One of the best things about hop plants is sharing.
Since we kicked off the #CoHop Project we’ve dished out free plant cuttings all over the local Swindon area.
Taking ‘cuttings’ is pretty easy, although success rates do vary. Essentially there are two approaches:
- Root Stock – splitting the main rhizome (root ball)
- Early shoots – pulling a young offshoot.
For quickest and most reliable results go with Root Stock.
Root Stock: Simply dig around the base of the plant to expose the main rhizomes. Remember to start away from the plant to avoid chopping the key, fatest roots. Ideally, be prepared to dig out and lift the entire plant root.
Once you’ve identified a good section you need to separate it from the bulk. We prefer to do this by hand as you can often find a natural partition to prise it away. You can also cut with a shovel.
Mature plant – quicker and better harvest in the first few years.
High success rate.
Can damage the main plant.
Below photo was taken mid winter:
Early shoots: As spring starts to kick in, the hop plant will send out new shoots in all directions. These shoots originate from the main rhizomes.
If you wait until they grow a bit, to say 10cm, they can be pulled in the direction they’re growing. Once detached you want the root end to have at least some signs of whispey root like features, as these can later develop.
Quick & simple – no need to dig.
No real damage to mother plant.
Low success rate (need to take multiple cuttings to hedge your bets)
Slow to mature.
Get in touch with Old Town Brewery in Swindon for free cuttings this season.
Check out our tips page for growing hops in your garden:
Search #CoHop on social media.