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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Hops Growing > Trim or not?
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Old 05-26-2012, 12:17 AM   #1
Canadabrew
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Default Trim or not?

So I have some cascade hops growing. Its their first year but they were not from a small rhizome a friend actually dug up and gave me a whole plant. I know most people don't cut them back in year one but I feel like mine needs it.

It's now 5 feet tall, has 5 or so solid bines climbing the string but there are another 7 or so bines that are coming up all over the place. So should I trim them and allow all the energy to go into growing the main ones on the string? They are just kind of flopping on the ground.

Anyway I don't want to kill it so can just leave it alone but thought id ask.

Thanks

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Old 05-26-2012, 03:38 AM   #2
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Instead of clipping those bines that are not trained why not propagate them into new plants by burying a portion of the bine while its still attached to the plant. After a month or so you could clip it from the main plant and it will have its own root system.

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Old 05-26-2012, 05:04 AM   #3
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Canada,

You can go ahead and whack if you like. After the first year they've got enough juice stored up to endure a nuclear holocaust. It generally gets pretty messy with all the excess shoots coming up around the crown and by thinning you'll help dry that area out which will help lessen the chance of a disease problem during wet/humid times. Have at it and Happy Growing!

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Old 05-26-2012, 01:47 PM   #4
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Planted my hopyard last year. When researching at that time I went forward with the understanding that first year plant growth is all about the roots, not about any yield. Your plant obviously needs a certain amount of photosynthesis to occur to survive and thrive, but development of the root structure was the focus. If your plant expends its energy trying to overproduce above ground, its resources are being diverted from promoting the roots. The stronger the roots, the better the plant will weather the winter, and the stronger your production will be the second and subsequent years.

It's possible that my research was crap, but that's what I got out of it. To that end, I trimmed my growth down periodically but not aggressively. I focused on getting the strongest bine trained, and pretty much let it do it's thing. I ran two strings per plant, by the way.

Second year growth has been fantastic so far, great growth early but took a fair bit of frost damage, which hurt. I'm currently running two or three bines per string and feel that the plant can support thy type of production. We'll see.

Fact of the matter is that if I'd relied on one bine and cut back before that frost hit, I'd be way behind... But I had other growth that I could use to replace the bines that were the most damaged.

Ultimately, with my now established hops, I've filed away in my mental folder to not cut back too early or too often.

I think that if you went with two bines per string you'd be fine, but try to limit anything beyond that. And try to keep your low leaves pruned back to help avoid mildew, etc., as I think someone has mentioned here already.

Just my $0.02. HTH

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Old 05-28-2012, 03:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtimusBeerimus
Planted my hopyard last year. When researching at that time I went forward with the understanding that first year plant growth is all about the roots, not about any yield. Your plant obviously needs a certain amount of photosynthesis to occur to survive and thrive, but development of the root structure was the focus. If your plant expends its energy trying to overproduce above ground, its resources are being diverted from promoting the roots. The stronger the roots, the better the plant will weather the winter, and the stronger your production will be the second and subsequent years.

It's possible that my research was crap, but that's what I got out of it. To that end, I trimmed my growth down periodically but not aggressively. I focused on getting the strongest bine trained, and pretty much let it do it's thing. I ran two strings per plant, by the way.

Second year growth has been fantastic so far, great growth early but took a fair bit of frost damage, which hurt. I'm currently running two or three bines per string and feel that the plant can support thy type of production. We'll see.

Fact of the matter is that if I'd relied on one bine and cut back before that frost hit, I'd be way behind... But I had other growth that I could use to replace the bines that were the most damaged.

Ultimately, with my now established hops, I've filed away in my mental folder to not cut back too early or too often.

I think that if you went with two bines per string you'd be fine, but try to limit anything beyond that. And try to keep your low leaves pruned back to help avoid mildew, etc., as I think someone has mentioned here already.

Just my $0.02. HTH
Thanks for the detailed response much appreciated. When you say prune the leaves would this include pruning them on the bines that I'm keeping and training?
Should I keep the bottom 6 inches pruned?

Thanks again!
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:15 AM   #6
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Canadabrew,

The way I think about it, the only bines I need to prune are the ones I'm training, since the other ones are laying on the ground and are going to get cut back anyway. I guess if you're thinking of letting things grow a while before cutting back, you may want to prune. There are a lot of folks with more experience than I and I'm sure some may manage their hops differently, but I haven't really pruned any leaves off yet... I have cut back excess bines a couple times, however. (As I mentioned earlier, I took some early frost damage so that kinda whacked the lower level leaves for me.)

I think the general rule of thumb is that the more "airflow" or sunlight you get down low, the better chance you have of avoiding leaf rot as a result of your watering or excessive rain. Once my plants are well under way, I like to keep things cleaned up to avoid any potential problems.

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