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Old 04-21-2011, 05:15 PM   #11
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This is not what I have observed. In general, I have not seen deep root formation. The entire plant is contained within the top 6-10 inches of soil. Roots will run out in every direction and the spider-web-like roots do not propagate the plant. These are just the nutrient and water gathering entities. Rhizomes, will not generally be a part of these longer structure. They typically form their own dedicated off-shoot that extends some short distance, surfaces, buds, and tries to grow from there. I suppose after years of no root pruning, you may get rhizomes forming a decent distance from the crown, but I have not seen it with pruning on a 2-3 year basis...
Randy,

Your observations are correct. The root system will develop to the depth of soil it has the ability to. When I first started growing I knew they needed 'deep - well drained' soils, the kind that grapes like. If given those types of soils they most likely will travel toward china.

Knowing this fact, I did some serious excavation. Dug up and saved the 6-10 inches of "topsoil" - then kept digging to a depth of about 4 feet. Backfilled with a blend of native soil, compost etc.. About 6 yrs later I had to dig the crowns up to move them and guess what, the roots that the chinamen were holding onto were about as thick around as my wrist and I needed more beer and a spud bar to finish the job. Yes, the majority of the roots grew in the good soil until they hit the clay, but after seeing and dealing with the few monsters that were determined to grow through the clay I just figured I'd dig them up after about every 3 years and sever the big ones to keep this from happening again.

I guess what I'm saying is that the roots will travel the path of least resistance and if given the chance, they will go down as far as they can. Also, when grown in deeper soils, the differentiation between where and how the true roots and rhizomes orient themselves can be seen much easier.

As for the spider-web-like roots developing along the rhizomes, you are again correct that they are not capable of propagation but rather continue to develop into the true root system once the rhizome has been dug and replanted. But believe me, they'll go as deep as they can - or as deep as you'll let them and after that experience at the farm back in the 90's, I'm not gonna let them go that far again. Boy, getting thirsty just thinking about that ordeal! Grow on.
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:54 PM   #12
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I guess what I'm saying is that the roots will travel the path of least resistance and if given the chance, they will go down as far as they can. Also, when grown in deeper soils, the differentiation between where and how the true roots and rhizomes orient themselves can be seen much easier.
Interesting. In our heavy black clay everything stays shallow, but I can definitely see why that might be due to soil structure and not necessarily the natural habit of growth in other soil types/depths.
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Old 04-22-2011, 12:29 AM   #13
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Just because I promised pics, I took some. After looking again at the root I pulled up and your descriptions, I think you're right. Rhizomes. Fleshy, flexible, and all the "offshoots" from the main root are on one side of the root.

Roll of blue tape provided for scale:


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Old 04-22-2011, 02:29 AM   #14
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OK, to me that looks like a standard root, not a rhizome. Because of all the offshoots of branch roots, tapered shape, and general horse-whip structure.

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Old 04-22-2011, 02:39 AM   #15
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OK, to me that looks like a standard root, not a rhizome. Because of all the offshoots of branch roots, tapered shape, and general horse-whip structure.
.......

Balls.

Screw it, i'm just gonna cut in a big assed circle with a sawzall to get anything 6" deep or less, and hope to hell the mutant plants don't start pushing my house off it's foundation...

(it's really flexible though...it really IS like a horse whip!)
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:36 AM   #16
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Shorty,

Looks like those are roots, sorry. And I have to apologize that I missed in your original post that it was only a first year plant. Here is the best picture I could find: http://probrewer.com/vbulletin/attac...8&d=1236358719 . You can barely make out, but at the center of the crown, the original rhizomes are full of little white buds. In the second and successive years, some of those lower buds may grow outward - slightly under the soil for a short way before they emerge and grow into new vines. That portion between the new shoot and where it came off of the crown will be termed the rhizome. You don't have to worry about the foundation being disrupted for at least another year. Here's another picture: http://probrewer.com/vbulletin/attac...9&d=1236358731 . The roots are on the left (dark) and the original rhizome (lighter) to the right. These are Humulus Lupulus Neomexicanus so that might explain the much darker roots. This guy has been trying to breed them for the past few years. Local hops for local brews. Keep at it and take notes.

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Old 04-22-2011, 01:27 PM   #17
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Thanks for the tips the both of you. No harm done by taking out this root....this thing seems to have at least 10 of them the same size extending outwards, and ones 1" thick or more going deeper, (from my gentle finger probing of soil). I'm pretty sure I didn't kill the plant off . Here's hoping that tons of roots = tons of hops come late summer!!!

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