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Old 07-03-2009, 06:22 PM   #1
HopBomb
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Default pinching off low growth to promote cones up high?

I've got a couple of first year plants (2 Cascades and 2 Chinooks), all doing quite well here in Virginia. All have cleared 15 ft on my hop tower. Lots of cones, easily a couple of dozen on each bine with more bids showing every day. So far I'm pleasantly surprised with the first year production. The bines don't appear to produce any cones lower that about 6 ft, but there is lots of leaf and sidearm growth down low. They are really starting to bush out. My question is should I pinch the low growth off to promote more growth up high and more cones? I don't want to get too greedy with first year plants, but would like to maximize the cone harvest.



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Old 07-03-2009, 06:24 PM   #2
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I am doing this to my unruly 3rd year crystal vine, but I don't know about a first year plant. I got almost no cones from my first year plants in their first year, but hell, if you're getting plenty of cones on the top (same here), then I don't see a problem with pruning the low offshoots.



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Old 07-03-2009, 06:36 PM   #3
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You'll get a second, small harvest from the lower growth. It's up to you if you pinch it or not.

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Old 07-03-2009, 07:27 PM   #4
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Other than stripping the first 2-3 feet for bug and mold control, just let it grow.

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Old 07-04-2009, 04:27 AM   #5
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I'm in the same situation as you, OP, first year hops with more than expected cones. I am personnaly leaving any growth thinking that it will help out in the years to come. I am taking any cone growth as a bonus and still focusing on the root system...The more green above, the more roots below.

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Old 07-04-2009, 11:15 AM   #6
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Thx for the tips. I was torn by the thought of more growth up high (and perhaps some extra cone production) vs. the extra green down below and energy back to the new root system. I do keep the bottom of the bines striped clean to keep the ground nasties off, but other than that I think I'll leave well enough alone for now. If I get some late harvest cones down low, bonus!



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