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Second Year Hops are Sprouting

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Compared to this time last year, the hops are huge! They are now second generation and should yield a lot more cones this fall. These hops have been in the ground for 12 months. They sprouted early because of the warmer winter in Oregon. I noticed the sprouts forming last week. Since hops are a perennial, they continue to regenerate every year with a new vine shoot starting in the spring. These are of course the female plant, designed for collecting the cones for use in brewing.

second year hops sprouts

spring hops

In a few weeks I will setup the lines the vines will grow on, hanging down from the eve of the house. I will also prune back the crowns to just the two strongest shoots. That way the plant puts all its growing energy into the remaining vines, instead of spread out across a dozen shoots. This practice results in a higher yield of hops cones.

Next year, I will need to thin out the root system around the plants so that they do not take over my entire property.

The nugget variety is a deep purple color and already has a shoot 1 foot long (not pictured).

For a size comparison, take a look at last year’s sprouts:

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