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Old 09-04-2008, 03:50 PM   #1
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Default Hanna might ruin my hops, advice?

So my nugget plants (2) have done relatively well this year. The one plant I had in a large pot was doing great and probably would have had a decent first year's yield, but I went on vacation for 2 week and the neighbor who said they'd water it didn't. Well over half the leaves turned brown and died. There's maybe a dozen cones on that plant that might be harvestable, but not for a few more weeks.

The second plant, that's in the ground in my backyard, started out a slow grower, but it rebounded nicely and has at least 3-4 dozen cones that are getting really close to being "ripe", but they're not browning at the tips just yet, and they don't really have any scent yet either.

I live just a couple miles from Wilmington, NC, and TS/Hurr. Hannah is bearing down on this region. Looks like we're going to take the brunt of the storm. If Hannah doesn't do it, then Ike might just deliver the knock out punch (can't help but think of Ike Turner).

So, do I cut 'em down, pluck what I can now and hope for the best, or do nothing and pray that the ensuing winds don't tear up my roots?

Other options and ideas would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 09-04-2008, 05:07 PM   #2
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Technically if these plants are the first years growth, the plant invests more energy in root growth than it does vegitative (vines and such). The first harvest is not generally recommended for use in beers due to unknown alpha acid content, but it would be ok for aroma or use in a hop back. If a hurricane is headed your way, and they are stuck outside, I would cut them down, leaving only a foot above ground as a base for next years vigorous growth. Or leave them be and watch them fly away, probobly taking the new root growth with it.

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Old 09-04-2008, 07:36 PM   #3
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Yeah, I kind of knew that they're going to have to come down. It's just going to be hard cutting them.

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Old 09-04-2008, 07:43 PM   #4
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First, unless the pots are huge I'd get those potted hops in the ground. 2 weeks without watering would have been a breeze in teh ground, If you had watered well before vacation.

I would hold off on chopping the hops til it starts to get too windy to venture outside. Even then I would wait til last minute. Instead I would opt to lay the bines down to weather the winds.

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Old 09-04-2008, 08:00 PM   #5
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First, unless the pots are huge I'd get those potted hops in the ground. 2 weeks without watering would have been a breeze in teh ground, If you had watered well before vacation.
The pot is actually a pretty large one, as it took over 2 cubic feet of potting soil to fill. Problem was that, even with the humidity we have here, we had weeks of 90 plus degree heat and that pot could have been a 55 gallon drum and it would have dried out. I haven't really picked out a good spot for this one to go in the ground yet, and it was a bonus rhizome from Hops Direct that I didn't even know if it would sprout. I guess I'm going to find a spot soon.

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I would hold off on chopping the hops til it starts to get too windy to venture outside. Even then I would wait til last minute. Instead I would opt to lay the bines down to weather the winds.
I think I'll just go ahead and cut 'em down. Who knows, it's warm enough down here through Thanksgiving that the darn things might just try to grow a whole new bine!
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Old 09-05-2008, 01:49 AM   #6
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Hops are pretty resiliant. Since you won't be using the cones and since they are most likely on a structure, if the structure is strong enough then I would hold off on cutting them to keep them growing. If the structure is such that is not secure then cut them down and wait till next season.

Good luck!

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Old 09-05-2008, 12:29 PM   #7
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Why wouldn't you use them? So the alphas will be hard to predict. So what? Try them anyway. No sense wasting them. I'd harvest right before storm and dry ASAP and give them a try.

And, I'd lay the plants down for the storm and secure the pots if possible. If they survive, you get a bit more root growth. If not, you aren't out anything.

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Old 09-05-2008, 12:37 PM   #8
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Im more concerned about Ike and Josephine down here in FL

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Old 09-05-2008, 03:52 PM   #9
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Leave them alone. If Hanna hits & kills them, that's just the tops. But cutting them now will mean a slower start in the Spring.

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Old 09-05-2008, 09:26 PM   #10
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Well, I'm done.

I cut the potted one about 2 feet up from the soil. It just wasn't doing that great since July anyways, and I'll put it in the ground in another location next week.

The one in the back yard is doing well and it's probably going to weather the storm well. I left it alone.

Thanks for all the feedback everyone.

FishinDave07, there's a little while yet for Ike to decide on a strike zone, I hope whoever gets it is ready and stays safe.

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