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Old 04-17-2010, 03:14 PM   #1
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Default Hop Vines in the mail...

So, I just received some hop vines in the mail. I'd like to plant them. I have no idea what to do next though. These aren't like mail order or anything, a friend sent them to me wrapped in wet paper towels. Inside bubble wrap. Haven't unwrapped them yet because I don't want to accidentally ruin them or anything. Any help on my next step would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 04-17-2010, 03:19 PM   #2
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Has the ground thawed? If so, plant them. If not, put them in your fridge.

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Old 04-18-2010, 02:10 PM   #3
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Bonzailopper, I think I know those vines. (rhizomes). Plant them, they spent a week in my fridge already.

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Old 04-18-2010, 03:18 PM   #4
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Accidentally ruin them? Toughest plant on the plant, can't be done.
Simple instructions: Dig a hole. Drop them in the hole. Cover the hole.
Complicated instructions: Consider placment and soil. Placement: Sun over no sun. Room to grow HIGH over no room to grow. Soil: Good soil, with good drainage is better than say... a block of clay or a pond.

Other considerations. Your Trellis. Make it as tall as your neighbors can tolerate and ensure it will not break in a high wind/storm. Water regularly. Look at them every day and waste time worrying about every little thing. That's about it.

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Old 04-18-2010, 03:27 PM   #5
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They need lots of nitrogen. If you have some mature compost, that'd be perfect. If not, then quarter-strength Miracle-Gro (all-purpose, for veggies, or for tomatoes...all will work), a day or two after you plant them, and again maybe every two weeks until they start to set buds. I use a gallon per plant, sprayed on the leaves and poured on the soil.

Once they're four or five feet tall, remove the foliage (carefully) from the bottom foot or so of each bine. This will discourage mildew and (to some degree) aphids.

They need lots and lots of sun, the more the better.

Keep them watered so that they never start to wilt. (If they do, it's not the end of the world, but try to anticipate watering needs before that happens.)

Water them early in the day so that they'll be dry by dusk. This also discourages mildew.

Any time you notice the leaves aren't as dark green as they once were, give them a quarter-strength Miracle-Gro feeding.

You can plant marigolds around them to discourage unwanted bugs.

This year, let them grow as much as they want -- side shoots, new sprouts, everything. You want them to use all the foliage they can to collect sunlight and make roots this year. You probably won't get much (if any) of a harvest this year. Next year, when the bines come back up, cut all the shoots except for the best-looking two to four, back to the ground so the plant can put all its energy into growing two to four nice strong bines.

(This is all based on my personal experience...I'm sure there are other opinions.)

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Old 04-18-2010, 11:15 PM   #6
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Wow, more feedback than I could have asked for. Thank you all so much. Found a good sunny spot on south side of my house. Going to water every morning, and get some miracle grow. One question though, how do I know exactly when to harvest? And can I freeze them for future use or should I use what I harvest right away?

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Old 04-19-2010, 10:33 AM   #7
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You want to harvest in the fall. The tips of the cones start turning yellow and papery. You then can dry and freeze them. I wouldn't worry about it the first year, usually its a pretty bad turn out.

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Old 04-19-2010, 01:30 PM   #8
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If you're out there every day nursing your hops, you'll notice them change from bright green and fluffy to yellowish and papery thinish. Just like the above said. That's when you want to do it. Don't wait until they are 100% yellow, just when it begins.

You want to pick them, dry them gently. I use a dehydrator my wife owns, but never used. And then I vacuum seal them. Once they are vacuum sealed I freeze them and use them as needed.

You want to get the moisture out of them so you can keep them longer, but you also don't want to cook them under a high heat. Like BBQ: "Low heat, long time". The hardest part about it is PATIENCE.

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Old 04-19-2010, 07:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retrofit View Post
Look at them every day and waste time worrying about every little thing. That's about it.

HA! Done, and Done!
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:38 PM   #10
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Perfect! I'll try and be patient. Already made a horrible stout thanks to my IMpatience, but I'm working on it. Thanks again for quick responses!

John

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