Question regarding 1st year hop pruning/training.

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Rahahb

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Seems to be some conflicting information on this in the threads I've searched. I don't doubt I missed some definitive information though..

This is my first year for hops. I have 1 cascade plant that has really taken off considering how late I planted it(little under 2 weeks ago). I have 2 of the other 3 that are still small and have only a couple of bines poking through.

Some people say leave 1st year hops alone. Some say cut all but 2 or 3 bines. Freshops instructions say 2-3 bines/rope with 2 ropes per plant. I only ran 1 rope per plant so I'm limited there. If it was absolutely necessary, I could revise my trellis to have 2 ropes per plant, but I'd rather wait til harvest.

Here's a current picture.



Thanks
 

cactusgarrett

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First year i would suggest 2-3 bines per line, 2 lines per rhizome. Of course, this will probably contradict someone else's advice, and you're right back to square one...
 

Randar

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First year i would suggest 2-3 bines per line, 2 lines per rhizome. Of course, this will probably contradict someone else's advice, and you're right back to square one...
This is the typical recommendation for mature crowns. I honestly don't know what they do at hop farms for 1st and 2nd year hops, but you want to promote as much leaf-out as possible to capture light energy for root development/storage. I have let my first years go kind of "wild"... as many strong looking bines as possible. Again, farms may do it differently, and I am curious what farm-scale protocol is here.
 

tchuklobrau

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Lol well unless more sprout up the pic only shows 6 shoots that i can count so there u have it let em all grow. Id just let em all grow. I did that on my original 11 plants and had tremendous results. I plan on doing that with all mine this year as well(went from 11 to 39 plants.
 

davefleck

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The reason to leave them alone the first year is to encourage root growth. When you trim less energy is needed to support leaf growth. Roots grow to handle that demand.
 

cactusgarrett

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Fair enough. I trimmed, got a good yield (about 8oz dry) my first year from two of my three mounds, and my hops are still alive, so that was my recommendation.
 

Homercidal

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Don't trim for first year. You need all of the energy from the all of the leaves you can get. After the roots are established, then trim to concentrate the growth into the remaining bines, for cone production.
 

B-Hoppy

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Freshops instructions say 2-3 bines/rope with 2 ropes per plant.
Thanks
When discussing how many shoots to let climb, I think there is some confusion because many folks are not differentiating whether they are first year or more mature plants. If you look at the info from Freshops, the '2-3 per rope' is stated for more 'mature' plants.

Sure, you can have success by only allowing 2 or 3 to grow from a first year plant, but the more growth that first year plant can produce will equate to a much larger store of energy in the crown by the end of the growing season. The reason for this is that hops are very efficient at being able to produce not only enough energy to sustain their own top growth, but also produce an excess that is sent to the crown to be used in the future. Kinda like 6-row malt having enough enzymes to convert it's own starch plus some left over.

Just stick 'em in the ground, give them something to climb on and they'll be fine.
 

ForerunnerBrewer

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When discussing how many shoots to let climb, I think there is some confusion because many folks are not differentiating whether they are first year or more mature plants. If you look at the info from Freshops, the '2-3 per rope' is stated for more 'mature' plants.
Would you say then if I have two ropes dedicated per rhyzome hill and 3 bines per rope that-that would be sufficient for the first year? For root growth and bine/hop growth considering the need to have enough leaves to catch sunlight?

That sounds great to me, but it also sounds to me like alot of bines for a new rhyzome. Which also sounds like what you may do for a more mature plant.
 

Randar

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Would you say then if I have two ropes dedicated per rhyzome hill and 3 bines per rope that-that would be sufficient for the first year? For root growth and bine/hop growth considering the need to have enough leaves to catch sunlight?

That sounds great to me, but it also sounds to me like alot of bines for a new rhyzome. Which also sounds like what you may do for a more mature plant.
3 bines per rope and 2 ropes per crown is standard for mature crowns. For first years I typically just trained all bines that looked strong onto the rope and probably had 6 or 8 on each rope by year's end. This is more in line with letting them go "hog wild" as others have noted.
 

B-Hoppy

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The whole idea when establishing hops is to build a root system (first year), so let everything grow. During the establishment year the plants grow a little differently than they do once they are mature. Once mature, if they are growing in good soil and environment, then they will begin to produce sidearms in line with the average length for that particular variety. I've never had a first year Cascade produce sidearms any longer than about 5 inches - but the mature sidearms are 2-3 feet long - this is only my experience. I have seen 2 foot long sidearms on some Redvines I've grown but then again the mature Redvines grow 4-5 foot laterals. 2-3 foot long sidearms on the Cascades end up tangling up pretty bad making picking difficult. I find any more than about 4-5 vines per pole is too much on a mature plant.

See what happens this first year make adjustments from there in the future.
 

ctheis

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For first year plants let them go...only trim to keep growth off the ground. This small bit of trimming will help prevent disease. Let everything climb as they will. 2nd year you can trim back to however many you want to run a string...normally I run 2 to 4 per string...sometimes 6 on the high alpha hopzilla plants like Nuggets,Chinook, Brewers Gold etc etc. Contrary to the common wisdom running up to 6 bines per string doesnt affect my production and by then end of the second year your rootball will be something like 4 ft across and about a 1.5 to 3 ft deep depending on variety...Year 3 I run 4bines per string or more on all varieties.

Cheers
 

ForerunnerBrewer

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Another question. I have 2 Cascades. The first is growing well and looks much like the one on the first pict on this post. The second however looks healthy but is the size of the smalest shoot in the same pict. So it is a totally separate plant, planted at the same time in the same conditions and it has a bunch of healthy leaves but almost hasn't grown (vertically or horizontall) in the past week.

I'm not worried as much that it is unhealthy or a dud, but has anyone had this happen? It's not growing as much like a weed as I would have expected.

Thanks!
 

B-Hoppy

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ForerunnerBrewer,

It does happen but I don't know why. Sometimes they just 'vege-out' for a while and then start growing normally. Sometimes they just 'vege-out' and never get real big. The second year all is good though. Don't worry and go have a beer!
 

Soulshine2

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resurrecting this thread - please refer me to a current one if one is available and still growing.
First year growing hops.
3 Planted from rhizomes early this spring- Crystal, Mt Hood and Tettnanger
1 planted from crown/plant late spring- Hallertauer Mittelfruh

All are growing nicely (currently around 12 ft of bines) and I'm basically letting them grow as they will their first year to establish . My experimental hop trellis appears to be doing just fine , since the hop growth is lush and aggressive. Which is up 6 ft of twine 60* or so attached to a horizontal 4x4 support with cables strung to another 4x4 support about 15 ft away. The Mt Hood has the lead in length ,though has something that I'm not sure what it is . It looks like tiny spiky growths along the secondary shoots, to me they look like tiny cockleburrs. Can these be hops cones beginning to form already?? I would think its too early but having never grown them before I dont know, unless possibly Mt Hood is a quicker producer than the others by nature. I can take a pic a little later and post to show what exactly Im talking about.
Also , the secondary shoots on most of the bines are anywhere from 12-24 inches long . From what I'm reading thats pretty good for first year hops growth. I have been training those up the twine as well , or shouldnt I?
 

B-Hoppy

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Just let the sidearms do what they want. If you train them there's a good chance they'll be shaded and would prefer to ripen with good access to sunlight. Tiny cockleburrs are actually called burrs and the spiky growths are pollen receptacles.
 

Soulshine2

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Just let the sidearms do what they want. If you train them there's a good chance they'll be shaded and would prefer to ripen with good access to sunlight. Tiny cockleburrs are actually called burrs and the spiky growths are pollen receptacles.
ok so look at the picture I just posted...are these burrs actually the flower of hops which then turns into the cones?
 
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I was concerned when I planted my hops that the rhizomes would affect the foundations of my house as I’ve seen some rather large and tough hop rhizomes growing wild. I took a number of small pieces of rhizome shoots from wild plants and planted seven in each of two large pots and allowed them to climb up a trellis at the front of my house (see photo). With regular feeding they have produced a lot of large healthy cones (much larger than the wild ones which I picked last year and have witnessed again this year) from which I’ve brewed beer and I have also crammed three lots of them into more or less air-free containers in the freezer for use later in the year. The beer has been very pleasing but I’m wondering whether I should not prune the bines now, later or to leave pruning them back until next year.
I would also be interested in knowing your thoughts about me growing the rhizomes in pots.

Thank you in anticipation for you comments.
 

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mashpaddled

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I was concerned when I planted my hops that the rhizomes would affect the foundations of my house as I’ve seen some rather large and tough hop rhizomes growing wild. I took a number of small pieces of rhizome shoots from wild plants and planted seven in each of two large pots and allowed them to climb up a trellis at the front of my house (see photo). With regular feeding they have produced a lot of large healthy cones (much larger than the wild ones which I picked last year and have witnessed again this year) from which I’ve brewed beer and I have also crammed three lots of them into more or less air-free containers in the freezer for use later in the year. The beer has been very pleasing but I’m wondering whether I should not prune the bines now, later or to leave pruning them back until next year.
I would also be interested in knowing your thoughts about me growing the rhizomes in pots.

Thank you in anticipation for you comments.
I grow hops in half barrels that I ended up sinking almost entirely into the ground. The reason why I first put them in the half barrels is that I wanted to grow multiple varieties but I have limited room and don't want them overlapping as the plants spread. I had to bury them because even watering daily the soil was drying out too fast and if I wasn't there every day to water them then they would start dying back during the hottest part of the summer. So I sunk the barrels and hooked them up to my garden's drip irrigation system. The soil in the barrels stays cooler that way, the irrigation avoids having to be home every day to water them and the tap root can grow through the bottom of the barrel. The barrels will eventually decay but when that time comes I can replace them.

Hops grown in a container generally won't grow as well as free planted hops but from the size of the plant in your photo I don't think that will be much of a problem for you.
 
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I grow hops in half barrels that I ended up sinking almost entirely into the ground. The reason why I first put them in the half barrels is that I wanted to grow multiple varieties but I have limited room and don't want them overlapping as the plants spread. I had to bury them because even watering daily the soil was drying out too fast and if I wasn't there every day to water them then they would start dying back during the hottest part of the summer. So I sunk the barrels and hooked them up to my garden's drip irrigation system. The soil in the barrels stays cooler that way, the irrigation avoids having to be home every day to water them and the tap root can grow through the bottom of the barrel. The barrels will eventually decay but when that time comes I can replace them.

Hops grown in a container generally won't grow as well as free planted hops but from the size of the plant in your photo I don't think that will be much of a problem for you.
Thank you for those helpful suggestions, they are much appreciated. My pots would be about half barrel sized but being made of plastic the roots won’t spread downwards; I guess I’ll have to live with that.
However, what about pruning this autumn after their first season? Do I leave them as if they’re growing wild?
 
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