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How to Grow Hops

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ahaley

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Hey guys I'm thinking about growing hops, is it too late in the season?
 

drummstikk

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Hey guys I'm thinking about growing hops, is it too late in the season?
It's really never too late to plant.

You're in the Central Valley, right? If you don't expect hard freezes, then I suppose you could even plant in the middle of the winter. The rhizome would just lie dormant until the spring.

If you take the rhizome from a cool refrigerator to a frozen ground, I can see it having issues with cold damage because it hasn't had time to "harden". This is the process that plants use to pump cryoprotectants into their tissues in anticipation of winter. This is the only issue with the timing of rhizome planting that I'm aware of.
 

ahaley

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drummstikk said:
It's really never too late to plant.

You're in the Central Valley, right? If you don't expect hard freezes, then I suppose you could even plant in the middle of the winter. The rhizome would just lie dormant until the spring.

If you take the rhizome from a cool refrigerator to a frozen ground, I can see it having issues with cold damage because it hasn't had time to "harden". This is the process that plants use to pump cryoprotectants into their tissues in anticipation of winter. This is the only issue with the timing of rhizome planting that I'm aware of.
Awesome thanks, and yes I'm in the central valley and I've seen ice come here like.. 4 times in about 20 years or so lol now I just need to learn about what hops to grow lol
 

MrWhite

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Any one know of any commercial hop operations in CA? We are a winery/vineyard in the Central coast of CA and are thinking of putting in about 10 acres of hops for some of the local micro brew guys around here. I'm trying to learn what I can from google, but it would be really helpful to see an operation with my own eyes. can anyone point me in a good direction?

Thanks!
 

drummstikk

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The only commercial hop farm I know of in CA is Hop-Meister. They are extremely nice people, and in a totally different local market, so I bet they'd be happy to help.

Good luck! You're living the dream!
 

ddrrseio

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i got three crowns from great lakes hops back in april and i am collecting cones now! they run a great farm, which you can see on their facebook page, and they have great prices.

if i were considering whether to begin now or next season, i'd certainly start now and let those crowns get going so you can anticipate a stronger plant and a larger harvest next year.
 
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Is it normal to start having bronzing in the leaves as it nears harvest time? Or are my bines just giving me a sign that they want some nutes? Its not spider mites or any pest problem.
 

DrexelBrewer

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Check out 'Aquaponics' I have a setup in my basement now, next to my fermentation setups.

Using aquaponics to grow indoors would be tough, but you could do it outdoors.

My youtube name is "Twizzlerx25" check out my aquaponics videos. If you're a homebrewer or a DIY kinda person, you could easily get into it. It's 'Green' and 'Sustainable'. Check it out.

If anyone wants to throw me some seeds/rhizomes i'll make room in my setup and modify it so that I can grow hops, and i'll document it as well and post it to this forum.

I have flourescent lights as well as HPS lights for fruiting plants.

-Sean
 

BFry86

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Hey gents,
I planted all my Rhizomes last May and had great results for the first year. This is my first spring and I have them coming up like crazy. I've heard many people say that one should trim back the first that come up. Any suggestions? I've got two rhizomes per mound and anywhere from 4-15 shoots that are almost a foot tall. Thanks
 

sweetcell

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Can I grow if I have dogs in the yard
i have a dog, she chews and eats everything under the sun it seems. she has shown zero interest in my hop plants. she spends all day in the backyard where i have my cascade and centennial. over the past year i've had 3 different dogs over for play-dates, none of them paid any attention to the hops (except maybe peeing on them). i have 2-foot chicken wire around the plants mostly to protect from the lawnmower and from being stepped on.

there is a lot of disagreement over how dangerous hops are. based on what i've read, it's a lot like peanut allergies with kids: rare, but deadly when it happens. i believe that only stalky, muscley breeds are affected, and even then they need to have a genetic predisposition. i've also read that it's the boiled, isomerized hops that are deadly - not the raw plants. there are a ton of threads on here with people who's experience or opinions don't match mine, so read up before making your own decisions.
 

sweetcell

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Hey gents,
I planted all my Rhizomes last May and had great results for the first year. This is my first spring and I have them coming up like crazy. I've heard many people say that one should trim back the first that come up. Any suggestions? I've got two rhizomes per mound and anywhere from 4-15 shoots that are almost a foot tall. Thanks
another topic with a lot of confusing information and disagreement. it's important for commercial farmers to cut the first growth because they want plants that are all the same size and all ready to harvest at the time time. in large monoculture fields, it also helps with disease control.

it's very unclear, as far as i can tell, if home growers should cut their first growth. we don't need uniformity among plants, since we typically only have 1 of each type of plant (and if you have more than one, does it really matter to you if columbus #1 needs to be harvest one week and columbus #2 is ready the next?). i am not cutting back the first growth on any of my plants... i don't see any advantage to doing it.

one thing you will want to do with second year plants is to eventually trim back the bines and keep only 4-6 of the healthiest per plant.
 

GVH_Dan

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There are lots of "reasons" to cut the first flush but reading the literature doesn't support any of them expect exactly what you have pointed out...uniformity and disease control.

For homebrewers, it would makes sense if your hops are popping up too early in the year. The other reason to cut them is they are real tasty.
 

brewmcq

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i have 2-foot chicken wire around the plants mostly to protect from the lawnmower and from being stepped on.

there is a lot of disagreement over how dangerous hops are.
I'm mostly interested in protecting my plants... my dog has sniffed all around them and even sniffed crushed up cones (in my hand) and has shown zero interest.

It's the green beans we need to keep her out of... she'll eat an entire harvest in an afternoon.. not the plants, but the beans.. that crazy mutt loves her some green beans.. lol
 

sweetcell

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For homebrewers, it would makes sense if your hops are popping up too early in the year.
interesting. can you elaborate on what you mean by "popping up too early"? do you mean before the risk of frost has past? or is there any other reason to delay the bines?

my newport is 6 feet tall already.
 

GVH_Dan

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If you were growing in San Diego, you may have bines popping out of the ground in January vs. April in the PNW or other northern states. If they come up to early, they will start to bud before they have developed side arms. That means you get a lot less cones per plant.
 

sweetcell

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If you were growing in San Diego, you may have bines popping out of the ground in January vs. April in the PNW or other northern states. If they come up to early, they will start to bud before they have developed side arms. That means you get a lot less cones per plant.
interesting. it's my understanding that it's the shortening length of day that makes the plants produce cones, not their size. thus, if they start early, they grow bigger and have more length from which to grow side-arms and hence cones. based on this, it would make sense to get them started on the earlier side, within reason. i see your point - january is way too early. here in maryland hops popped up in mid-april and are going gangbusters. hopefully that's not too early.
 

BFry86

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Sweetcell, Thanks for the trimming advice. I just trimmed all but the strongest 3-4 per bine. Anyway, I've got 25 mounds with two-three rhizomes in each (3 different varieties). Last year I had some sort of growth out of each mound. My chinook and cascade being the big producers.. As of right now, 10 mounds have plants over 6'. However, I have 8 mounds without even a bud popping out. Should I be concerned about those without anything coming up? Would it be safe to dig down and see if anything is going on? Thanks again
 

sweetcell

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Sweetcell, Thanks for the trimming advice. I just trimmed all but the strongest 3-4 per bine. Anyway, I've got 25 mounds with two-three rhizomes in each (3 different varieties). Last year I had some sort of growth out of each mound. My chinook and cascade being the big producers.. As of right now, 10 mounds have plants over 6'. However, I have 8 mounds without even a bud popping out. Should I be concerned about those without anything coming up? Would it be safe to dig down and see if anything is going on? Thanks again
you could go digging down, but be warned that the bines pushing their way up are very delicate and will break easily. you would need to be very careful.

better yet - RDWHAHB. it's still early in the growing season, not everyone is awake yet. hell, we're not even past our frost date. maybe some varieties are aware of this and don't want to take any chances!
 

NuclearRich

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...

it's very unclear, as far as i can tell, if home growers should cut their first growth. we don't need uniformity among plants, since we typically only have 1 of each type of plant (and if you have more than one, does it really matter to you if columbus #1 needs to be harvest one week and columbus #2 is ready the next?). i am not cutting back the first growth on any of my plants... i don't see any advantage to doing it.

one thing you will want to do with second year plants is to eventually trim back the bines and keep only 4-6 of the healthiest per plant.
I just read a blurb from great lakes hops Facebook about "bull shoots". It describes some early shoots as being hollow and weaker.
 

sweetcell

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I just read a blurb from great lakes hops Facebook about "bull shoots". It describes some early shoots as being hollow and weaker.
awesome, thanks for pointing that out:

"Growers Note: Selecting the right bines to train.
The first largest bines to emerge on 2nd year or older hop crowns are not necessarily the best to train. These "bull" shoots have a large hollow core, like a straw; and easily kink or are damaged by late spring storms. Most crowns put out two to three of these, at the most; and crews can be trained to identify them and prune them out as they twirl climbing bines. "Bull" shoots are often a light olive green color with stretched internodes - some field practice clipping a few will reveal which have the hollow stems."

i wonder if there are any other drawbacks other than being weaker. i wonder if they produce less?

gonna have to check my plants tonight. learn something new every day!
 

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i wonder if there are any other drawbacks other than being weaker. i wonder if they produce less?
Theoretically yes. The internodes are spaced farther apart so the sidearms will follow. Basically, more sidearms/vine=more cones/vine.
 

Larzean

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I built 2 - 4x4 raised beds and had planned to plant 2 rhizomes in each along with tomatoes, cucumbers, and maybe some hot peppers. My goal was to put the hops on one end of the boxes that way I could make a trellis for them to climb on that spanned both boxes (they're like 2 feet apart) now I'm seeing the rhizomes should be a couple feet apart.

I'm wondering now that I know this, should I put them on opposite sides of the boxes? Would I still be able to plant the other stuff in the middles of the beds?
 

bristela

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I built 2 - 4x4 raised beds and had planned to plant 2 rhizomes in each along with tomatoes, cucumbers, and maybe some hot peppers. My goal was to put the hops on one end of the boxes that way I could make a trellis for them to climb on that spanned both boxes (they're like 2 feet apart) now I'm seeing the rhizomes should be a couple feet apart.

I'm wondering now that I know this, should I put them on opposite sides of the boxes? Would I still be able to plant the other stuff in the middles of the beds?
I've always tried to keep other things out of my hop beds, mainly because I was worried about the hops taking over.
 

MadIslander

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I just ordered 40 Rhizomes and plan to set up 4 lines 6' apart 9' tall and 26" long hear in mid-coast Maine
It's my first grow so any help or input would be great.
I am not planting anything else around them for mowing and I feel they will take up most of my free time...
 

MadIslander

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I just ordered 40 Rhizomes and plan to set up 4 lines 6' apart 9' tall and 26" long hear in mid-coast Maine
It's my first grow so any help or input would be great.
I am not planting anything else around them for mowing and I feel they will take up most of my free time...
 

gozarca2

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new to it myself. bought 2 last summer and they are in the pots but in the ground. Here in CA its been pretty warm still, but we did have a cold snap in november. Hopefully they survive. The soil around here is hard clay so not too good. I may try to grow them instead in some property i have near Napa.
 

Terek

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I just pre ordered a few from my local shop. Had to fill out detailed paperwork stating exactly were I live since I'm so close to the wilder idaho border. There are some wierd laws around me in idaho that state I cannot grow hops too close to wilder. I know that a good portion of the countries hops are grown there, but was unaware how strict the laws are. Bunch of crap, but luckily I'm about 3 blocks outside the border. :) yay me
 

justineaton

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I was planning on building raised beds that are buried half way to keep roots from spreading to far and force water down to roots. Also to make weeding easy, I saw this in a video. I can't really afford the wood right now though so I am thinking about cutting the bottom of five gallon buckets and doing the same thing, burying them half way. I was hoping to get some advise from a pro on if this is a good idea.
 

bristela

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I was planning on building raised beds that are buried half way to keep roots from spreading to far and force water down to roots. Also to make weeding easy, I saw this in a video. I can't really afford the wood right now though so I am thinking about cutting the bottom of five gallon buckets and doing the same thing, burying them half way. I was hoping to get some advise from a pro on if this is a good idea.
I made a raised bed for about $50 all told. May not be foolproof in terms of preventing root spreading but you can get an idea here:

http://hopstarter.blogspot.com/2013/04/new-season-new-state-new-hops.html

Hope this helps.
 

ahaley

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What're some good hops to start to grow? I live in El Paso Texas , and I think I already missed the season due to the army •_•
 

bristela

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What're some good hops to start to grow? I live in El Paso Texas , and I think I already missed the season due to the army •_•
Of the three I tried growing in Houston, the Willamette was by far the best. If you look at my blog, my first year was in Houston. Obviously Houston and El Paso are very different in terms of climate but probably quite similar in terms of day length. Eastern Washington state, where the majority of hops are grown, is also very arid though. I suspect you'll be fine with almost anything. I might avoid noble varieties that would normally grow in Germany or the UK. I've also had great success with Columbus here in Maryland. Personally, I'd just get my hands on whatever is available this time of year and plant them. Hops are weeds really, so will grow almost anywhere.

Best of luck & let us know how you get on.
 

beerinasippicup

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The new episode of Ale & Metal TV has a bit more in depth on planting Rhizomes. Unfortunately it is followed mostly by failure!
Check it out.

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgaSOeAEE3s"][YOUTUBE]qgaSOeAEE3s[/YOUTUBE][/ame]
 
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