Archive for October, 2011
Hops harvest 2011 was delayed a little due to our strange growing season this year. A cold wet spring, a wet hot summer and dry September made for some challenges. I believe all the rain led to leaching the soil which caused a boron deficiency for my Magnum hops. Luckily I diagnosed the boron deficiency just in time – sprayed the sickly hop bines just in time to save them. They did not reach the top of the rope as the bines were stunted to 10 feet. Some laterals managed to climb an additional 4 feet almost reaching the top (the center hop bines).
We harvested a total of 4.25 lbs between all 3 varieties. This year I trained 5 bines per rope. I think I will fall back to 3 bines per rope next year. I think they do better with 3 bines – not too crowded. I gave all my hops to my friend that has far surpassed my brewing abilities. This spring he took 2nd place for an American IPA using my magnum hops (see Award Winning Hops ). In return for the hops, I get to try many styles of beers and ales (he has over 100 batches under his belt).
Due to the issues I had this year, I am going to fortify the soil next spring with more compost(top dress), composted manure and
kelp. This should address any deficiencies. Notice the gigantic leaves mixed in the bines – especially the Nugget (closest)? Those huge leaves are a result of the Bonide Liquid Iron + micro-nutrients – containing: magnesium, boron, copper, iron, manganese, zinc. It seems they may have been deficient all along? Some of these leaves were 10 inches across! I will also give them another spraying of the Bonide product as I have some left. I try and stay as organic as possible – these are just minerals so I consider them still organic.
I get one or two of these conjoined hop cones each year. They are pretty cool looking and I look forward to finding them each year. It was pretty dark by the time we finnished harvesting as you can tell by this picture (with flash). Of course the friggen mosquitoes were eating us alive once it got dark. Luckily it didn’t take us much longer after dark to finish harvesting this years hops.
That’s it for this year. If I come up with any news or advice, I will post it. Otherwise we will see you next year. I hope everyone had a good year for hops. Feel free to update us with your comments on this post.