Archive for May, 2010
May 29th the Magnum hops reached the top of their rope (15 feet tall). The cascade and Nugget hop bines reached the top of their ropes May 21st (13 feet tall). I predicted by June 1st this would happen and apparently nailed that guess.
This is the second year for these hops. The first year is fun to watch how fast the hop bines grow, but that’s nothing compared to the second year. The first year a lot of the hop plants energy goes into establishing the root stock also known as the crown. By the second year, the crown is established and the sprouts come up earlier than if you planted hop rhizomes.
My hop sprouts survived a few frosts where tomatoes would have surely died. Hops are hardy once established. I lost a Mt. Hood hop plant I had planted in a container this spring. We had some 50 mph winds and it snapped them right off – the rhizome apparently couldn’t handle it – no more hop shoots / sprouts replaced them. They probably would have survived if I had them trained on a rope. They were about a foot long and I had not yet decided where to trellis them.
Hop Bines May 1st
May 1st, just 2 weeks since the last post. The hop bines were 10 inches tall on April 17, now they are over 5 feet tall! I thought first year hops were fun to watch grow, this is insane! They grew over 4 feet in 2 weeks and this is not even planting time for my zone (zone 4A). Last year it was about June 7th before the hops reached this height (first year hops).
I was going to double the ropes per hop plant this year but had no time to do it. Oh well, they will be thick this year. I expect the laterals to go crazy and at least double the harvest of last year of 4.1lbs wet.
I have not fertilized or amended the soil at all this year. I must have done a good job when I prepped the soil the fall before I planted the hop rhizomes. The hop mounds were heavily mulched with grass and leaves over the winter and perhaps the decomposing grass and leaves were seeping a compost tea into the soil.
What the hell is going to happen when summer comes? At this rate, I may lose my garage to the hop bines. I expect the bines to reach the top of their ropes(15 feet) by June. I’ll keep you posted.
I also started 2 container hop plants this year – a Fuggle and a Mt. Hood. We’ll see how these do – only about 9 inches tall so far. I am more interested or concerned about how long I can keep them in the containers as hop crowns and roots grow massively. I also need to think about how to over-winter the containers as it can get to minus 30 during the winter here.
Expect future posts of massive bines!