May 18th Hop Bines Update

    Cascade hop bines as of May 18th - 6 feet tall.

    May 18 Cascade

    Sorry I haven’t been more frequent on my updates.  We had a couple of snow falls since my last update April 28th.  I believe it was May 2nd we had

    Magnum bine May 18th

    May 18 Magnum

    another 4 inches of snow.  May 11th we had below freezing temps again.  A late spring for here although we had one freak day over 100 degrees.  Well the bines are about back on track – 5 and a half(Cascade) to 6 feet tall (Nugget and Magnum).  We are in a 5 – 6 day stretch of rain so another slow down but I believe they will still top out 13 to 15 feet by June 1st.

    The Magnum leaves are starting to curl again so I am keeping an eye on boron deficiency(2 years in a row).  I will treat them after the rains let up.  I will give them some MiracleGro LiquaFeed and if that does not have enough boron, I will use a boron product or 20 Mule Team Borax (if I can find it).  For some reason, I have a hard time finding it these days.  Years ago it was readily available around here.  Must not be cool enough for these modern days.  I am finding more and more the knowledge of my parents and grandparents is very functional and some of today’s modern fertilizers are pure poison (personal opinion).

    Today is Sunday and it is supposed to rain through Wednesday so no significant sunlight until Thursday.  Still plenty of time to top out the ropes.  When the sun shines, the bines are growing 6 inches a day.  After all this rain the soil will be leached out

    Nugget bines 6 feet tall by May 18th

    Nugget May 18

    so I will supplement with kelp fertilizer, some boron and top dress the soil with compost.  I might even make some compost tea and load the soil with beneficial bacteria and mycorhiza

    In other words the mycelium helps bring the nutrients to the roots of plants – what’s not to like about that?  There are various inoculants on the market to introduce beneficial living organisms to your soil also.  Compost and compost tea is one way.  Once the soil is a living soil, the organisms symbiotically help each other out as a byproduct of their survival.  That is why you want to limit (or avoid) chemical fertilizers as they kill the living organisms in the soil.
    That’s it for now.  Started writing Saturday but didn’t finish till Sunday if you are wondering about the May 18 / 19th discrepancy.   Leave a comment on how your hops are doing.
    Keep on hopping.


    Categories : Fifth Year Hops


    1. Mary W says:

      In the DC suburbs, 20 Mule Team Borax has become readily available. We can even find it at Target. The first place I found it, though, was our local mom-and-pop hardware store.

      Your hops look great. Way ahead of mine, but I cut my first growth to the ground about a month ago ago to help with mildew. I’ll just be stringing them this weekend.

    2. Robin] says:

      We are in Nebraska and have 3rd year Cascades (tallest @ 6.5′) and Centennials (tallest @ 5.8′) and I moved a few Cascades I had in pots into the ground so they are now 1st year again (tallest @2.5′) leaving nothing in pots, finally. We had some warm, sunny weather weather and the plants were averaging 5″ a day. Now the days have turned a little cooler so the growth has slowed down a little.

      I love watching the plants push up thru the ground and reach towards the support lines I have strung.

      We didn’t as much snow as you did after the sprouts made an appearance but I did toss down some burlap pieces I had over the sprouts for the first snow. The second snow I missed the report so they didn’t get covered but they fared just fine. As I watched the snow fall, I figured worst case I would lose the sprouts but not the root system.

      Happy hopping and thanks for keeping this blog going. I gave some rhizomes to some friends and passed on your blog as I found it very helpful during my first year.

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