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Old 07-10-2008, 07:47 PM   #1
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Default The importance of pruning early - it's easier

Yep, I waited until my plants topped out to start pruning the bottom couple foot. And let me tell ya it was a hassle!

The lower laterals were all grown together like a mess of spaghetti and the leaves were full. It took time and patience to trace the bits down to make sure I wasn't cutting a bine and killing my plant.

I had always followed the advice of the books that suggest you wait until the plant tops out but, I don't think I will be doing that next year. Either once the plant reaches mid line or when it starts to make laterals I will start pruning the bottom.

Just my .02.


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Old 07-10-2008, 07:49 PM   #2
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I haven't done any pruning yet. My hops are just barely passing the 3' mark and that may be part of my slow growth problem. What recommendations are there for pruning and how much should I cut off?


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Old 07-10-2008, 07:53 PM   #3
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I guess I didnt realize that I had to prune. One of my bines is about 9ft but its only just starting to get sidearms. What do I have to prune off?
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Old 07-10-2008, 07:57 PM   #4
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July 10: I have 2 plants over 12' tall, 2 or 3 at 10", a couple at 8' and 1 stubborn one at about 6'...
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:47 PM   #5
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To prevent mildew ,and insect infestation it's suggested that the bottom approx 2 foot of leaves and laterals be pruned away to allow for better airflow and to limit the nooks and crannies for insects to climb on and hide in.

My texts suggest you wait until the bines reach the top of the trellis (mine is 14 foot tall).

To date, I have 10 plants that have reached an exceeded the top line of my trellis. 2 that have bushed out on the ground. And 1 that is approx. 10 foot tall on both lines.

All have laterals like crazy and most are flowering. I am on the 35 parralell and temps are steady in the 90's by day, 70's by night.

I waited til this week to start pruning the lower portions and it was a B#!tch!

I am still not sure what, if anything, I will do about the 2 bushy 1 year olds. Prolly nothing other than watch them for mold, mildew, and bug problems.
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:57 PM   #6
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I planted rhizomes last year, and just let them grow, with out training them anywhere. Two of them are now well over 25' tall. I built one of the trellis' out of 3/4" EMT conduit. With the top at 20', the hop bines have been well past the top of the trellis. I must have done something right, and have some really good soil, for 2nd year plants to be doing this well.

One other rhizome I planted along aprivacy fence, and train it to grow laterally. It is about 15'+, and doing pretty well also.

Pruning the bottom leaves, and any new shoots coming up, is something I do after the plant gets over 6' tall. The new shoots have to be taken car of a couple times a week, so the plant puts all it's growing power into the existing bines, and NOT into more new growth.
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:40 PM   #7
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I prune the bottom 2 feet once the bines hit 6-7'. By the time the bines top out, we are out of the rainy season. Like NO rain for a couple months. I drip irrigate, so no concerns for mildew higher up.
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Old 07-29-2008, 06:29 PM   #8
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I did this around a month ago (8' tall on most of the plants). It really did take some MASSIVE patience to not rush the job because it would be so easy to accidentally cut/nick the main bines since it gets so full down there. I was on vacation for a week and came home to what looks like I didn't do anything....it had all grown back even bushier.

I don't know if I want to trim them off again or just leave it alone. We have had some crazy wet weather the past week (5+ inches of rain), and so I'm worried it may cause problems if I don't.
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Old 07-29-2008, 06:31 PM   #9
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Yeah, I decided to prune the bushy ones and did just that, got confused and snipped the wrong piece of green spaghetti. Doh! The plants are fine but I did mistaking trim a few good bines.


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