Pruning Hop Plants

The original site for the hops did not give them enough height to grow so I moved them this spring just as they were peaking out of the ground. I was amazed at the size and sprawl of the root system. They are now planted and climbing up twine suspended by eye hooks to the peak of the house (thanks Xav for climbing up a ladder to do that).
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According to Freshops, pruning the lower 4 feet of leaves will give energy to the tops of the vines  for the hops to produce the flowers/cones. Surprisingly, even with the transplanting we have quite a few hops already visible on the young hop plants.
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Here are a few of the many blooms just starting. I don’t personally care for beer but both Xav and Angelo do. Angelo has already brewed a batch at his place with purchased hops and grains so I am happy to do the gardening and let them do the brewing and drinking using our home grown hops.
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After “stripping”  the base looks very bare but already I see where side shoots that will start to grow. The new growth will be left on the vines to feed the plant at the end of the season making a stronger plant that will produce more hop cones/flowers next year.

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