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Old 09-21-2010, 08:25 PM   #1
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Default Is it weird that my hops are just now forming cones?

So I noticed that about half-way through the summer there were about a million "are my hops ready to harvest?" posts. My hops are first year, so I wasn't super concerned about getting yield this year. Fast forward to late september. My hops just got over the porch, and are starting to form what look suspiciously a lot like cones. Now, it looks like most of the harvest related posts have died down lately. My question is this, is it strange that my hops are just now forming cones? Do I need to worry that it might get too late in the year for them to harvest properly?

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Old 09-21-2010, 09:07 PM   #2
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When is the first frost for your area?

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Old 09-23-2010, 05:41 PM   #3
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I just moved to NJ last year so I wasn't sure about the frost. According to the farmers almanac it was October 20 last year.

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Old 09-23-2010, 06:52 PM   #4
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A ton of new cones formed on the very bottom 3 feet of vine in the last few weeks and are just now starting to mature. I suspect it will yield another wet pound in the next couple weeks.

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Old 09-23-2010, 06:58 PM   #5
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.............Yikes.

it won't be much of a harvest first year, I would cut them off.......they will suck nutrients from the plant, and no way they will mature in the next month.

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Old 09-23-2010, 07:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
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A ton of new cones formed on the very bottom 3 feet of vine in the last few weeks and are just now starting to mature. I suspect it will yield another wet pound in the next couple weeks.
Are we talking about your hops, or have you been sneaking across the river to check on my plants when I'm at the lab?
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:13 PM   #7
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Yeah. Timing is pretty slim then if Oct 20 is the average first frost. Also depends on how abrupt the weather patterns are there. If it gets too cool any time soon the hops will start to shut down.

It's a tricky call. Safest bet is to cut the flowers off now and let the plant continue to photosynthecise until it goes naturally dormant. BUT, if you are lucky, ole man winter might give you enough time for a small harvest of nearly ripened cones.

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Old 09-24-2010, 04:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
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When is the first frost for your area?
Let me ask, I'm in So Cal and I've got a plant that's in a similar spot. It has a few small cones that have not quite matured. We won't get a frost down here at all (maybe we'll hit the low 40's in February...) so is there harm in letting the plant go another month or longer?
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Old 09-24-2010, 12:39 PM   #9
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I've already done two separate harvests myself, and a third set of cones is "ripening" now. As Bobby, i plan on harvesting soon, too.

It's all based on your specific weather, soil, etc. As long as you harvest before the weather turns sour, you'll be fine. Let them develop - they may not be as big or fully developed as next year's cones, but what you get this year could be used as finishing hops at least.

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Old 09-24-2010, 01:57 PM   #10
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Let me ask, I'm in So Cal and I've got a plant that's in a similar spot. It has a few small cones that have not quite matured. We won't get a frost down here at all (maybe we'll hit the low 40's in February...) so is there harm in letting the plant go another month or longer?

Let em go.

I might cut off the cones, just so that the plant gets plenty of energy stored up for next year, instead of a meager harvest, prime the pump for next year, but I wouldn't cut the bines yet.
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