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Old 07-18-2012, 12:30 AM   #1
WildHopHunter
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Default Question about when Hops Flower

Hi Everyone - I am in my 2nd season of growing hops. I have included a picture of my trellis, its a May Pole design. I have 4 different hop varieties on this May Pole: 2nd year Centennials, 2nd year East Kent Goldings, 2nd year Magnum and 1st year transplanted wild hops (I am guessing they are Cluster).

Within the past 2 weeks the Centennials started producing full hop cones, the Magnums are producing small flower buds, the EKG are not showing any signs of producing flowers at all. Since the wild hops are 1st year transplants I do not expect to see much out of them (the main patch of wild hops that they came from are not showing any signs of flowering yet).

Is it normal to see different varieties of hops, flower and ripen on such different schedules? Are there any resources out there that document if different hop varieties flower early/mid/late in the growing season?

Also did I make a mistake by going with a May Pole trellis? As you can see in the pictures at the top of the pole all of the hops are tangling into one another. I think it is going to be a mess seperating them at harvest time.

Thanks.

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Old 07-18-2012, 12:46 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by WildHopHunter View Post
Is it normal to see different varieties of hops, flower and ripen on such different schedules? Are there any resources out there that document if different hop varieties flower early/mid/late in the growing season?
I grow Centennial, Chinook, Cascade and Fuggles. My plants are all second year. The first year all four strains seemed to be totally synchronized, flowering and then ripening cones within a week of each other.

This year, totally different. The Centennials were well into cones while the others were just getting into burring. Then three of the four Cascades got cones going along with one of my four Chinooks. It was a few weeks before the other Cascade and the other three Chinooks really got going with cones.

So, at least from my perspective, the whole thing is a total crap shoot. That said, it wouldn't surprise me if there was a document that purports to characterize the growth cycles of various hop strains. However, I think I'd be inclined to take any conclusions with a grain of salt.

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Also did I make a mistake by going with a May Pole trellis? As you can see in the pictures at the top of the pole all of the hops are tangling into one another. I think it is going to be a mess seperating them at harvest time.
Definitely not the ideal configuration, it will cause some aggravation come harvest. If you're lucky, all four strains will mature at the same time and you can just cut them all down and separate the bines...

Cheers!
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:00 AM   #3
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Think of hops in the same way you see apples coming onto the market. They all pretty much have optimal harvest dates and early or late training will play into the equation. Check out this page: http://thehennings.com/beer/hops.html.

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Old 07-18-2012, 11:54 AM   #4
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Yep, they all "typically" mature at different times. I can't find my table but I'll try to get something up here. For our growers we try to select varieties that will stagger their harvest so they aren't picking everything at once. But then you have a goofy weather year and...

Yeah, your may pole will end up in mixed cones unless you extend it up about 40 feet.

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Old 07-18-2012, 02:20 PM   #5
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Typically the bottom 6' of the bines usually bear no cones... So the tops being tangled is a nightmare

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Old 07-18-2012, 03:48 PM   #6
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I have second year cascades and they are about 18' tall with lots of side shoots, still no flowers for me. I was really looking forward to getting at least something this year.

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Old 07-18-2012, 04:26 PM   #7
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I have first year Centennial, Nugget and Cascade. The Centennial and Nugget are only about 4-5 feet tall, and no signs of burs or any flowering. Cascades went 9+ ft. tall, shot out 10 side bines and I have burs from 4-5 feet on up. Looks like a small crop will come in first year, so each are distinctly different. Ditch the maypole unless you are doing a single variety per pole. Even then you should get a 15-20 foot pole.

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Old 07-19-2012, 01:15 AM   #8
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I guess I lucked out. Well I definitely did. I was accidentally mailed my rhizome order twice so I ended up with 16 first year hops this season. 6 cascades, 2 Columbus, 2 fuggle, 2 galena, 2 mt hood, and 2 norther brewer. They grew and are producing hops in that order (best to worst). The norther brewer almost died completely until I refertilized. Luckily, several are 10 - 15' and I should get several oz of dried hops. These were simple 6" rhizomes grown in Maryland. See attached photos

image-4134530678.jpg   image-1762390557.jpg   image-3207623416.jpg   image-3343403577.jpg   image-4140875182.jpg  

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Old 07-19-2012, 04:33 AM   #9
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I've done the same maypole design as yours this year, and am facing a tangle above too. I used a 12-foot section of ABS slipped over a steel T fence post. Well, embarassement of riches and all that. Next year I am going to extend the pole another six or eight feet. I considered clipping off the main growing tip but I don't have a ladder that tall!

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Old 07-22-2012, 02:11 PM   #10
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Hi everyone - Thanks for the replies. I guess that I will start keeping timeline notes on when the different hop species I am growing start to flower and turn into cones.

As for the Maypole design, I saw a picture of a trellis posted by '4x4Jeep74' in the "Show Off Your 2012 Hop Gardens" thread that I think will solve my hops tangling problem. This board is really a great source of information.

Thanks Again.

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