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Post Harvest Talk

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Beerisgud

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Since we are in the harvest season I’m starting this thread to discuss all things post harvest and overwinter care. Whether you’re in pots or in the ground. Growing zone 6a, I have first year plants in both and would like to hear from you guys. Some topics I’d like to discuss are:

Alternative uses of hops(culinary/soaps/etc.)
When/how much to cut back after harvesting
Propagating rhizomes
Fertilizing(fall/spring)
Winter in-ground care(Mulching?)
Winter container care(exposure/water needs in garage/shed)
Harvesting rhizomes in spring

My bad if this is a repetitive post every year. Just thought it would be a good discussion. Links or previous threads you have to share would be appreciated!
 

Yooper

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I don't use my hops much any more (I have 7 varieties), but you can just cut them down to harvest. That way, they are easier to harvest and ready for the winter.

Mine have always been in the ground, so if they are in a pot I'd probably put them somewhere a little protected, but in zone 6 you should be fine.

I harvest rhizomes for friends if they want them just about anytime. The great thing about hops is that they are pretty much invasive and spread and grow. That's also the negative thing, as they are coming up under my deck, invading my greenhouse by going in through any crack, etc.

I don't mulch or fertilize, but you could do that if you want.
 
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Beerisgud

Beerisgud

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@Yooper Thanks for the feedback. I ended up handpicking but by year 3 I may just cut the plant down if it’s just too much.
I’m growing chinooks in a large container to see how they do. I’ve been told often how hardy they are and not to worry much about them. Sounds like they will be fine out there. I’ll probably just mulch since I have a couple bags leftover.
I was surprised to see so much growth continuing from the base of the cascade plant after harvest. I’ve been looking outside my boxes for any rogue runners. Nothing yet but this plant will be the one I‘ll look for rhizomes from.
 

mashpaddled

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I'm in zone 6 and my hops are in half barrels so I could contain their spread through the garden. I had them above ground the past couple years but I am in the process of burying them 3/4 of the way in the ground. They did fine in the winter although I did not water them enough in the dry parts of the winter with no fertilization. In the spring they did fine except sterling seemed to suffer during a late frost. The biggest problem I have with the current set up is keeping them hydrated through the summer. We don't get a ton of rain in July/August/September and as temperatures creep up towards the high 90s it's too difficult to keep them hydrated through the day. Even feeding each barrel a gallon of water every morning the bines were still drying out and dying back. The week before I picked hops the cones were too spongy and green but by the next weekend they were completely dried out and brown from the sun and heat.

So my goal is to partially bury them to insulate them from winter cold and help keep the roots cool and hydrated in the growing season. I'll also have them hooked into my irrigation system for additional watering. I'll still need to water them daily through the growing season but at least they won't dry out every day.

I'm growing cascade, chinook, mt. hood and sterling. The sterling is the most temperamental by far so I am swapping it into a more shaded spot and putting the less temperamental cascade in its place.
 

mschoeffler

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I'm in zone 6 and my hops are in half barrels so I could contain their spread through the garden. I had them above ground the past couple years but I am in the process of burying them 3/4 of the way in the ground. They did fine in the winter although I did not water them enough in the dry parts of the winter with no fertilization. In the spring they did fine except sterling seemed to suffer during a late frost. The biggest problem I have with the current set up is keeping them hydrated through the summer. We don't get a ton of rain in July/August/September and as temperatures creep up towards the high 90s it's too difficult to keep them hydrated through the day. Even feeding each barrel a gallon of water every morning the bines were still drying out and dying back. The week before I picked hops the cones were too spongy and green but by the next weekend they were completely dried out and brown from the sun and heat.

So my goal is to partially bury them to insulate them from winter cold and help keep the roots cool and hydrated in the growing season. I'll also have them hooked into my irrigation system for additional watering. I'll still need to water them daily through the growing season but at least they won't dry out every day.

I'm growing cascade, chinook, mt. hood and sterling. The sterling is the most temperamental by far so I am swapping it into a more shaded spot and putting the less temperamental cascade in its place.
My sterlings have held up like champs in the Oklahoma summers. It has, by far, performed better than any noble-hop derivatives.
 
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Beerisgud

Beerisgud

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@mashpaddled I’m anticipating more water next season as it fills the container. Then eventually root prune in the following seasons to keep it in check. I might consider mounding snow around the planter for insulation over the winter if we get hit like the almanac is sayin
 
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