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Old 05-06-2010, 10:45 PM   #1
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Default Little different hop trimming question

I have my first year cascades well on there way, but here is my dilemma. I did not plant single rhizomes. I dug up a huge clump of rhizomes from a growing patch and replanted in a raised bed. So there are easily 20 rhizomes in the ball and they are growing VERY well. So my question is how do I pick which bines to trim off? I was going trim off the bottom 6 or so inches leaves this weekend, but this thing looks like a thick bush with bines from 2'-10' already growing from it.



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Old 05-06-2010, 11:44 PM   #2
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You don't want to trim any leaves off the bines until around august. This will give the plant room to breath while also sending most of the nutrients to the top half where the hops will be growing. I usually try to cut all but 3 bines for each rope I have strung up. Right now, I have two for each rhizome, so 6 total. Since your hops aren't new rhizomes, you should probably treat them as second years until they get a good footing in your garden. When picking which bines to keep...go for the thickest, healthiest looking ones.



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Old 05-07-2010, 01:43 AM   #3
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you probably want to get in there and thin the mess out before it becomes a GIANT MESS. once it becomes a GIANT MESS it becomes very difficult to determine which shoots you are about to yank out of the ground because of the way they twist together. sure, you could try to untangle them but you usually end up busting a bunch of the tips off in the process (experience). just go in and find as many of the smaller shoots and pull those out trying to leave the more vigorous ones in tact. string them up and once they've begun to climb on their own, then begin to strip some of the lower leaves. the older they are the more brittle they become and tend to break off easier than the very young ones. oh yeah, wait till next year when you have probably a 10x increase in shoots to deal with. it's never too early to start reading up on 'how to thin' your crowns before next spring gets here. have fun!

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Old 05-07-2010, 01:53 AM   #4
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Thanks guys.

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Old 05-07-2010, 04:17 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by B-Hoppy View Post
you probably want to get in there and thin the mess out before it becomes a GIANT MESS. once it becomes a GIANT MESS it becomes very difficult to determine which shoots you are about to yank out of the ground because of the way they twist together. sure, you could try to untangle them but you usually end up busting a bunch of the tips off in the process (experience). just go in and find as many of the smaller shoots and pull those out trying to leave the more vigorous ones in tact. string them up and once they've begun to climb on their own, then begin to strip some of the lower leaves. the older they are the more brittle they become and tend to break off easier than the very young ones. oh yeah, wait till next year when you have probably a 10x increase in shoots to deal with. it's never too early to start reading up on 'how to thin' your crowns before next spring gets here. have fun!
I don't agree with trimming the bottom leaves right away, if that's what you're suggesting.

It's okay to trim all the off-shoots off the bottom 3-4' of bine, but not until hops have begun to form. The bines need as much energy as they can get early on so they can climb. If you start hacking off leaves, you're cutting off their supply. The whole reason of cutting off leaves later in the season it to stop the leaves from absorbing all of the extra energy and promote healthy hops. Also, it helps cut down on moisture and mildew forming at the base of the plant.
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Old 05-07-2010, 04:46 AM   #6
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once the hops are ESTABLISHED(as his are) and not first year hops, you get into a whole other realm of maintenance and growth - as long as they are growing in an acceptable environment. established hops are extremely efficient at carbohydrate production to the point that they can produce enough to sustain the phenomenal growth they will attain along with surplus to send down to the crown for future use. i'm not sure about the 'off-shoots' you are referring to. any additional shoots coming out of the ground should be removed after the necessary shoots are trained to allow for better air circulation near the base of the plant in an effort to create an environment less conducive to disease (less stagnant moisture/humidity). as long as the growing point of the vine has been allowed to grow uninterrupted, the sidearms usually do not form that close to the ground (3-4 ft) if that is what you are referring to. i have seen situations where the tip was broken or inadvertently snipped off which will cause more lateral growth (sidearms) to form much lower on the plant. if the energy is not channelled to the growing tip it has to go somewhere else. lets have a cold one!

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Old 05-07-2010, 05:23 AM   #7
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Old 05-07-2010, 03:48 PM   #8
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i was concerned about trimming extra bines and the base and mold on the bottom. It is very humid here pretty much until AUgust most years. It is not uncommon to have 75%+ humidity for a month or more solid.Think every other day random thundertorms.

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Old 05-07-2010, 03:54 PM   #9
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You can trim extra shoots back to the ground, there is no reason to keep a "tuft" at the crown. It only invites critters and stagnant humid air, as you note.

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Old 05-07-2010, 04:21 PM   #10
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I'd recommend the thickest bines in the 4-5 foot range. Thick = strong and five feet is a practical limit for winding onto the cords without breakage. Figure 3 per line.



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