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Old 02-20-2012, 09:31 AM   #1
jester5120
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Default Winter hops conditioning

I was reading a thread on here about a guy who grew hops indoors. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f92/successfully-growing-indoors-298725/index4.html i was wondering if anyone thought it was possible to condition hops over the winter by using a similar method. What I mean is if you cut a rhizome in october and put it in a 5 gallon bucket and grew indoors even just for a short 2 month artificial summer could you then plant outside the following march and ultimately get some decent production at the end of the season.

The short version of the question is: Can you artificially create a 2nd year plant in under 1 year?



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Old 02-20-2012, 04:50 PM   #2
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I had considered moving one of the varieties outside in the spring, but then I just went ahead and flowered. With the massive amount of vegetative growth my girls experienced in just a month and the number of cones I've got, I think there's no question you could get a bunch of vegetative growth and then move them outside in the spring, where they'd continue to veg and you'd have a second or third-year sized plant in the first year.

The issue with first year harvest seems to be that they're not rooted enough to really produce, but by adding the extra vegging/root development time, I don't see why it wouldn't work.

The only issue is if you're using window light in the winter, the plant isn't going to veg much. I'd say either lights 16 hours a day, or a window and then supplemental lighting for an additional couple of hours after the sun goes down. The only issue is how to keep light distributed evenly over the plant, which is why I used a flat chicken wire screen setup. This could work in a window with supplemental lighting as well.

Just don't plant more than one crown per window, unless you have a very large window.



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Old 02-20-2012, 04:51 PM   #3
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Oh, another simple fix is that Great Lakes Hops crowns are already a year old. Extra couple bucks for a crown as compared to a rhizome but I've been extremely happy with them.

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Old 02-21-2012, 01:50 AM   #4
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I've grown other things indoors with cfl lights before. I know the more wattage you have the better for the most part but is that for any particular type of growth? I know if the plants don't get a ton of light then the bines wouldn't grow but will the roots still develop at a normal pace or do the roots and bines grow at an equal pace?

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Old 02-21-2012, 03:49 PM   #5
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Reading this thread, I think you're wondering if you can get a "head start" by starting your rhizomes indoors early. Answer: Yes (It is just that rhizomes are not typically available in the fall). If you have your own rhizomes; go for it I have started some as early as december. You have to maintain about 16 hours per day of light to keep them in a vegetative mode. Less than 8 hours light they go dormant . 12-14 hours exposure initiates cones. Be aware that the growth you achieve is not acclimated to direct sunlight.

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Old 02-21-2012, 08:26 PM   #6
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I'm even wondering if I could start growing them indoors as soon as they come in (mid march). then when it's safe to plants outdoors (late april or early may) drop them in. i'm thinking that headstart should give me a better first year growth.

also I am planning on buying from great lakes hops. I just want to give the hops an extra advantage

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Old 02-21-2012, 10:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jester5120 View Post
I'm even wondering if I could start growing them indoors as soon as they come in (mid march). then when it's safe to plants outdoors (late april or early may) drop them in. i'm thinking that headstart should give me a better first year growth.

also I am planning on buying from great lakes hops. I just want to give the hops an extra advantage
if you're buying from GLH, you could get crowns - they're already a year old, so they have that head-start built in.

you could start growing them indoors but you'll need likely need a grow light. a window can't provide 8+ hours of sunlight and you don't want the plants to start off on the wrong foot. personally, i'd hold off on the indoor thing and get crowns.

is your freeze-free date really as late as late april or early may?
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:10 PM   #8
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Yeah our freeze free date is pretty late. I hate to admit it but I grew hops other family member in college indoors so I'm fairly familiar with the massive amount of lighting needed. I was planning on getting the crowns either way. Do they typically produce well the first year?



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Bottled Burton Ale, Wet Hopped IPA, Roese Kriek, "Grimm" RIS 23%, Saison Du Flood,"Warrior" IIPA 17%, "Oaked Warrior" IIPA 17%
Kegged Vicious Hug DIPA, Chocolate Cream Stout
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