There are two main ways to harvest your hops when it is time. You can either pick them off the plant or cut the whole bine down, and then pick them. Each way has their benefits. Below is a description of each that should help you determine which is best for you.
1) Pick The Cones Off The Plant - This technique should DEFINITELY be used if this is your plant’s first harvest. By picking the cones by hand off the plant and waiting for the bines to die, will allow important nutrients to go back into the root system for next years growth.
2) Cut the Bine Down With The Cones On It- This technique should be used on all future harvests. Make sure you cut two to three feet above ground so that the root system doesn’t become injured. Also, be careful not to damage the lupulin (the yellow sticky powder) as you cut the bines down.
And remember, you will need to have a ladder, clean shears, and gloves on hand. Wearing a long sleeve shirt is also important so you don’t get cut by the plant’s sharp barbed hairs!