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Old 07-07-2010, 07:18 PM   #1
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Default How tall is too tall? (They're still getting taller ..)

The previous owner of my house grew hops. I wanted to start growing hops, and was quite excited to see his hops sprout out of the ground in the Spring.


Once they were a few feet long, I put a string up for them to climb. The string goes up to the top of my porch, which is nearly 20 foot.

The hops grew almost a foot a day for the last two weeks and have now surpassed the top of the string.

And, they are still growing. There is about five foot of hop top that is twining around, trying to find a place to go, but getting nowhere.

What should I do? How tall is too tall?

Any higher and I won't be able to harvest them without borrowing a longer ladder.

I feel bad, because they want to keep growing. Can I train them down? Or should I look into training them across the top of my porch?

And I still have no clue what type of hops they are, I probably never will know what they are. Except, I suspect he planted a bittering hop, rather than an aromatic hop *sigh*. Why grow the one you can buy cheaply, rather than the expensive one I will never understand. Then again, I might end up getting lucky!


Thanks for the tips!



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Old 07-07-2010, 07:54 PM   #2
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I am coming to the same point with mine. Once they get too tall they will just break off. Or you could train them sideways.

I have heard some people just cut the tips and that way the bine will put out more side shoots and lead to better growth for the hop producing parts of the plant.



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Old 07-07-2010, 08:15 PM   #3
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My hops are also over the top of my house so I had to cut them. I did not expect them to get that tall but hey, it's not a bad thing.

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Old 07-07-2010, 08:28 PM   #4
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At this point, the logistics of harvesting become important. Too tall equals more danger. Let's be careful on those ladders people!

Train them sideways.

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Old 07-07-2010, 08:36 PM   #5
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*carefully* loop them back around like a lasso and wrap the tip back around the twine like when you first trained it. Not sure where you're located but most of the plants in this area (SW lower MI) are starting to spur and the vertical growth slows drastically. Worst that could happen is you break the plant which is exactly what will happen to five feet of unsupported bine on your next windy day. Horizontal growth is an option as well as long as you don't mind climbing a ladder to re-train almost daily. Sounds like you have a very healthy plant!

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Old 07-07-2010, 10:58 PM   #6
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Safety ! What's that? Do we have an OSHA inspector in the forum? HAHA I'm just kidding, I was actually trying to determine how in the hell I was going to pick these things. At the beginning of the season I contemplated hooking up a carabiner and running another line to the ground so I could lower the vines. But then I said to myself, "there's no way they will get that tall". Well I was wrong!

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Old 07-08-2010, 01:22 AM   #7
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The peak of my house is 20 odd feet, my hops are floating in the air reaching for clouds. Eventually under their own weight they will break or droop grab on to a bine and start to loop on their own.

For me, I don't worry about it. I've heard of other people 'looping' them or cutting a tip so they stop growing. I like to see how crazy they will get.

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Old 07-08-2010, 05:59 AM   #8
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Build a addition.

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Old 07-08-2010, 12:46 PM   #9
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Let them top out and don't worry about it. I use a pulley system so I don't have to get on a ladder (after installed). They tangle up in the pulley and wrap around the lowering rope - I just give a tug and they usually come down. Otherwise I get on a ladder just long enough to cut the tangle and get back on the ground (I DON'T LIKE HEIGHTS).

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Old 07-08-2010, 06:52 PM   #10
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I think these are commercially grown at 18 feet. Mine are mostly higher. Maybe you don't get any more yield after 18 feet? Either that or its a point of diminishing return.



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