Its only been two days since part 3 of my Fifty Meter Beer Project and it’s already time for another video! In this video I am cutting back the bull shoots of my hops, and am going to use the larger ones as hop cuttings. These hop cuttings will be rooted and used to plant new redvine hops.
Bull shoots are the first shoots which emerge from hop plants in the spring. They are typically cut back in late April for a few reasons. Firstly, the bull shoots tend to have larger spacing between leaves than non-bull shoots. Since the hops grow off of the leaf-bine junction, this reduces the number of hops made per plant. Secondly, bull shoots are often hollow, and as such are weaker and more prone to breaking. So by cutting back the bull shoots we get stronger, higher-yielding plants.
Normally you split the rhizome (roots) of a hop plant to propagate the plant. But today I am using hop cuttings to propagate the plants. The reason for this is that this hop plant is only a year old, so its not big enough for a rhizome split – typically you wait until year 3 to do this.
All the gorey details can be found in the video, below.