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Could I be getting cones already?

It’s late July and I think I see some new structures on my hops plants. Looks like the beginning of flowers. I thought I was not supposed to get them until late august or September. OK, how do I know when to pick them.

My cones are starting to form too.

You’ll know when to pick them when they feel papery, or if the tips start to brown, or when you squeeze them, and they revert back to their original shape rather than staying kinda compressed.

It depends on a lot of things like how many sunny days, how well watered they are, the fertilizer, and the variety: some are early season bloomers, some are mid season and some are late season.

You definitely should be seeng cones by now in NY. Here in CT mine have had small cones for awhile. Last year at my octoberfest party which is the last Saturday in September they were ready and I let my guests harvest my hops. All I did was cook brats and pour beer. Doing it again this year.

Cool! This is the first year for my hops. So I have never been through the harvesting process. Actually I was surprised to see ANY cones on them this year. Looks like there are quite a few.

First year for me, too… I wasn’t really expecting much, if any, but I counted (yes, I’m nerdy enough to have actually counted them) 50 burrs on my Cascade. There are a few on my Centennial, and about twenty on the Chinook. I’m going out there daily to check on them now.

Growing hops is like a whole other obsession!

Oh goodness… you gave me the idea to count my burrs. It’s going to be a fantastic evening out on the deck.

I’m in Massachusetts and I saw the very earliest evidence of floral shoots on my Cascade on June 8 this year, but it took about a month for the burr stage cones to be present 7/10. Nugget is slower, with burr cones only present on a healthy 3rd year vine 7/20. I have a Cascade vine from a rhizome that I planted this year and it grew well and has just burr stage cones on 7/22 so it is slower than the more established vine.

Although I’ve grown hops for years, I’m a bit puzzled since some recent reading that says hops are “short day plants” and the buds from the rhizomes haven’t even broken on March 21 when we get 12hr day/12hr nights and then the days are longer; and the flower buds are in the leaf axils of lateral shoots from about the 35th leaf node onward, so they must be forming in long days if the floral shoots begin to appear by June 8, right? Can anyone explain this? Seems more “long day” or “day neutral” and just depends on maturing a certain # of leaf nodes to flower…

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