Posts Tagged ‘Growing Hops’

Homegrown Hops Update

Jun 3, 2009

It’s been about two months since the Hop Sprouts article and they (the hops) have been busy.

We had a week of off and on freezing temperatures soon after that article and I had to fashion some hop cage covers out of scrap fabric to keep them safe.  I think the weather might have stunned one of the plants as it didn’t grow very much for a couple of weeks after the cold.  It seems to still be growing but very slowly.  The other plant however, took off like a rocket and is now quite tall.  It’s hard to tell how tall they really are because they are wrapped around their ropes and the ropes are angled but I would say the tallest plant is about twelve feet tall. 

I have them angled toward my fence and just this past Friday, the plant reached the fence.  As of today it has grown another two feet and I’ve had to help it wrap around the rope along the fence.  I’ve read that I will need to continue to help it along the fence because hop bines tend to want to grow upward instead of horizontally.  It’s not a big deal to me to help the plant out as I am usually out gawking at them every day or two anyway.

Hopefully, this year I will actually get some hops out of this.

The Adequate Brewer

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Hop Sprouts

Mar 18, 2009

I planted two Cascade rhizomes last year that really didn’t do much and were a general disappointment.  hopsprouts01They grew rather vigorously for a couple of months but then it seemed they just stopped.  No matter what I did, they just wouldn’t grow and they always looked like they were about to die.  Needless to say, I didn’t get a single hop cone.  All summer I fought bugs, drought, overwatering, and anything else you read about with growing hops.  I even had stray cats playing amongst the bines (vines).  Part of me was almost dreading this season… until they sprouted.

About two weeks ago, little reddish, tender sprouts popped out of the ground.  Then it frosted overnight.  A couple of days later I had three or four shoots per plant ranging from tiny nubs to about an inch tall.  Yesterday so as to not damage the roots, I carefully placed the tomato cages around the plants to keep the stray cats away.  Yes, they still come around along with hopsprouts02the occasional raccoon.  I’m thinking I’ll place moth balls around all the plant beds this year to encourage the strays to use other backyards as their personal restroom.

Anyway, I’ve included a couple pictures taken with my phone, just for the fun of it.  I need to get my regular camera charged so I can hopefully get better pictures for this site.

The Adequate Brewer

Hops!

Jul 8, 2008
Hops and a Frog Band

Hops and a Frog Band

 The Cascade hop plants are growing nicely, but they seem to be a magnet for pests.  It looks like any insect that flies or crawls past them, they take a bite.  Also, the soil ain’t that great around here so I keep having to supplement with Miracle Grow or peat moss and potting soil.  On top of all that, there is a family of stray cats that have taken up residence in my back yard.  The kittens think all things green are just the best toys ever.  Not to mention the irresistible nature of the string that my hops are climbing…hence the tomato cages.

I don’t expect much yield out of the plants this year, but it has been fun to tend to them and watch them grow.  And a test of my patience to keep the bugs and cats away.

The Adequate Brewer

Hop Shortage?

May 17, 2008

Baby Cascade

Since the dreaded hop shortage of 2007-2008 began I have been thinking about growing my own hops.  I have an area in my back yard that I think gets enough sun for the Cascade variety.  I’m not much of a gardener, but I will give it my best shot. 

Even if the shortage doesn’t get too bad, I think it will be fun to watch them grow.  Most online posts about growing hops say that first-year plants don’t do very well and certainly don’t yield much.  But who knows, I might end up with a good harvest of Casacade hops.

 

The Adequate Brewer