Hop Sprouts 2011By
April 3rd I uncovered my hops as they were sprouting when I checked beneath the mulch. I keep them buried in mulch to delay their sprouting as long as possible. The reason for that is there are many freezes overnight until mid May in my area (Minnesota) . The hops seem to ride out most of the freezes – I have not lost them to frost yet.
They are albino white until they are uncovered for a day or two, then they take on purple/red stem and green leaves while they are small. My previous post on hop rhizome trimming was a week after this picture was taken. It has been a cold April here (so much for global warming) – this morning I had ice in my birdbath and the high today hit 40!
Due to the remnants of the winter that wouldn’t die, these hops haven’t grown much in 3 weeks. These hop sprouts have survived many frosts in the last 3 weeks. I am hoping for average temps soon, the average highs are supposed to be in the 60’s – like I said, it peaked at 40 today – sucks. Some of these bines are big enough to start training up the ropes.
I have been reading of other peoples hops hitting 10 feet tall already – obviously not around here. If the past is any indicator, these hop bines will be topped out by the end of the month(May). I haven’t been lazy about updating this blog, just not much to report on yet.
I do have one sad thing to report. My Fuggle container hop plant did not survive the winter. I do not have a root cellar or insulated garage to move it to for the winter. I covered it with 4 – 6 inches of leaves and then buried the container in snow (we had a ton of snow this year). I believe this was enough to insulate it from our 20 – 30 below zero winter temps, but one high wind day it blew the snow away from the container and left it exposed. My hops in the ground handle it just fine.
Container hops are not working well for me. Aside from the Fuggle that froze to death this winter, I lost a Mount Hood to wind (50+ MPH) last summer. Apparently this corner is not protected from the wind. I think I am going to stick with my three amigos this year – Cascade, Nugget and Magnum.
With a few weeks of sun, I should be able to report back that the hop bines have topped out again. I hope your hops are doing well – if you are not growing hops, you should be. Hop on!