Hops rhizome trimming

Asked April 21, 2013, 11:51 AM EDT

My hops garden is a 4x4ft raised bed I started with a single rhizome in each corner each a different variety. Now 4 yrs later they are doing well ..... Too well! The roots and rhizomes are intermingled and about to fill the whole box. My question is could I used a sharp square nosed shovel and cut into the center part of the square leaving a 1x1 foot square in each corner containing the "mother" rhizome? I would remove the root system of anything outside of the 1ft corner squares and replace the soil after removing the root-rhizome-shoot mass. Does this sound OK? Will the cut ends of the rhizomes left in the ground succomb to fungi?

Waukesha County Wisconsin

2 Responses

My research suggests that you can start trimming you hops on the 3rd or 4th year (and then every 2nd or 3rd year after that). Triming out rhizomes should be done in the Spring (as soon as the soil can be worked). Work in a circle about a foot around the hop crown in each direction, any rhizomes which have rooted horizontally past this 1 foot circumference get trimmed. To trim the rhizomes, follow the rhizome back to the crown and dig it up completely, making a clean cut at the base of the crown and dividing the rhizome into +/- 6 inch root cutting pieces each with white buds.

Thank you Patricia, if we ever warm up here I bet I will have great hops bine outgrowth!