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1st time grower... what do I do with branches close to the ground?

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darkrabbit

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Hi all. I’m growing hops for the first time and I think it’s been going really well!

I was curious what I should do with these branches that are coming off the plant? I read somewhere they’re where the cones will grow but I don’t know if I want them growing so close to the ground...? Do I prune the bottom few feet?

pic attached.

thanks!

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tellyho

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Just let it go. Hops require no management on your part except keeping them from taking over.
 

CodeSection

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I bought hop plants from GLH and since this is my first year growing, I'm been told to wrap everything around the coir if possible. Though, later I plan on trying to propagate the hop plants from cuttings I remove at the bottom. Also, I may just bury those extra shoots to see if they take root on their own as others have posted here on HBT.

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Kaz15

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Yeah just let everything grow this first year. If those sidearms are in the way, try and train them up the twine as well. I do this with my cascade, which always gets bushy at the bottom.
 
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darkrabbit

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Thanks all! Yeah this is cascade :) I might train the lower ones up the twine but ok I’ll let em grow!
 

Kaz15

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Glad to hear you also have a cascade! The hops from my cascade have produced some amazing beers. Just get ready for it to take over your yard in a couple years. Lol. Here are some pics of my mine.

This was in 2018 at my old house
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This pic was taken a few days ago. Same crown, I transplanted late 2018. Throwing an insane amount of flowers.
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RPh_Guy

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I don't know what's "best", but FWIW the large side arms on my first year Cascade in northern Ohio didn't produce any hops.

This (second) year I mistakenly trained the 2 bull shoots instead of bines (I cut all the bines, oops), but the side arms are definitely producing flowers.

@Kaz15 That was a great setup at your old house. I've been working my wife to let me build a pergola.
 
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darkrabbit

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@Kaz15 wow, that's insane! I feel like mine should be a bit bigger at this stage but I may have started late. We'll see what happens!

My plan is to transplant this guy next year, which I MIGHT have to do mid season unfortunately because we're moving July 2021. Gotta make sure we do it right so he survives the move.

-J
 

Kaz15

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@RPh_Guy we loved our pergola. One word of caution, even though the hops running over the top looks magnificent, cascade in particular is susceptible to aphids. There were times the aphids would be so intense that they fell down all over the table below. The lady bugs tried their best, but then we had ladybug larva all over the place too. It was an extremely unpleasant situation. If the aphids reappear this season, I’m planning on trying this out:


If anyone has experience with this product, I’d love to hear thoughts.

@darkrabbit, I wouldn’t worry too much first year growth. That is very unfortunate that you know you have to move next July. Moving in May, June, July, August is definitely not ideal.
 

Beerisgud

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Transplanting in July will be interesting. I’m not experienced with transplanting hops but with other plants, and hops are tough plants. There is a couple ways i would go about doing it considering by then there will be significant growth. Option 1 would be to Let it grow to it’s fullest then cut it all down to last couple feet and transplant that. This will give the plant time to grow more root mass before transplanting. It’ll grab hold of the new location maybe throw a few shoots, just focus on the following year. Option 2 would be to use a tomato cage or wire fencing that the plant can be densely trained on and likely heavily pruned. The plant can be dug up with this growth intact. This could possibly take off after transplanting. Option 3 would be to dig up the crown early in spring when possible before shoots or when shoots are starting and put in a planter for transplant. It will stunt it but it will be better than starting over. Hopefully you can find out where you are living by spring time and can do your transplant before the move!
 

Cyclman

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I always strip the leaves off of approximately the bottom 2 feet of my hop bines. Otherwise, they provide too much shade on my wife’s plants. I don’t wanna lose my garden privileges. On the other hand, my bines are several years old, I don’t think I could kill them if I had to.
 
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