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Old 02-28-2013, 12:15 AM   #1
hoppymonkey
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Default Should I be thinning out my Hop rhizomes?

should I? I have a 4' x 8' x 2' raised bed for my 4th year cascades and they have done quite well for me, but they are just a thick mess of bines by the second week of growth in the spring. I cut back at least half of the bines that break the surface, but they are impossible to keep seperated. I mean I don't really care that much because I just cut them all down on a single day in September and get ~ 3ish lbs which more cascades than I need for a year. Would I get a comparable harvest if I thinned them out this weekend?


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Old 02-28-2013, 01:13 AM   #2
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I stick to industry standard and train 3-4 bines from each crown. Then when they reach 6ft. or so, I cut all the leaves/side shoots front the lower 3 ft.

The yield should not suffer, but picking should be easier. It may actually improve yield with better disease management and easier weed control underneath.

The only ones I let grow freely are first year rhizomes. The need lots of leaves to make lots of roots.


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Old 02-28-2013, 01:57 AM   #3
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hoppymonkey, to make life quite a bit more enjoyable, you can just dig (try to) the whole crown out of the ground and quarter it with a bow saw right down the middle. Stick one quarter back in the ground and give the other 3 away. The only difference you'll notice this year is that it's A LOT easier to take care of. I usually do this about every 3 years to cut down on weeding (thinning) the chia crown. Hoppy growing!!
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:15 AM   #4
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Train three...eat the rest of the shoots.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B-Hoppy View Post
hoppymonkey, to make life quite a bit more enjoyable, you can just dig (try to) the whole crown out of the ground and quarter it with a bow saw right down the middle. Stick one quarter back in the ground and give the other 3 away. The only difference you'll notice this year is that it's A LOT easier to take care of. I usually do this about every 3 years to cut down on weeding (thinning) the chia crown. Hoppy growing!!
Thanks! It just one huge mass of roots now. They actually grow out from under the raised bed.
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:25 AM   #6
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Don't be thanking me just yet. Make sure you have plenty of beer and a spud bar handy. Actually you may not have that big of a job being that they're in a raised bed but it's still amazing what you see has happened after you planted that little rhizome 4 years ago. Have fun~
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:21 AM   #7
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Saw a video of the basic brewing guys and they literally just used a spade shovel and cleaved the root ball in half with that to split up a hop plant. Both halves grew with no problems.
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:31 PM   #8
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I find the spring time, just after the thaw and just before the bines really start to grow is a good opportunity to manicure the crown.

As some have suggested you can dig out the crown and split it... my experience suggests a much smaller harvest than the previous year while it re establishes itself in the ground. I would do this every 4 or 5 years or so.

You can also get in there with some cutters and a little hand shovel and thin them out each spring too. This will help you manage the bed they're in a little better as the year wears on, its also a good opportunity to take some rhizome cutting to propagate or give to friends.

Either way, expect a lot of digging and cutting.

I have 2 giant cascade crowns in a 4 X 8 X 2 ft bed as well - 5 or 6 years old - which are badly in need of attention. i figure i have about month to decide how much effort i wanna put into 'em.


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