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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Hops Growing > Limiting the Height of my Hops
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:39 AM   #1
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Default Limiting the Height of my Hops

I just transplanted my hops to a new location this year to get better sun. I don't have a whole lot of room in the new location and I was wondering what would happen if I topped my hops daily to control their vertical growth. Would the plant produce the same amount of hops, just not as spread out? Would it just grow out to the side like crazy? What do you think?


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Old 03-21-2013, 01:08 AM   #2
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pretty sure you would get less hops, I don't get many cones below 5 feet or so


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Old 03-21-2013, 01:21 AM   #3
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During the vegetative growth period, the growing tip of the vine leads the way up the string. If this tip is eliminated some how (broken, pinched off, whatever) what usually happens is that two more growing tips begin to take over for the previous leader. These will begin to form at the first leaf junction below where the break occurred. Now you have two central leaders instead of one and both will most likely put out as many sidearms (appendages where the hops form) as that single vine would have. You may not notice too much decline in production if this is the case, but if you were to pinch the tips of the secondary shoots you'd then have 4 coming from the original one. I would imagine if you continued to repeat this process over and over you may see a reduction in yield. Never done it, just thinkin'!
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:26 AM   #4
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You'll be fine. Hops don't grow up string in the wild.

I get plenty of extra hops from my friend who just lets his grow as ground cover.
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:46 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by itsme6582 View Post
You'll be fine. Hops don't grow up string in the wild.

I get plenty of extra hops from my friend who just lets his grow as ground cover.
Not a string - sure - but, they do tend to grow up whatever natural structure is near them: trees, rocks, etc...

A friend and I had this very same argument. To test it out he removed his structure for the season and let them grow on the ground. Same variety. Less than a mile apart.

My plant produced just under 2lbs. dried cones.
His? Less than 4oz.

The big difference seemed to be that without a structure, the hops just mounded up. only the top of the mound received enough light to produce cones. The entire plant was also much more susceptible to insects.
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:42 PM   #6
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It should be interesting to watch them this year. I love checking up on them every day. I planted them in front of my business, which is an office building with an arbor near the front door. I figured why have climbing roses? Hops smell way better. I plan to hag a sign on the hop plants letting my customers know what they are and have a little more information inside. I think it will be a good conversation starter and a chance to connect with my customres on a non-business level.
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by cshann19 View Post
It should be interesting to watch them this year. I love checking up on them every day. I planted them in front of my business, which is an office building with an arbor near the front door. I figured why have climbing roses? Hops smell way better. I plan to hag a sign on the hop plants letting my customers know what they are and have a little more information inside. I think it will be a good conversation starter and a chance to connect with my customres on a non-business level.
Make sure the sign also warns any passers-by that the plant can be deadly poisonous to their dogs.
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:54 PM   #8
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Make sure the sign also warns any passers-by that the plant can be deadly poisonous to their dogs.
Not this again... There are literally thousands of plants that are deadly poisonous to dogs. How then, you ask, do all these dogs manage to stay alive? Most dogs are not know for walking around and munching every plant they encounter. The only cases of a dog being killed from hops are from eating the sticky, sweet, spent-hops post brewing.

So yes, please dispose of you spent hops carefully. As for a "hazard" sign around the plants...
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:47 PM   #9
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Most dogs are not know for walking around and munching every plant they encounter.
Right. But some do. And IF they happen to be a Golden Retriever or a Greyhound, and IF that plant happens to be hops, then it can kill them.

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So yes, please dispose of you spent hops carefully.
Of course. But it's not just the spent hops that are poisonous to them.

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Hops, a plant used in making beer, can cause malignant hyperthermia in dogs, usually with fatal results. Certain breeds, such as Greyhounds, seem particularly sensitive to hop toxicity, but hops should be kept away from all dogs. Even small amounts of hops can trigger a potentially deadly reaction, even if the hops are "spent" after use in brewing.
- Wikipedia

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Ingesting hops can be highly toxic to some breeds of dogs (Golden Retrievers and especially Greyhounds have been documented). There are many scary stories on homebrewing forums about dogs eating hops after unsuspecting brewers left unused hops out in a place accessible to their dog, or dumped their kettle trub and hop sediment into the yard, or had a hop plant in their yard that dropped cones on the ground. Some dogs that ingest hops rapidly develop a condition called Malignant Hyperthermia, in which the body temperature rises uncontrollably. This can be very harmful or fatal to the dog.
- Northern Brewer

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Death has been reported in dogs poisoned by hops within 6 hours of ingestion (without treatment). Any breed of dog may be affected, but breeds predisposed to malignant hyperthermia (e.g., greyhounds, Labrador retrievers, Saint Bernards, pointers, Dobermans, Border collies, English springer spaniels, and northern breeds) are at higher risk for toxicity.
- Pet Poison Helpline

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Originally Posted by nagmay View Post
As for a "hazard" sign around the plants...
*Shrug*

It's your business, you can do what you want. I'm just saying that if you're going to cultivate a plant that is known to be deadly poisonous to dogs, and you can't be bothered posting a warning sign, then any dog owner whose dog unwittingly eats said hops and subsequently dies would have a pretty open-and-shut lawsuit against you (notwithstanding the emotional guilt of knowing you were responsible for the death of an innocent, loving animal).
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:52 PM   #10
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If you couldn't plant things that weren't poisonous to dogs you'd be pretty limited.

Sigh

http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/poison...lant-list-dogs


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