Growing hops from seed

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DarkCoder

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Sidearms already! You'll be double-cropping this year.
I don't think so... I am cutting the sidearms and the top of the bine to contains those crazy growers. There is another 3 months before I can put them outdoor. I have start to root some bine cuttings, I am planning to start them again from ground up and get rid of those that you see on the picture. I can only keep 1 plant from each seed that germinate. That is heart breaking, but I am limited in space. Those plants are in my dinning room... each time I add a container, my wife gives me "the look"... :)

(...but at least, she is smilling...she knows that hops is my passion)
 
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nagmay

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What's your current germination rate?
Around 10%, but there are several things to consider...

1) These are just the early risers. If last year is any indication, another 10-20% will pop given enough time.

2) I am working with many, very diverse populations. The Hood cross, not surprisingly, has only had 1 sprout out of 50+ seeds.

Nugget x (Cascade x Magnum), on the other hand, is pushing 40% already....
 
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nagmay

nagmay

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Love it!

Here, in the PNW, we have had an unseasonably warm winter with no snow. Several of the crosses in the yard already have 12" bines shooting from the ground. I'm excited, but also nervous - one cold snap could really eff everything up.
 

DarkCoder

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Here, in the PNW, we have had an unseasonably warm winter with no snow. Several of the crosses in the yard already have 12" bines shooting from the ground. I'm excited, but also nervous - one cold snap could really eff everything up.
They probably have other buds underground ready to take up if something happen. :)
 

PapaBearJay

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Love it!



Here, in the PNW, we have had an unseasonably warm winter with no snow. Several of the crosses in the yard already have 12" bines shooting from the ground. I'm excited, but also nervous - one cold snap could really eff everything up.

You've already planted your new seedling selections? Or last years seedlings?
 
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nagmay

nagmay

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You've already planted your new seedling selections? Or last years seedlings?
Last year's. Here are a few that never made it to the yard. I'll trim them all back when I plant this weekend.

image.jpg
 
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nagmay

nagmay

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The 2015 seeds continue to pop. 82 and counting...
Anyone got a few acres I can borrow?

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B-Hoppy

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Anyone got a few acres I can borrow?
My friend Dave has about 15 down in Philomath, mostly planted in Doug Fir but he's got a little hopyard. You might be roped into helping w/his rammed earth house if you're not quick enough though, haha. Nice work with the seedlings!
 

Bobcatbrewing42

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There is an organic brewery in British Columbia called "Cranog". They are also a small hop farm. One of the owners (Rebecca, I think) wrote a 40 page manual for small scale hop production. I think that you can download it. Lots of good info and they brew great beers. It was keg only, two years ago when I was there.
 
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nagmay

nagmay

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What are you using for your initial basis for selection?
A full year of growth... I've been trying to give the plants similar conditions and then evaluate them at the end of a full growth cycle. Yesterday, I went out to the yard and culled. It broke my heart, but we took the initial 40+ down to 8.

We made the decision based on factors like: cone size, yield, and taste tests. I have been brewing 1 gallon smash beers to do comparisons. Very interesting flavors so far.

Here's a pic of one that didn't get picked for a 2nd year. All this root growth was from seed last spring.

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PapaBearJay

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I constantly hear about people wanting to graft two varieties together, as many woody perennials (apples, cherries, etc.) can have specific benefits from rootstock to scion. I wonder if one were to breed for reduced rhizome growth, would they be able to maintain purity of the scion?
 
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nagmay

nagmay

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I constantly hear about people wanting to graft two varieties together, as many woody perennials (apples, cherries, etc.) can have specific benefits from rootstock to scion. I wonder if one were to breed for reduced rhizome growth, would they be able to maintain purity of the scion?
I've thought about this, but seeing as hops tend to die back to the "root stock" each year, the benefits would seem very temporary.
 

PapaBearJay

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I've thought about this, but seeing as hops tend to die back to the "root stock" each year, the benefits would seem very temporary.

I have too, which is in part why I ask the question. What if the interface for the graft is at the crown?
 
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nagmay

nagmay

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Are you offering any seeds for sale on, say, e-Bay?
No, and I really wouldn't recommend purchasing hops seeds off ebay. Anyone offering seeds from know varieties is trying to rip you off. The seeds you receive may not even be from hops. If they are, they will most likely be from an "ornamental" variety with no real brewing potential.

The only legit seeds you are likely to find are from the USDA, or from people on message boards like this one.

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 1.03.52 PM.png
 
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nagmay

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It does raise a good question, though...

At the end of this year - should any of these crosses show good potential - would people be interested in purchasing starts for the following spring? I would get a chemical analysis (for alpha, etc), but there would still be a lot of unknowns.

Thoughts?
 

B-Hoppy

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If they are, they will most likely be from an "ornamental" variety with no real brewing potential.
I don't understand your statement, but then again, I'm not a geneticist? The two ornamental varieties I'm familiar with are Sunbeam and Bianca which came out of Dr. Al's breeding efforts to create a replacement for Tettnang that would/could be grown here in the US. My thinking is that even though those two didn't make the cut as one of the varieties that were released, they should possess some of the (brewing) traits that the others that did make the cut also have. I could be way off base but those are my thoughts? http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/person/2450/hopcultivars/21698.html
 
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nagmay

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I don't understand... they should possess some of the (brewing) traits that the others that did make the cut also have. I could be way off base but those are my thoughts?
I shouldn't have made such a blanket statement. Any hops could have brewing potential. And if you are breeding, you have to start somewhere.

My point was that there is usually no accurate info on the seeds you find on eBay. I am confident that they don't come font Simcoe (as often posted). It's also unlikely, in my opinion, that they come from Sunbeam, or any named variety.

Here's my thought process: You can source "generic" hops from several large seed companies. Considering that there were males available to produce large amounts of seed stock, the parents were probably grown from seed as well. Many people simply want to grow hops for ornamental purposes and have not been selecting for flavor... Or, I could be way off.
 
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nagmay

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Just a quick update. About 100 seeds have germinated. 50 have been potted up. As observed in previous years, some of the new plants thrive while others struggle or wilt (even with the same parents and growing conditions). Two of the Mt Hood crosses germinated, but neither lasted long.

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nagmay

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PapaBearJay,

Love it! Do you move them to individual pots soon - or- right into the ground? There have to be 50+ in that pic.
 

PapaBearJay

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PapaBearJay,

Love it! Do you move them to individual pots soon - or- right into the ground? There have to be 50+ in that pic.

Moving them into pots wouldn't be the worst idea, at least for a month or so. Keep them happy until all the snow is gone.
 
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nagmay

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Speaking of pots: mine are quickly starting to outgrow their containers. I'll need to get them outside sooner than later.

I've had a great offer for a yard to use. Full sun, good soil, access to irrigation. The only problem is that it is on a steep slope...

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DarkCoder

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Speaking of pots: mine are quickly starting to outgrow their containers. I'll need to get them outside sooner than later.

I've had a great offer for a yard to use. Full sun, good soil, access to irrigation. The only problem is that it is on a steep slope...
They look great !! Good job !
 

PapaBearJay

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I didn't take any pictures today, but I would estimate several hundred seedlings have germinated within that flat I pictured above. I repotted some second year seedlings into larger pots, and the third years are breaking ground with some purple nubbins. This is gonna be fun!
 
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nagmay

nagmay

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That's unfair that your growing season is already started... can I ship you guys some snow ?!? :D
Please do. We have a serious shortage in the mountains. There will likely be drought conditions this summer.
 
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nagmay

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Quick update.

There are 80 healthy seedlings that have really taken off. Most are outgrowing their 3' bamboo posts and will need to be moved outside in the next 2 weeks. We're starting on the new hop yard this weekend.

In the meantime, I have to deal with a sudden breakout of aphids. A few ladybug nymphs have been introduced and more are on the way.

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nagmay

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Finally completed the new yard and moved the hops outside. Still need to set strings and complete the drip system. Attached is a panorama looking down the hill from up the hill.

Now for the waiting game to see if anything interesting develops.

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B-Hoppy

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Nagmay, you're way ahead of me but I'm letting Ma Nature do much of the germination work. She's a really cool old gal once you get to know her! I didn't have time to separate the seeds from the cones so I just scattered them along a row of hops in the back 40 then covered them with a little layer of compost. Now is transplant time.

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