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bull shoots

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pangaeamaposa

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Well, after several years of very low yield hop growing, I have just heard that bull shoots should be cut. The advice I had been following up to this point was "Leave the strongest 4-6 bines, cut the rest." But the strongest 4-6 bines are what I now understand are these bull shoots. What I mean by low yield is that I am getting about 3 oz. total out of 8 plants.

My question is: should I cut this year's bull shoots now that they are already 6-8 ft. high and I have already cut all the other new growth, or should I let the current situation continue?

My gut says to cut them and hope for new growth. Worst case scenario, they don't produce this year, right?
 

B-Hoppy

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Where are you located, in the ground or pots, etc? Either way, if you only harvest 3 oz from 8 plants after a few years, I'd seriously consider finding something more productive to invest your time in?
 
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pangaeamaposa

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Where are you located, in the ground or pots, etc? Either way, if you only harvest 3 oz from 8 plants after a few years, I'd seriously consider finding something more productive to invest your time in?
The question was not "What is your opinion regarding how my free time is spent?" If you do not wish to contribute anything helpful, then please do not contribute at all. Opinions are like assholes, as they say - you have the overwhelming stench of both. Good day, sir.
 

B-Hoppy

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Sorry if you were offended. What I was getting at is that a little more information would have been helpful to give a more informative and helpful answer to your question. Hops have very specific growth requirements and the further away from the ideal situation you get, the less you can expect the plants to produce as they will be encountering stresses that plants growing in an optimal setting don't. Plants growing under stress may not benefit from standard cultural practices so cutting back your plant may have been the absolute wrong thing to suggest you do.
 

Saunassa

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Wow 6-8' tall already! Mine here are maybe 12" I tend to cut any shoot that is over a foot tall by now and find they tend to be hollow. I have to grow on a fence so though not ideal these two year old plants still yielded a few ounces per plant.
I would be tempted to cut back a few of those long bines to see what happens but that is me. I will watch this to see what more experienced growers say.
Btw, did you do know that the young first growth tastes excellent and sort of asparagus like when sauted?
 

B-Hoppy

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He’s just a seasoned hop grower that’s tired of the bull shoot
Sort of. The bigger issue is that there's this great thing called the world-wide-web where we can all find information on just about anything we're looking for. Much of the time, the information is packaged in a way to make it more appealing to the reader in order to get the reader to feel comfortable with the source and maybe visit that source again. The more visits a source has may move that source up to the top of the heap when someone does a search for the particular thing that source is providing information on. It doesn't really matter if the information that source is providing is factual or not, more or less, it just amounts to being a popularity contest. I just find it really sad to see the amount of misinformation and half-truths that can be perpetuated through this sort of medium when most folks have a genuine desire to learn.
 

Hoppy2bmerry

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Sort of. The bigger issue is that there's this great thing called the world-wide-web where we can all find information on just about anything we're looking for. Much of the time, the information is packaged in a way to make it more appealing to the reader in order to get the reader to feel comfortable with the source and maybe visit that source again. The more visits a source has may move that source up to the top of the heap when someone does a search for the particular thing that source is providing information on. It doesn't really matter if the information that source is providing is factual or not, more or less, it just amounts to being a popularity contest. I just find it really sad to see the amount of misinformation and half-truths that can be perpetuated through this sort of medium when most folks have a genuine desire to learn.
Sorry B-Hoppy, this is meant for the op. I hope that was obvious, guess I should go to bed.

@pangaeamaposa I suggest you contact your local university cooperative, which can provide detailed information for your area. Those of us that might be able to help you have no idea what you’ve been doing with your hops. I have 11 varieties some produce more than others and the Saaz I tried died, probably due to the location, but they are known for lower yield. Hops need water, sun and feedings at the right time. There are a few publications online you could find by investigating the Great Lakes Hops site. There is plenty of reliable info on line When you learn where to look. And yeah, cutting bullshoots increases the yield.
 
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bracconiere

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The question was not "What is your opinion regarding how my free time is spent?" If you do not wish to contribute anything helpful, then please do not contribute at all. Opinions are like assholes, as they say - you have the overwhelming stench of both. Good day, sir.

lol, i don't know if i should have clicked this thread....i just can't keep my mouth closed....but 3 oz's off 8 plants seems low to me, i got about a pound off one in N.Cal...and i just let the thing grow like a weed.....
 

Leezer

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If it were me I’d cut the bull shoots and hope for new growth, just to see if that helps. I once cut the first shoots back in late May and still had great growth afterwards. I’d also check with a local university cooperative as suggested to be sure your fertilizing and watering regimen are on the right track.
 
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mschoeffler

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Go ahead and cut them. I’ve lost 3-4ft of bines to a hailstorm and they bounced back. It’s still just mid May.
 

pvpeacock

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I have a 2nd year Chinook that has about 8-10 shoots that are about 10" tall. I assumed they were bull shoots and cut one yesterday, but it was not hollow. Does that mean it was NOT a bull shoot? I dread cutting the rest if they are not bull shoots, but should I just cut them anyway? This is the first time in 5 years I have actually had a plant pop up in year two, so I would hate to kill it.
 

NitrogenWidget

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After advice from this forum, I cut my bull shoots last month.
they were all hollow.

about a few weeks ago new shoots started showing.
less than before.
they hadn't moved much in the last few weeks because of cold weather and lack of sun.
on sat it was 70 and full sun.
the damn things grew 6-10" in one day. o_O
 

Saunassa

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Yep watered mine last week, got a little rain Saturday and boom they grew Sunday. Hops are an amazingly fast growing plant
 

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