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First time grower here in Welly... over 7m tall but the hops are only on the top 1.5 meters (or so). Not sure if this is normal or not.
Me too... I think I gave them too high a post to grow on. Next year I'll give them a 5m post instead... see if that helps.
Second year crop on mine in Auckland and they're 6-7m tall. There are plenty of laterals but mostly from 2-3m and above. I think I've read elsewhere that some of the things that limit lateral growth are strong winds, lack of water and lack of food. I say give em a good water regularly and feed them a bit and see what happens.
It has been blowing its arse off this year here in Chch. Might be a combo of wind and not enough food? I remember reading somewhere that hops needed to be fed rather a lot.
Could well be feeding. I've been feeding mine manure (high in N for leaf and shoot growth) and once they reached the top of the trellis they've been getting comfrey tea (high in K for flower and fruit development). They seem to have lots of side shoots and are just coming into flower.
Keep up the water during flowering to set lots of cones.
If I feed the hops more often the will be joining the national obese statistic
I thought it had been windy for Chch this year. Or maybe I just notice it more now I sit close to a window.
Mine in the shop has some laterals coming from the very base :) but it is only about 3m long.
The one at home is going great guns and just starting to do laterals. Would nipping the top off the main hop vine encourage laterals to form?