August 28th I harvested my Magnum and Cascade hops. The Magnum could have been harvested last week but I didn’t have time, so I picked them both today. It took 1 7×52 cigar (Gran Habano 2002 Reserve) to pick both – about an hour and 20 minutes. Yesterday was raining, today it was humid, 88 degrees and sunny. A bit hot for my taste, but you take what you get for weather.
The Magnum take was only 14 ounces (wet). The Cascade provided 2 pounds (wet) – close to normal for the Cascades, the Magnum were light this year. I did have the Magnum bines break off the top 2 feet and that part of the bines was stuck at the top of the rope – they did not lower with the rest of the bines. This is the first time this has happened – so I missed some cones. I didn’t want to break out my tall ladder for the cones stuck up top of the ropes.
I have a pulley at the top and lower the bines to harvest from ground level. Harvesting on a ladder is hard on the legs and back, not to mention a bit more dangerous. Generally the pulley system has been flawless. You have to tug on the ropes as the hop bine laterals wind around the up rope and the lowering rope (opposite sides of the pulley).
I still have the Nugget hops to harvest. They won’t be ready for a week or 2. They usually ripen 2 weeks after the Cascade hops. That will be my next update.
Well I hope everyone that is growing hops has a good year. Leave a comment how your hop growing season went. If you are thinking about growing hops, go for it, they are easy to grow. Prepare the area now for next year. Add compost, leaves and or grass clippings to the dirt for some organic food and soil structure (don’t use grass clippings if it has fertilizer and/or weed killer applied to the grass).
This is year number 8 for these hop bines – Nugget, Magnum and Cascades. The Magnum Hops are almost ready to harvest! Soon to be followed by the Cascade hops and Nugget hops are just forming hop cones!
My Magnums are large and ready to harvest. I will harvest next weekend. They do not show off their cones as they are draped by the foliage. It protects the hop cones from the sun – it is the nature of the Magnum hops variety. My Cascades are proudly showing off their cones. As always, the Nugget hops are weeks behind. I like the fact they mature at different times so I don’t have to harvest them all at the same time as I pick them by hand.
I will spread the harvests out over several weeks. Magnum first, followed by the Cascades the next week and the Nugget hops will be 2 to 3 weeks later. It works for me as it takes between one to two hours per bine(s) to harvest. I only have to pick and dry one variety per week or so. I don’t have the facilities to do more than one variety at a time so it works out perfect for me and my time.
June 25th and my thermometer says it’s 99 degrees. The tomatoes and hops are loving it. I gave the hops and my
garden a boost earlier today with a foliar feeding of Miracle Gro LiquiFeed plant food. I generally feed them 2 of 3 times each year with the Miracle Gro to give them a boost. This is in addition to top dressing the soil around my hops, tomatoes, cucumbers and anything else I grow with compost, Azomite, kelp and fish emulsion.
I have had to retrain several laterals back to their own ropes. Otherwise you get intermingling of varieties and makes hop cone harvest more difficult – near impossible to separate varieties once intermingled.
Probably not much to report on until the the hop cones start showing. So far the hop bines are healthy and no pest or deficiency issues. I’ll keep you posted.