In looking at the hops today I have several plants that have shoots that over seven feet tall. I am seriously blown away by how fast they grow. I swear that you could sit and watch them grow. I took some of the other shoots and put them onto the trellis. I am wondering if I need to run some more twine and stake it down to the south side of the plants. In any case I like what I am seeing this year.
I need to stake out the Avon hops soon. The shoots are starting to get tall enough to need training. I do need to get out their and weed and mulch everything.
Checking in on the hops found the growth to be quite impressive. My chinook hops that I planted last year are looking quite healthy. I feel that we should be able to get enough growth off of them to make a pretty good shade block on the south of the house. I might even be able to get a few pounds of hops as well.
I have started the hops up some strings like most of the hop growing people suggest. I have not pruned the plants back to two or three shoots per plant like most suggest. I am not growing for hop production, but for shade. If I get hops that I can use in my brewing that is just a bonus.
The hops that I gathered out of the wild just south of Avon are starting to peek up. All five rhizome cuttings have come up. I’m not sure what variety these hops are, but the cones that we found on the mother plant seemed to be quite strong with pine and citrus notes. It will be interesting to see if they match any of the known varieties.
Last year I was listening to a pod cast called Home Brewing Perspectives. The pod cast is hosted by Douglas and his friend “Mike The Hop Guy”. They were talking about growing hops. I figured that I should grow some hops as well. We had installed a trellis on the south side of the house so we could grow some type of climbing plant to shade the house. Hops fit this bill pretty well. I remembered that my friend, Ron, in Idaho had some hops at his place. I called Ron and asked if I could get some rhizome cuttings from him. He told me that I was welcome to come to his place and see what we could find. When I got there we were able to find some Chinnook rhizome clumps that the pigs hadn’t completely rooted out. He gave me the clump and I headed home to get my hop yard tilled and prepped for the hops. This was already pretty late for starting hops. I think that it was about mid May. As luck would have it, the weather took a turn for the worse and it began to rain before I had finished clearing my hop yard. For nearly two weeks it rained enough to keep the ground too wet to work. By the time I finally got my hops into the ground it was June. Only four of the seven rhizome cuttings I planted survived. I’m not sure how much help I had from the chickens. They may have damaged some of the more tender rhizomes.
This year I dug some wild hop rhizomes from the south end of the valley. I planted five new hop mounds to my existing four. I almost can’t believe how much growth I have on my hops from last year. A week ago, several of the plants were about three feet high. So as I planted the new rhizomes I strung twine for the other plants and started the bines on their way up.
I am pretty excited to see how things work this year.