Bushy Goldings Won't Climb

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:


New Member
Jul 24, 2013
Reaction score
San Rafael
I've been reading these forums for a few years now, but this is the first time I've posted.

I've been growing hops in my backyard, here in San Rafael, California for three years now. Magnums and Goldings. All in containers.

The Magnums were growing against the side of a building on a rope trellis before I moved them across the yard. In both locations, they took off early, grew fast, and produced a good yield of hops.

The Goldings have only grown against the building. The first year, I got the rhizomes in the ground pretty late (mid May). A had a few successful bines, but not much.

Last year, the Goldings did much better. They were out of the ground by late March, had grown 20 feet by late May, and produced several harvests of hops.

This year, the Magnums are already 20 feet high and flowering.

But there's something wrong with the Goldings. For some reason, all of the Goldings grew a few inches high and then "bushed" out. None of them are climbing, and it's already mid-May.

I've cared for them precisely as I did the first two years. They're on a drip irrigation system, and I fertilize occasionally with a fish emulsion.

In the first two years, I cut back all but a the strongest bines - the eager climbers - as I'd read to do in numerous places. I haven't done that yet because there are no climbers to choose from.

Any ideas?

Here are two pictures. The first is what my Goldings looked like in June of last year. The second is what they look like today, in mid-May.

Thanks in advance for any advice!