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Old 01-10-2014, 04:40 PM   #1
Daniel1980
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Default Digging up first year rhizomes a good idea?

I have a local farmer wanting to add hops to his spring planting and my local HBS may want some also so I told them I would give them one or two rhizomes from my 1st year cascade but as I started to research when to dig I haven't found much info on when to dig and what age plant is best to harvest rhizomes from etc.... Any advice or links would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 01-10-2014, 06:58 PM   #2
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No they are too young. At a year, the rhizomes you have may not have even grown long enough to contain buds. If they do, there isn't enough energy stored to give a viable plant. Usually, wait at least 3 years but more like 5.

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Old 01-10-2014, 07:32 PM   #3
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Oh wow. That's good to know. Thanks.

We are actually considering moving in the next couple of years. The crown can be transplanted before that amount of time, correct?

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Old 01-10-2014, 09:06 PM   #4
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Default when to dig up rhizomes

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Originally Posted by Daniel1980 View Post
Oh wow. That's good to know. Thanks.

We are actually considering moving in the next couple of years. The crown can be transplanted before that amount of time, correct?
Leave the baby in the ground for now. When you move take it with you and replant it after you trim the rhizomes it has (not the roots)
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Old 01-10-2014, 09:53 PM   #5
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You can propagate hops without rhizomes, just bury some random runners under an inch of soil and within a week or two the buried portions will sprout a crap load of rootlets and can be cut free and planted (treat them like the wee nursery plants they are - plenty of water until they get established)...

Cheers!

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Old 01-11-2014, 03:52 AM   #6
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A couple years ago after I did my annual spring pruning of my crowns, I took three rhizomes from a Chinook plant and stuck them in the ground. The pictures show what happened to those little sticks over the course of one growing season. You can see that the original rhizomes managed to thicken up very nicely (they're the parts of the plant with all the white/pruple tipped shoots poking out from them). The other long slender structures WITHOUT the shoots protruding are the roots. They generally form below the base of the crown unless the original rhizome was planted horizontally. If this was the case, those roots will tend to form along the entire length of that original rhizome. The last picture is a good example of this. All you have to do is to rotate the picture to the left 90 degrees and it becomes more apparent(just don't spill the beer) If I would have left those in the ground to grow a second season, some of those lower shoots could have turned into rhizomes by the end of the year. I say 'the lower ones' for the simple fact that as they continue to grow, their orientation dictates that they'll most likely produce a few inches or more of underground growth until they break the surface and you see them. That entire portion that grew underground will have developed buds along it's entire length during the growing season which will provide new/additional shoots the following spring. So Dan's right again! If you have vigorous stock and excellent growing conditions you can take some cuttings after the second year but you most definitely should do some thinning after the third year. Daytripper also makes a good point of how you can force what normally would have been an arial shoot to turn into a rhizome by continuously covering it with soil. Can't wait till spring!

chinook-1.jpg   chinook-2.jpg   chinook-3.jpg  
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:23 PM   #7
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Very good info and thanks for the photos. It helps to see what I should be looking for. I will definitely let these go one more year at least.

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Old 01-14-2014, 01:56 AM   #8
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I look for hop shoots coming up a foot or more from the main plant and cut them with the shovel. I then use those to expand my hop garden or trade/give to other brewers in the area. There's nothing that says you can't do that with 1 year old plants. But I wouldn't dig up the crown to trim it, just keep an eye open for plants spreading too far.

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