Backyard Hops

Asked May 2, 2016, 1:35 PM EDT

Hello, I have four variety of hops in my backyard. They were put in the ground as young plants (not rhizomes) three years ago,. This Spring they are already exploding, and each plant has upwards of 25 bines after having only two or three the first year and 7 or 8 the second. I want a good harvest for brewing purposes but I also want the plants to be decorative. I've read that I should cut them back to only about 3 bines, but I'm thinking that the more mature root system that's developed should be able to support more than that. . . How many bines should I allow to grow (and train onto my trellises)?. And how do I choose which ones to keep and which ones to cut back? . . Thanks! . . . Eric

Hennepin County Minnesota

2 Responses

Hi Eric,
Here is a publication that discusses Hops growing in a garden:
https://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/HG_Garden_2006-06.pdf

It's not clear to me if you are wanting to get both - ornamental value, And harvesting - from the same vines.
Yes, the more mature roots should be able to handle harder pruning, but go slowly! You might end up with lots more foliage than you planned on.

Here is a link to the Minnesota Hops Growers Association. You might find some good information here:
http://www.mhga.org/

Thanks Mary!