June Hop Bines Bushing Out and Healthy Maintenance


    A lot has happened since the last post.  We finally got some warm temps and sunshine (my tomatoes are

    Nugget, Magnum and Cascade hop bines branching out.

    June 10th Hops & Sunshine = Good

    happy too!).  The hops are bushing out, sending out laterals (branches).  Some of the leaves are a foot across.  I have hit them twice with Miracle Gro foliar fertilizer, twice with Azomite mineral complex and once with fish emulsion.  The hops are healthy!

    Pulling Hop Rhizomes

    Also had to cut and pull up the hop rhizomes that were spreading.  I have 3 varieties of hops in a relative close proximity to each other.  You want to keep the bines, one variety per rope.  Trimming rhizomes is easy, just cut a circle around the hop crown (say 12 inch radius from the center of the root stock / crown).  Then just pull up the rhizomes that grow outwards from the circle you cut.  I use a spade shovel and a knife to cut the rhizomes.  then just pull them up, they are shallow, a couple inches deep at most, sometimes on top of the soil.  You can plant these rhizomes or give them to friends to plant if you want.

    On top of the potential rhizome mixing of hop varieties,  The branches reach across and if left alone, will intermingle bines (mixed hop cones).  You want to keep varieties separated so you have a known product to work with.  Especially don’t want aroma hops and bittering hops to mingle – they have different purposes.  You might end up with a fantastic beer or ale, but you will never be able to replicate it because of the unknown quantities of each variety.

    Strip bottom Leaves for Airflow and Health

    I finally got around to stripping the bottom 2 & 1/2 to 3 feet of leaves (see pic).  I should have done this earlier.  This prevents soil borne viruses, bacteria, funguses, mold and mildew from splashing up on the leaves and sometimes spreading disease.  It is much better to prevent disease than try and deal with it once it has affected your bines.  On top of preventing soil splash, it also helps with airflow.  Airflow is necessary to prevent mold and mildews from growing on your bines.  Those are my wife’s Peonies between bines.  They were there before the hops (hops are 9 years old now).

    Categories : 9th Year Hops

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