June 1st Benchmark 1 Hop Bine Topped Out It’s Rope


    So far this year, here in Minnesota we have been ripped off out of a spring.  Cloudy, cold and rainy almost every day, not to mention 4 inches of snow in May.  Despite the lack of sunshine, the hops are almost on schedule for growth for a “normal season”.  Generally the hops top out by June 1st.  Last year was an early spring and the hops were at where they are now by May 6th.


    June 1st the Nugget hops topped their rope, the Magnum and Cascade hop bines are not far behind.

    June 1st Hop Bine Status

    A few days of sunshine and they will all be topped out and start filling in (bush out).  They are all sending out laterals (branches) and will fill out substantially.  Hopefully a better harvest than last year (about half of what it should have been).  Let’s hope for a more normal growing season and harvest.  The hops are healthy with big leaves – up to a foot across!  I am about to top dress the soil with some more compost that is almost ready (I make my own).


    I just wanted to give you an update as to where they are at.  June 1st is a benchmark date for a “normal” topping out of the ropes and a good indicator of general health and productivity.  I hope those of you that are growing hops are having success.  Leave a comment and let us know how you are doing.

    Categories : Fifth Year Hops


    1. Janice,
      I used 3 pulleys, 3 screw hooks, 3 eye screws, 3 wood stakes and 3 tie cleats (from my favorite store Amazon). I drilled pilot holes on the underside of my garage eves and then screwed in the screw hooks. I hung the pulleys on the screw hooks. At the ground level, I put a stake by each hop crown with an eye screw on the top side of the stake. I tie rope to the eyescrew, run it up and around the pulley and secure the free end of the rope to the tie cleats mounted on the side of my garage (keep enough slack to allow you to lower the rope and still be able to reach the end of the rope so you can re-raise the rope).

    2. Janice says:

      Love your pulley system. What exactly did you use to make it?

    3. BryPA,
      Thanks. You definitely do not want to harvest on a ladder if at all possible. The pulley system was the best time and labor saver I have done – worth the one time investment. Tough to harvest on a ladder with a beer and a cigar – no hands left. Hard to say what happened to your rhizomes. Need to make sure your soil drains or the rhizomes will rot. One trick is to mound the soil and make sure water doesn’t pool around your rhizomes for long (drainage). Friday 4/4/2014 we are supposed to get up to a foot of snow – arrrrrgh. I want to get the season started! Best of luck – keep us posted.

    4. BryPA says:

      Love this site. I’m in Northern California so my growing season is a little different, but I’m seeing two sprouts on one rhizome already(april 3rd). First time grower. I roped twenty feet but am in two gallon pots. A little scared of the ground because my attempt at two plants last year were unhealthy rhisomes and went in the ground too late and rotted or something. Thinking I’ll be borrowing a ladder and rigging a pulley system in the near future. Didn’t think too long about harvest and will spend forever to far off the ground to drink beer while I pluck.



    5. Grow Hops says:

      Thanks, glad I could help.
      Keep on hoppin!

    6. Luke says:

      Looks great! Thanks for all the tips, advice, and encouragement. My second-year hops are doing well. I have a Cascade that looks about like yours (but I’m not stringing them as high.)

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