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2nd year cascade hops--when will they be ready?

Hi All, my second year Cascade hops appear to be booming. They broke ground in April and I have tons of cones, most of which are large. There is some lupulin present as well—but none of them have any odor yet. In contrast I have already picked some of my Tettnanger hops which had (still have) a noticeable odor on the bine. I have attached some pictures of the Cascades below…when do you think they’ll be ready? And will the characteristic smell be evident?

P.S. Do you think the curling leaves mean anything? They didn’t curl like that last year.

Thanks for your advice,
Matt in Long Island, NY

In CT I harvest my cascade in September. And yes they will smell awesome when they are ready.

Hi Brew Cat, thanks for your response! I had thought since they broke ground so long ago,
that they might be mature earlier than last year (I planted them as rhizomes in may so have only just gotten a sense of the plant’s true life cycle). Great to know I’m on schedule!



My Cascade in Western Mass are clearly behind yours, bracts not open like that yet… Cascade is listed as one of the later hops on the Gorst Valley Hops newsletters.

I’m curious if you just let them grow in the spring, of if you did any of the “thinning” (removal of shoots when they are ~ 12-18") that I’ve read about. Seems so cruel to whack those shoots after waiting all winter, but I keep seeing that people do it.

My Cascade came up and flowered profusely - maybe too much so - and is covered with cones but they are small still. I have a “first year” that grew more slowly and eventually reached 26’ but the flowering was delayed and the cones are fewer and much larger - though still not open like yours…


Hi Toadhall and thanks for responding. I didn’t know that Cascades are a later bloomer than other varieties–thanks for that tip! I didn’t have the heart to do any thinning this year (since they fought their way back after such an epic winter), but I can see that I’ll need to next season! Your hops look great, I’ll be interested to know when they reach maturity. What do you use to support them?


I trim mine and the cones get big. Never grew a bush like toadhall. Let us know how they mature.

Hey guys - thanks for the info. Yeah I’m trying to figure out Cascade in particular. I’ve been growing some others for years and I’m sure I haven’t done it right and have a lot to learn. My Cascade was actually the first to flower (early floral shoots were first seen June 8, ) but others that started flowering later have passed it. I was wrong about Cascade being late in the maturity sequence on the Gorst Valley site; it is in their Sept 2011 newsletter; it is early-mid season maturity…

Their newsletters have a lot of good info, stuff about maturity, drying…

Univ of Colorado extension has this good presentation - I see it shows the removal of ~18" shoots… ... k%20CO.pdf

I think the pruning will set them back some weeks and that is probably good so they don’t overgrow the trellis. Gorst Valley sez they should have 24-28 nodes on the bines at maturity and mine definitely have way more than that!

I grow mine on a teepee - pole sitting on a rock with wires down from the top to screw-in anchors at each plant. 22’ pole, ~26’ wire. Keeps the plants separate on the bottom but they overgrow the top and get all tangled. I’ve never seen anything like the laterals they produced this year too.

you can see the teepee from space!!! ... !1e3?hl=en


Nice information toadhall… thanks :cheers:

What do you use for your 22 foot pole?

It is basswood (Tilia). For a light wood it seems pretty durable. I would replace it with hemlock when it goes; there are probably better choices but it is what I have in my woods. Setting it on a rock keeps the base from rotting and the guywire/trellis holds it securely. I made a “cap” with trellis wire - 2 crossed pieces over the top to a ring of doubled wire a couple of inches down that the trellis wires connect to. I use trellis wire (had a bunch for grapes I once grew) and the hops climb and grip the trellis wire just fine.

But speaking of the Cascade… I’m just getting back to growing hops and figuring some things out I never knew before. I have a Cascade plant in it’s third year and one I started this spring from a rhizome piece of the older one. The older plant came up strongly and I trained 3 vines up the trellis. The new start came up at same time but more weakly and grew slowly at first. The first is out of control - made 8’ long sidearms and way too many hop cones and they are mostly small and just way overcropped. The younger one finally made it to the top of the trellis, but developing later it has more reasonable sidearms and a very nice crop of 1.5" - 2" cones! What a difference! Subsequent to this spring I’ve seen some accounts of taking off the first (and even second) crop of shoots that come up (seems people do it when they are 12" to 18" long) and while this seems so wrong (for my long awaited hops in spring) it definitely seems that it is the right thing to do for a managable crop of better quality (size, managability) hops. I’ve got some learning and experimenting to be done to get this fine-tuned, and every season is a bit different, but here it is with side-by-side clonal plants and it seems to make a huge difference.


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