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Author Topic: Proper way to plant multiple hop Rhizomes  (Read 507 times)

Black Dog Brewery

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Proper way to plant multiple hop Rhizomes
« on: July 11, 2018, 10:57:02 PM »
Thx Combat32 for the "Hop Mail" of Cascade and Centennial hop rhizomes a couple of months ago !

Just some notes and questions . . .

-  I did keep them in the refrigerator wrapped in a moist paper towel until I was able to plant them.  They actually sprouted while in the fridge.

-  I did plant them laying horizontally a few inches below the ground.

-  Kept them moist in the ground, but did not over water them.

-  Initially I setup a short tomato pole for them to grab onto while training the vines, and now have setup a longer pole made out of EMT conduit.

So far so good, but I do have a couple of questions . . .

-  How far apart are you supposed to plant the rhizomes?  The ones you sent are already growing, but I'm just curious how invasive hop plants are as they send out other roots below ground towards other plantings in the vegetable garden.  Are they like bamboo where it's best to plant them in some sort of container that is buried below the surface but keeps the roots from spreading outward?

-  Once the plants are established, do they winter over while in the ground in our freezing northern climate, or do you have to do something special to preserve them?

-  How and when did you harvest the rhizomes that you sent me?  I would like to preserve some as a backup, and also be able to share them in the future with other home brewers who are interested.

Thx again brew buddy !

Cheers & 17,

Long Island, New York
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Brew Beerymore

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Re: Proper way to plant multiple hop Rhizomes
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2018, 02:59:53 AM »
I'm not Combat, but nevertheless...

5 feet apart is good for hops. They do spread out their roots a bit, but you should keep trimming down those shoots you don't need for your trellis. You can absolutely confine the root system within a box if you like, the hops can take that easily. That way you can have them closer if you wish. You should give them about 1,5' x 1,5' then.

Your hops will be fine through the winter. No need for special treatment of any sort. When spring comes, they will shoot up and make you happy yet another season.

When shoots start coming up from the ground it's a good time to get rhizomes. You can use your fingers to brush away the top soil and find rhizomes with shoots on them. Find a spot with more than one shoot, and cut off 3-4 inches so that you have a rhizome with a few shoots on it. Wrap it in soaked paper towels and bag it.

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Re: Proper way to plant multiple hop Rhizomes
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2018, 10:25:24 AM »
Hey Black Dog Brewery!

as Brew Beerymore has said 5 feet is good, but i found 8 feet is better, thats for when we get those breezy days they like to sway and depending on how loose your lines are they could tangle.

harvesting, which can be end of September to mid or end of October, it is hard to say its a judgement call, look at the cones and give them a squeeze if they dont feel papery leave them.
pick one and peel it open look at the lupulin inside should be a bright-pale yellow/orange color and smell them.

after harvest, since this is your first year cut the bines about 3 feet above the ground and leave them alone for the winter. they will be fine. I put some of my leafs over them maybe a two hand fulls. it makes me feel good giving them a blanket  ::)

I dry them on a old screen window over a box fan, out of sun light. depending on how dry it is i leave them on the fan for the whole day while im at work. come home and vacuum pack them into 1-2oz bags, ive had three days of drying got almost 2lbs of hops  :D

you harvest rhizomes in the spring, i took the leafs off the top when i saw the shoots coming up and once i was positive no more frost would be coming i loosened up the dirt and cut the rhizomes close to the crown. they will grow out far. i had one that was 4 feet long and thats the one i sent you a piece of. you only need a 3-6inch piece to start. I even used a 2inch and its working.
I started another post on rhizome sizes and the affect it has on growing.
the bigger the rhizome circumference the faster and healthier the first year will be.
now that is what i have found, im not a hop farmer by any means  :) but this is year number 4 for me  8) 
same thing as how you got the rhizome from me, is the best way to store them. i still have 2 more in my fridge that i am going to plant on my other property next week hopefully  :)

i may try a wet hop beer this year with my cascade hops, if i get a good harvest.
glad to see you are enjoying them. dont hesatate to ask me anything about them i will give you as much as i have learned while growing them and of course babble on and on and on  :o


ps here is a good read on hop harvesting and stuff


« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 10:55:41 AM by combat32 »
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Black Dog Brewery

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Re: Proper way to plant multiple hop Rhizomes
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2018, 10:33:49 PM »
Thx Combat32 and BB for your replies !

It's pretty fascinating how these plants grow like no other that I've had in my garden.  Plus, regardless of how big or small the harvest will be, the thought of being able to add some home grown hops into a home brew is pretty cool !

Based upon your advice I will definitely have to move them further apart for next year.  But in the meantime they seem fragile but very happy.
Cheers & 17,

Long Island, New York
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