Ramble On

Monday, May 12, 2014

May Hops Progress

The Willamette bine in a race to the top.
Now maybe I know something about what a farmer goes through:  I check on my hops every morning before I leave for work, often watering them as well, unless they remain soaked from a recent rain.  This week bought a surprise - I'd all but given up on the new Goldings bine, but it finally broke ground this week.

Meanwhile, my Willamette bine, which did not produce any cones last year, is racing to the top of its trellis.  The trellis is only 7 feet tall, and these plants optimally would go to between 12 and 14 feet, but there are power lines in the way so they'll have to make do.  Hope to see some product from this one, or else I'll have to turn it into an ornamental plant, like Dan has done with his.

The two pots of Goldings.
The Goldings bines are in another part of the yard. I have a yearling plant and the new one in two big pots. There is more headroom where they are, but I continue to monitor them more closely than the Willamette, because they are moving slowly.

Here's a photo of the two pots together - there's another at the end of the post showing the new rhizomes just after they'd breached the soil.

I was worried that I had been too rough on the yearling plant when I transplanted it.  It seems pretty robust, but it hasn't really started climbing the trellis yet.  I was able to create a place where these two will have ten feet of climbing run, and since I did get cones in the first season from the one bine, I am still optimistic about them.

If I am able to harvest enough of the Goldings, I plan to make a single-hop IPA from them.  I recently made (and am still enjoying) a Cascade IPA, which used 3 ounces of backyard-grown hops from Bill in Luray, supplemented with some Hop Union Cascade pellets I had leftover from old kits.  I also have a pound of Long Island grown Mt. Hood - these are from Condzella Hops, which was one of the Kickstarters I supported:

The new Goldings bine, just after breaking through.
I'll close the post with a closeup of the new Goldings bine, taken on the first day I noticed it had broken through the soil.  This morning I noticed a second shoot, so this plant is definitely on its way.  Hopefully, both of these plants will begin to climb their terraces now that we have a few days of sunshine on the way.

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