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Old 04-08-2012, 05:38 AM   #1
eyaukey
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I am planning on trying to get some hop plants started this year and I have been reading a lot of information on the subject and have come to a few questions for the experienced ones out there:

1. How many rhizomes would you recommend starting out with if youve never grown them before.

2. Any favorite methods to direct the vines? For ex. I am thinking of making a trellis from twine and poles to grow the vines off of. Any suggestions?

3. Any types of hops you have found difficult to work with?

4. Does anyone ever buy more than one rhizome of a variety in case the other fails to produce or is this rare?

Thats all my questions, however, any other general advice and knowledge you wish you had known when you first started would be great to hear!

Thanks!



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Old 04-08-2012, 02:52 PM   #2
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Hello, the best advice I could offer you would be to read back through some of the threads that already exist, especially the "stickies" at the top of the forum.
1. It depends on how much space (3' between plants, 5' between varieties) and time you have available. From what I understand, too many varieties on one trellis can lead to confusion at harvest. If plants were similar enough (like cascade & centennial) to be somewhat interchangeable, that's not an issue.
2. Hops have sort of adhesive protrusions that will cling to any rough twine or rope. The rope must be able to support a great deal of weight (hopefully). Coir (sp?) is what I bought with my first hops & it works great. You may want to work on an easy way to get the ropes raised & lowered from the top of the pole.
3. Look at the spreadsheet Sweetcell made on hops.
4. Not at all rare, and sometimes multiples are desired for an increased yield of whatever the grower uses most.
I do not mean to be at all flippant by telling you to look at old posts & stickies; lots of answers there to almost every question. Following the suggested similar threads at the bottom of the posts can also be quite helpful. Good luck!


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Old 04-09-2012, 05:43 AM   #3
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I would suggest a trellis as close to 20 ft. high as possible, it will need to be able to hold a great deal of weight. I use a 5/16 wire rope between posts to tie the bailing twine to (for the hops to climb). I use the synthetic bailing twine, 2 pieces twisted together. I just throw it over the cable and stake it down( this allows you to let the bines down to pick multiple times). I have 2 rows of 50 ft.between posts. I found out that is too far apart for the posts to support( I am going to put another post in the center of each row, compost is good for hops, get a soil sample and have it tested, this will tell you what you need to do to get the soil in proper condition. If you plant different varieties plant at least 4 ft. apart. I have a few pics of my trellis and plants in my gallery if you want to take a look at it, remember I am going to plant another post in the center of my rows. Even with ground anchors for support the hops are so heavy they are trying to pull the anchors out of the ground, hope this helps and good luck.
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyaukey View Post
I am planning on trying to get some hop plants started this year and I have been reading a lot of information on the subject and have come to a few questions for the experienced ones out there:

1. How many rhizomes would you recommend starting out with if youve never grown them before.

2. Any favorite methods to direct the vines? For ex. I am thinking of making a trellis from twine and poles to grow the vines off of. Any suggestions?

3. Any types of hops you have found difficult to work with?

4. Does anyone ever buy more than one rhizome of a variety in case the other fails to produce or is this rare?

Thats all my questions, however, any other general advice and knowledge you wish you had known when you first started would be great to hear!

Thanks!

Where are you located? That may help with variety selection. As for your questions:

1. Try 2 crowns at first, IMO.

2. Direct them upwards. Don't get too fancy as training the bines (yes, bines, not vines) can be a royal PITA if you are trying to train them along a fence or horizontal trellis structure

3. I would skip the nobles and fuggles. JMO. Stick to the vigorous American varieties like Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, CTZ, Magnum, Newport, etc). Varieties you typically use as late additions or dry hops would be best, IMO. You're not likely to have them tested for acid content, so stick to varieties you will use at times when the acid content is not as relevant.

4. I always recommend planting 2 of the itty bitty rhizomes sticks (the $5-6 each ones from homebrew shops are itty bitty ones) or one jumbo rhizome (see: freshhops) per crown.
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessox80 View Post
3. Look at the spreadsheet Sweetcell made on hops.


see link in my signature

definitely good advice to skip the noble/european varieties and stick with american hydrids (besides, there are hybrids that do a good job of approximating just about anything from the old world).

piece of advice: get on it. we're nearing the end of planting season, and more importantly many shops are shutting down their rhizome/crown operations. i suspect that places like GLH or freshops will continue selling longer than other shops, but your options will start to diminish soon.


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