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Old 03-17-2012, 05:04 PM   #1
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Default How to prune/trim hops in the spring?

In the past week my hops plant has totally gone bonkers. It was completely dead and now there are probably half a dozen bines or more sticking out looking for something to climb up. I need to put up my twine, but how many of these bines should I keep? Should I kill all but 2 or so? Or is it too early? I started this plant mid-year last year and grew up about 5 feet but never bore any fruit. I would like to get at least something this year.

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Old 03-19-2012, 02:29 AM   #2
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I wait until the longest bine is 2-3 ft. Much shorter and they can break when you wrap them on the twine. I keep 3-4 bines and cut the rest.

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Old 03-19-2012, 06:13 PM   #3
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I cut all the first bines at about 10-12 inches completely to the soil and then keep 3-4 bines on the second set.

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Old 03-19-2012, 07:42 PM   #4
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I plan 2 strings per plant and 3-4 bines per string. That should give me a pretty decent yield. Some of my plants have a lot more than that coming up now so I started trimming them back to the number I want/need.

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Old 03-19-2012, 10:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerloaf View Post
I plan 2 strings per plant and 3-4 bines per string. That should give me a pretty decent yield. Some of my plants have a lot more than that coming up now so I started trimming them back to the number I want/need.

beerloaf
So that's 6-8 bines per plant?!?! I am intrigued. How long have your hops been established? I only ask because I assume that as the roots get more established, they could better support lots of bines. I grew 2 or 3 bines on my first year hops, and would love to think that I could do more eventually.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:53 PM   #6
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Yes thats correct. It depends on the age of the plant and how well it grows. I only had issues with a few of my 1 year plants last year. But this year I plan to have a larger harvest. The reality is that that is what I would like to do and from the looks of it some of the plants will let me. Some of the others probably only have 2-3 bines. I know my Cascade, Hallertau, Centennial and Chinook will probably have a lot of bines and will support them easily. However some of the slow and lower yield plants, like Mt Hood for example I will be happy with 2 strong bines coming up. So each plant is different. Mine are 2nd year plants except for my Saaz and Fuggle which I planted 2 weeks ago. You would be surprised to see how much and how big the roots get, even with young plants. I was very surprised when I accidentally chopped almost half of a root structure off with my shovel when I transplanted 3 of them.

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Old 03-19-2012, 10:57 PM   #7
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Also I forgot to mention if you have 1st year plants. Then just let them grow and do what they want, so that they can establish a large and healthy root structure. I did that and most of mine did really well.

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Old 03-31-2012, 08:43 PM   #8
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Agreed, leave first year plants alone...possibly even 2nd year plants. My 3rd plants just broke grouknd last week and there are about 30 bines about 10 inches tall already. I'm thinking I might need to trim them sooner than later.

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Old 04-01-2012, 04:16 AM   #9
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x3. My dad planted his hops two years ago, and the last two years he just let them go, for the most part. This year (3rd year) it's clear there are way too many bines coming up, and some trimming will need to be done.

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