years in a container.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f92/root-bound-maybe-165804/

Plant if you can. The top of my Northern Brewer hop plant (still in a container) looks like its decomposing a little bit. I am going to try to give him away this year to someone who can plant him in the ground.

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