Finally The Growing Season Has StartedBy
If you have been reading lately, I have had several setbacks to this growing season. This is a late spring (actually, not that late) for my growing zone (zone 4), last year we
had an early spring (check the sitemap here for 2012). My hop sprouts have been covered 3 times now under snow. This last Monday 4/22/2013 they were covered for the 3rd time – under 4 inches this last snowfall. As I have stated many times, hops are cold tolerant and apparently snow tolerant.
We just had 2, 70+ degree days in a row – today will be 3. So I should be able to participate in the discussion of growing hops this year, finally. Things should progress from here fast so pay attention. I believe these hops will top out their ropes by June 1st – 13 and 15 feet tall. That’s an average of more than 3 inches of hop bine growth per day! It will be slow in the beginning, then at peak be close to a foot a day.
Of course this all depends upon the weather. Warm sunny days are required for maximum growth. I will take care of the nutritional requirements of the hop plants. I am an organic guy and do not believe in chemical fertilizers. I do make 1 exception, I will spray the bines a couple of times with Miracle-Gro – it just works, and does not really add any toxic chemicals to the plants. If you have followed my previous years, the only severe deficiency I have encountered was a boron deficiency (and possibly iron deficiency). I will be keeping an eye out for signs of these deficiencies and be supplementing the soil with compost, kelp and boron.
Hopefully you will be getting significant progress reports from here on out. Aside from growing hops, I am also an avid gardener (tomato fanatic, cucumbers, sweet potatoes…). So spring is an exciting time of year for those of us that live in the tundra of the great white north – ok, an exaggeration of our winter that would not end. Let us know how your hops are doing. Keep hoppin.