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Old 02-20-2012, 11:59 PM   #1
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Default rhizome harvest

I harvested some rhizomes today from a three-year old Cascade plant, so I thought I'd pass on some pictures for those heading down that route in the future. Ended up with 20 large rhizomes and 40 small ones off one plant and left the crown to grow this season. I used the old steak knife in the bottom picture to cut off 6-8" pieces with buds on them.

A couple of observations for new growers: Growing hops in manageable-sized, bottomless planter boxes that you can lift off (so don't anchor them down) makes the process so much easier. I grow mine in half wine barrels that have had the bottom cut out, with the wide end toward the ground. Basically, they're like a circular planter box. Raised beds help with drainage and keep my critters/kids off of them, too. If you can source some scrap wood, or use some cedar fence planks, you could do it on the cheap.

See pictures below. The first picture is what the crown looked like shortly after I lifted off the wine barrel. The second pic is what I left of the crown. The third pic is another planter with some snow peas (hopefully, adding a little nitrogen to the soil for this season) and last is a shot of a few typical rhizomes.

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Old 02-21-2012, 03:51 PM   #2
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That upside down whiskey barrel is a great idea! Thanks for the pics!

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Old 02-21-2012, 04:01 PM   #3
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Just out of curiosity, what kind of yield are you getting with this set up?

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Old 02-21-2012, 05:16 PM   #4
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BBL brewer: So far, I've been getting anywhere from 6-12+ oz. of dried cones from each of the Cascade and Chinook plants that are past their first season. Last year, I had one Cascade that kicked out nearly a pound. Now, with another season of stored energy in the crowns, I suspect yield will be a bit higher across the board.

From the pics, though, you can see that the bottomless barrels can become limiting to root growth over time (but not as much as a big pot, which will become root bound in a few years). However, the benefits of pots is that your plants don't have to compete with the roots of nearby trees and shrubs. For me, using raised boxes is a practical necessity in the backyard to keep my roaming tortoises away from the goods.

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