Ramble On

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Taking Inventory @hawksbillhops

On Sunday I went back over to the hop yards to check things out.  During the work day on Saturday, I had noticed that there were plants from every one of our commercial varieties up and out of the ground, and even our experimental variety, Centennial, was doing well.  So I wanted to do a status report on which rhizomes were up and out of the ground one week after planting.

I also found that some of the Fuggles have sent up some robust bines already.  That is the row that we had strung on Saturday - our learning curve row - but from this photo it's clear that within a couple of days some of them will have already found the coir ropes on their own, without any human assistance or training!

So back to the inventory status, which was the  little chore I set out for myself on Sunday.  First I recalculated the inventory, which I have been mentally tracking as 800 plants.  Keeping with round numbers, it turns out we are about 120 plants short of this count after putting in about 680 plants.

I can account for the shortfall as follows - we had calculated that there would be an open row, so there's 60 of the 120, and we double planted the Fuggles rhizomes, which accounts for another 50. Next year we'll go back and fill in the open spaces, which will give us another 100 plants, according to the counts on the inventory chart below - of course, we're hoping to plant a second acre next year too, so the counts will be significantly higher!

The chart outlines the estimated count of rhizomes we planted on May 2.  I took this count the day after the planting by counting the marks where plants had been placed - it could be off by a few, but it's close enough.

One week later, I walked the rows to count which plants were sprouted.  I remain very surprised at how well the Fuggles are doing, but then I reminded myself that we put two rhizomes in each hill, which more or less ensured we'd have success with them.

For those who have been reading these status reports, you'll know that I am watching how the CTZ - which I am going back to calling Columbus as of this post - and Goldings are doing.  They are right in the thick of it for viability, which is great news!

I'll do another count like this the next time I am in the hop yards, either May 16 or May 23.  We should be pretty close to fully sprouted at that time, and can begin to truly forecast our yields for our first year!

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