Ramble On

Friday, June 13, 2014

Alexandria Hops - June Update

Last Monday I gave an update on how Dan's hopyard is doing over at Beaver Run Brewery in Stanley, so today I'll make a short post on how the ones I have in the backyard in Alexandria are doing.  Readers may recall that I have one Willamette bine and two Goldings bines - the Willamette and one of the Goldings are both in their second year, while the other Golding is a new plant started this spring.
The Willamette bine.

Cones starting to form on the Willamette.
 Last year, the Willamette didn't produce any cones.  I've been told that they take three years to reach full maturity, so you can't expect full production until then. However, I changed it's location to a spot in the full sun, and it is growing very well, with buds forming already - I'll have a small crop of Willamette this fall.

I can't put an optimally sized trellis up in the spot I have this one planted in because the power line to the house crosses over there.  It only goes up to seven feet, and it has reached the top and started to bunch up there.  This is where most of the cones will likely be when it is time to harvest. 

The two Goldings bines.
The Goldings are faring poorly this year.  Moving the second year plant probably set it back, and the first year plant is focusing its energy on establishment, so I don't expect much of a harvest over there.  

As far as conditions go, for the Goldings bines I have a 10-foot trellis set up, so they have room to grow.  As of last Tuesday morning the older plant had made it up to five feet or so - I think the location here is part of the problem.  There may not be enough sun on them during the day to get full growth, which compounds the problem I created when I moved the older plant.

I'm still optimistic.  Last year I had a half dozen or more little cones on the one Goldings bines, so I hope that it will produce something.  I'll reward it by finding a better place for it next year.

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