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Hops in Cleveland

http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=16957

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Hops in Cleveland

Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:02 am
by slaman992003
I live on the east side of Cleveland and am in the first season of growing my hops. My rhizomes did not get planted until mid May...(it was when they were recieved..). They were planted with what I thought had southern exposure, but have noticed that they get partially shaded during the day (we have some large trees..).

My question : The hop vines have branched and I have four strings with the vines creeping up them. They are about 6' tall. However, I see no hop flowers. It is possible the deer come in to eat them, but then I would expect leaves, etc to be gone. Is this situation normal? Is this because of the shade? planted too late? Advice?

Re: Hops in Cleveland

Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:05 pm
by dmtaylor
In short: Normal for first year, too late, and too short/low.

The long version: Don't expect hops the first year. Second year should be awesome, and third year will be even better. Also, in the Great Lakes region they like to be able to start growing in late March. May is quite late. So, again, next year will be fine, they'll be able to start when they want, in March. And finally... you usually won't see many hop flowers grow below around 6 or 7 feet from the ground. They like to be up high for whatever reason -- probably nature's way of helping the fertilized ones (with seeds, in the wild) to fall farther away from the mother plant. Otherwise they'd fall real close to the mother hop mound, which doesn't help spread the species as much. Cuz that's really life's whole reason for living -- be fruitful and multiply. But if you're competing for food with momma all your life then neither you or momma are going to be as fruitful.

Don't worry about shade. As long as they get sun for about half the day, they'll be just fine. The absolute number one most important thing that hops need is WATER. Lots and lots and LOTS of water. Number two is insecticide, IF you have any insect issues. Sun is lower down the list, IMHO.

Re: Hops in Cleveland

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:19 am
by slaman992003
Thanks. That makes me feel much better. I also noticed this morning the deer are starting to become hop heads...or at least hop leave heads. I will have to figure something out to protect them a bit for next year. I was kind of hoping if they grew fast enough, they might get up high enough not to become a deer issue...in fact they might prune a little!

Ever try to put Deer Fence (spray) on the hops and if so, do you wash it off...or ??
My plan A is an actual fence, but the spray would be easier..

Next year... Thanks

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