Archive for April, 2009
Hop Sprouts – all 3 of my hop rhizomes have sprouted! Magnum was first followed by Nugget and finally the Cascade. The hop rhizomes were planted April 11, 2009. When growing hops, this is your first sign of progress – hop sprouts.
The Magnum sprouted April 21 (10 days), the Nugget sprouted April 24 and the Cascades finally broke ground April 26th, 2009. I had mulched heavily over all 3 mounds to keep the ground cold. I was attempting to delay sprouting until after the danger of frost. It appeared to work . Generally May 15th is the safe time to plant in Minnesota. I’ll have to keep an eye on the weather and cover the bines if it drops below freezing.
Now I just have to worry about a possible frost, rabbits, deer and maybe squirrels will dig up the rhizomes – they dig up my garden. Of course I will also have to worry about insects, viruses and other hop diseases like powdery mildew, downy mildew, high winds and hail. Hail obliterated a friend of mine’s hops last year. They never recovered – whole hop season ruined!
I am still contemplating on how I am going to rig the ropes for the bines. I have the materials – rope, pulleys, hardware… I have a couple of ideas. Functionality and ease of lowering the hop bines without needing a ladder (once the pulleys are fastened high up on my garage).
I am going to use a hybrid idea I have which is a combination of some other tricks I read about. The hop bines will be lowered when they get close to the top of the rope. I will loop the bines on a hook type apperatus, possibly a mountable half circle hose rack. When they near the top again, lower and loop the bines again.
This will effectively allow them to grow as long as possible and keep them off the ground. I will have to allow breathing room so the bines will not suffer from dampness and possible molds or mildew (powdery mildew, downy mildew…). I am sure I will need to make adjustments along the way. Wish me luck.
If anyone has ideas about how to do this or how they have done this, let me know. The whole idea here is to share ideas and especially what works.
The first major milestone has ocurred, all the hop rhizomes have sprouted! Magnum, Nugget and Cascade – bitter, bitter and aroma hops. I have to finalize my bine rigging ideas and implement them.
I am still investigating how I want to feed the hops, organic and naturally of course. Green sand, fish emulsions, compost tea and looking into mycelium products to permeate the soil bring nutrients to the rhizomes / root stock.
Where to buy hop rhizomes. I have been asked over and over so I figure I would just put together a post and answer the question of where to buy hop rhizomes online. I got my 2009 hop rhizomes from a local homebrew store Northern Brewer (ordered online even though they are local – still 20 mile drive) – as it turns out, they get their hop rhizomes from www.freshops.com. You might as well go straight to freshops.com and cut out the middleman.
You can sometimes find a local homebrew shop or hop grower selling rhizomes, but generally, online buying is more convenient, better selection and you can compare shop. Don’t forget friends and other local hop growing enthusiasts, they may be willing to part with some rhizomes. Barter a couple of homebrews to your friends that are growing hops for some hop rhizomes!
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Where to Buy Hop Rhizomes Online:
www.homebrewing.org – AIH, Adventures in Homebrewing – great prices.
www.thymegarden.com – The Thyme Garden has been growing hops for over thirty years organically. We are offering over 20 varieties for pre-order right now. We’ve added an Information About Hops page and a Complete Hop Chart with descriptions, subs, uses etc. to our website. There are videos on info page explaining how to plant rhizomes including our two year old rhizomes.
www.willamettevalleyhops.com – Commercial orders only – We offer hops and hop rhizomes. All product grown and obtained from generations old Willamette Valley, Oregon hop farms.
Highhops.net – 53 varieties of hop plants 48 US states
www.gorstvalleyhops.com (Hop Plants lots of 6 to 100+)
RNV Enterprises Yakima Valley – Vickie.email@example.com
www.fourhorses.ca <== Canada Hop Rhizomes
There are more hop rhizome sources, this is what I found Googling “buy hop rhizomes” and supplied links from readers. If anyone has a hop rhizome vendor they have used and are happy with, let me know and I will include it in this list. There you have it, not much time left to get your hop rhizomes planted for the 2009 growing season(now 2010).
April 11, 2009 – Well I did it. I couldn’t wait. Let’s hope I don’t regret this early hop planting for Minnesota. I checked all available potential hop garden spots in my yard. The ground was frozen in every one of them except on the south side of my garage which was my intention and first choice. The soil preperation I did last fall seems to be working well. The soil is loose and full of decomposed organic matter (leaves and grass clippings and wood ashes).
I built mounds and planted the Cascade, Magnum and Nugget rhizomes 2-3 inches deep and mulched over them with a couple inches of leaves to insulate and keep the soil from warming up from the sun. Where I live, Bloomington, Minnesota will freeze several more times so I am trying to delay the rhizomes from sprouting (I don’t care if the roots grow, I just don’t want the bines to sprout yet and freeze).
Next weekend I have a wedding, I have to work the weekend after that… I just didn’t feel comfortable letting the hop rhizomes sit in my refrigerator that long (my vegetables don’t last long and it has a tendency to freeze now and again) it has already been a couple weeks. Wish me luck!