Ramble On

Monday, August 26, 2013

I Grew a Hop

On Saturday morning, as I was preparing to drive out to Hawksbill Cabin, I decided to make a quick check of Mary's truck patch in the backyard - mainly to have a look at the two hops bines I started in pots this spring.

Aside from the fact that the bines have had something of a second wind lately, I didn't expect much from either of them - it's their first year, after all, and I understand it can take up to three years for them to mature into full yield. Compare that to Dan's hops out in Stanley, where he has nearly a freezer full of home grown hops, which should empower his brewing for the next year!

I'll have a post about my Saturday afternoon visit to Dan's hopyard later this week, but here are a couple of pictures of the plants in our backyard.  First, there is the little Goldings cone that I spotted out there, up high on the trellis.  This may be a sign for me that next year, I need to ensure they have plenty of space to climb - in actual hop farms, the trellis can reach up to 18 feet.

The Goldings bine is planted near the fence, amongst the tomatoes.  It gets full sun there, pretty much all day long.  It finally made it to the top of the trellis in July, and then sort of rested a few weeks.  Then in August, it took off again, with a lot of shoots provided renewed growth up near the top - and then we got the little flower.

The Willamette bine is nestled under the apricot tree, where it receives full sun for part of the day and dappled light for about the same amount of time.  I'm sure it needs full sun like the Goldings bine, so I'll keep that in mind for where I place it next year.

Once everything really begins to fade out there I will have to decide what I am going to do with them next year.  I have an idea to put them in whiskey barrel planters out at Hawksbill Cabin, where I have more options for giving them an appropriate location with full sun, and a trellis of appropriate height.

I'll have a post or two on that topic as fall and winter comes on.

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