Reminder about hops seeds: now is the time.

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seymour
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Re: Reminder about hops seeds: now is the time.

Post by seymour » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:58 am

Bump.

I let nature take its course and thin my crop of Flyer x O.P. down to the hardiest 60 seedlings. Needless to say, I don't have space in my small urban backyard to grow 60 hops plants (in addition to the mature Challenger, Saaz, Northern Brewer, Cascade, and Missouri-native I've already got back there!)

Q: So, what to do, what to do?
A: An audacious guerrilla-gardening-wild-hops-hybridization experiment, that's what.

I'm so jealous of the wild hops you guys have over there, most of which are worthwhile for brewing, likely having descended from escaped commercial hops or maybe even desirable landraces. Where I live, there are wild hops everywhere too, but they're Humulus japonicus, the highly invasive Japanese hop, which is worthless for brewing. Totally worthless, the cones are tiny and scraggly and contain no bitter resin.

On the other hand, Humulus japonicus plants are kinda amazing, considering how flood-resistent, drought-resistent, pest-resistent, and disease-resistent they are. Wouldn't it be cool if I could breed some of those robust genetics with my desirable Flyer x O.P. hops?! With that end in mind, I spent a couple hours today planting my seedlings in amongst the wild hops at an undisclosed stream bank near my home. At the very least, I know for sure it's an area where Humulus plants can thrive. If my plants survive and eventually grow hops, it will be very easy to tell which are worth picking. If I'm lucky, I'll have a secret place to go harvest in a year or two. If I'm really, really lucky, I could replant some of those resulting hybrid seeds and see if I got the best of both worlds. Who knows? It's a long shot, but it costs nothing to try. Perhaps future generations of naturalist brewers will thank me for reinserting Humulus lupulus back into the local gene pool. :)

All of these pictures were taken within a few paces of each other. See how insanely abundant the Japanese hops are?!
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Most of the plants have green bines and green flowers...
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...but as you can see, some have red bines...
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...and some even have purple veined flowers, which I'd never seen before in the Humulus family.
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Site #1: 20 seedlings planted in this area, left of the tall Johnson grass, too rocky and uneven to mow.
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Site #2: 20 seedlings planted on the left, on the downward slope to the creek, too steep to mow.
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Site #3: 20 seedlings in this native landscaped rain garden, around the base of taller upright plants which they can climb.
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Okay, Mother Nature, back to you. This is Seymour, over and out.

SiHoltye

Re: Reminder about hops seeds: now is the time.

Post by SiHoltye » Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:39 pm

I dug up my Chinook seedlings today and have put them in individual pots to over winter. Come the spring they'll get bigger pots and be grown on to see which are useless boys, and which are the lovely ladies, assuming they fruit in year 2 that is.
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Re: Reminder about hops seeds: now is the time.

Post by seymour » Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:28 am

BUMP.

So, SiHoltye, did your Chinook seedlings make it overwinter? I was thinking, even the males will be useful. Wouldn't it be fun to allow them to cross-pollinate your traditional English varieties, then plant those hybrid seeds?

SiHoltye

Re: Reminder about hops seeds: now is the time.

Post by SiHoltye » Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:45 am

All survived the winter and are shooting. A couple have leaves too. Feeling encouraged I've also planted some Amarillo seeds.
The cross pollination thing sounds interesting. I have an established Challenger in the garden so Chinook/Challenger is a possible in a couple of years and add Amarillo into the mix (hopefully) after that.

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Re: Reminder about hops seeds: now is the time.

Post by CJR » Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:09 pm

So Seymour, how are your hops in the wild doing?
Southern Brewing


FV 1 (5 gallon): Nothing
FV 2 (5 gallon): Nothing

Commercial: More booze than some local pubs.

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Re: Reminder about hops seeds: now is the time.

Post by seymour » Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:30 am

CJR wrote:So Seymour, how are your hops in the wild doing?
Thanks for asking. Well, I finally got over there to check tonight. It was after work and after dropping my daughter at ballet, so I only had a few minutes to hunt before I lost the light. To be honest, I really don't know. I planted around 60 seedlings, but after a horrendous winter, and all the flash floods this spring (which washed away whole sections where I had planted some), and with mine mixed-in amongst the invasive hops, it was very hard to tell what's what. I didn't want to trample around too much, either, and accidentally crush some I couldn't see yet.

But I'm 99% sure these two are mine. If so, these are some strong specimens and I'm hopeful I'll find more as the growing season progresses.
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Re: Reminder about hops seeds: now is the time.

Post by timbo41 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:27 pm

Ah. Good to see. Had posted similar question on another thread then thought. ,hey why not look!!.
Here's a strange thing....I often just dump and dig in my spent grain in a garden corner. Last year, after I sent the flyer,I thought I'd dump some hop packet remains there, in my normal chuck it and see manner. And I think I've got some sprouting!! That or nettles, but ill just let it do its own thing and find out soon enough!!!
Just like trying new ideas!

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Re: Reminder about hops seeds: now is the time.

Post by simple one » Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:51 pm

Definitely doing this next year with some of the BIG american alpha varieties. Thinking Centennial or Apollo... With maybe a bit of guerrilla gardening thrown in.
Currently serving - Maltmillers Oatmeal stout - Bottled, Pale Rye APA - FV

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Re: Reminder about hops seeds: now is the time.

Post by tourer » Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:44 pm

Seymour, I was in France September in the motorhome and we had a break down, the fuel filter split. Anyway we had to leave it at a garage for repair and we stayed in a hotel. When we went to pick up the van "motorhome" i spotted some hops growing wild behind the garage so i duly went over and borrowed a few :roll: only enough for the seed. What i need to know is the best month for trying to get them started as per you instructions "growing from seed".
Many thanks
Keith

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Re: Reminder about hops seeds: now is the time.

Post by seymour » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:09 pm

tourer wrote:...What i need to know is the best month for trying to get them started as per you instructions "growing from seed".
Many thanks
Keith
Right now is perfect. You'll let them rest in the fridge for a month, then rest indoors at room temp until (hopefully) some sprout. If you're lucky, you'll have some hardy little seedlings to try transitioning outdoors in late spring...

Best of luck!

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Re: Reminder about hops seeds: now is the time.

Post by tourer » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:44 pm

Thanks as always for the advise.
keith

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Re: Reminder about hops seeds: now is the time.

Post by seymour » Mon Dec 15, 2014 2:25 am

tourer wrote:Thanks as always for the advise.
keith
Sure thing. Don't forget to let us know how it goes.

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Re: Reminder about hops seeds: now is the time.

Post by tourer » Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:54 pm

seymour wrote:
tourer wrote:...What i need to know is the best month for trying to get them started as per you instructions "growing from seed".
Many thanks
Keith
Right now is perfect. You'll let them rest in the fridge for a month, then rest indoors at room temp until (hopefully) some sprout. If you're lucky, you'll have some hardy little seedlings to try transitioning outdoors in late spring...

Best of luck!
Well Symour, dried out my hops, sorted out around 20 seeds and attempted to "scarify" them but as you know they are only little blighters. so i put them on a piece of sand paper folded over the sandpaper so they were sandwiched, then i rubbed the sandpaper together and there it was a pile of dust ohhh shite. They travelled 2000 miles and i cocked it up. But i did manage to find another 10 seeds and planted them so fingers crossed.

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Re: Reminder about hops seeds: now is the time.

Post by seymour » Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:54 pm

Perhaps I should've emphasized how crumbly they are. The idea is to only very lightly scratch the seed coating, which combined with the wet freeze/thaw cycle improves its ability to sprout...

I'm very glad to hear you found some more seeds, it's still possible to get several plants to grow!

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Re: Reminder about hops seeds: now is the time.

Post by timmydog » Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:10 am

I've got 6 flyer x o.p. seedlings growing! :-)

I'll post pictures if they're successful, but I'll probably start another thread to avoid polluting this one...

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