3rd Year Hops Mid-August UpdateBy
3rd year hops mid-August update. This has been a challenging year for growing hops here in Minnesota (and probably most places). It started out with a cold spring, followed by a hot and humid summer and my brush with a boron deficiency.
As you can see, the Magnum hops shown to the left have recovered nicely. While the hop bines were stunted at 10 feet, some laterals decided to climb 4 feet higher. If you haven’t seen how bad off the Magnum hops were, go back a few posts or just click here –> Hops Boron Deficiency. They were just about dead. I am damn lucky I was able to revive them with a boron solution (after I finally determined thats what the problem was).
The Cascade and Magnum have a few small hop cones and are loaded with hop burrs. Same as the last 2 years, the Nugget are about 2 weeks behind the other 2 with burrs just starting. Unfortunately, it is hard to get a decent detailed picture posted without slowing down my blog. I will make it a point to get some close ups closer to harvest (and look into a beefier hosting solution – what do you expect for $8 a month – I host many other sites too).
No problems with deer. Rabbits munched a couple of hop sprouts when they were just starting out, but I had dozens of sprouts per plant so not an issue. I noticed quite a few Japanese beetles this year in my tomato garden. I have not seen any on my hops. Something has muched on some of the leaves but I haven’t seen who the culprit is yet. I am not worried as 90% of the leaves are untouched. I have learned to share a little in my organic gardening ways.
I tried something new and trained 5 or 6 bines per rope (I usually do 3 hop bines per rope). We will see what kind of harvest I get this year. Too many variables to really compare harvest amounts. Being third year hops, they should be near peak output. 3rd year hops, weather, deficiency issue, 5 -6 bines per rope – it will be hard to compare to last year’s harvest. We’ll see what happens.
With all the rain (above average) and humidity, I am surprised powdery
mildew hasn’t hit. I see it or a similar disease on the leaves of my Lilac bushes, affecting my cucumbers and tomatoes. I have slime mold oozing from the ground around my tomatoes. I guess I have been lucky as far as my hops go. Let’s hope I don’t have any more challenges with the hops between now and harvest time.
I hope you all are having a good hop year. I would like to hear from you how things are going with your hops. Any “challenges” or “opportunities” to deal with this year? Any tips or tricks that would help this audience out? Make a comment – link is right below the post title “3rd Year Hops Mid-August” (don’t use the “Contact Us” form as only I see those).