from what i read, first year hops dont produce as much since a majority of the energy is placed in root growth. If you use a relativly small pot for the first year, limiting its root growth, will you yield more verus a huge pot? the 1st year
My two hop plants maxed out those half whiskey barrels in two years. They were probably root bound by the first year since they grow so much. I got small yields from them in pots and that is why I transferred mine to the ground as soon as I could. (my NB is still in a pot) I would put them in as big of a pot as you can to give them as much freedom as possible.
No, the root growth is what allows for more growth above ground. If you have a limited root system, it would follow that the plant wouldn't be able to produce as much, since it doesn't have as much of a solid footing.