Ramble On

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Ready for Stringing @hawksbillhops

The Cascades will climb themselves
if there's no string around.
With Spring Planting out of the way, the rains came back to the Valley.  There were a couple of days of sunshine mixed in, and that was all it took for the Cascade bines to take off.

Of all the varieties we have at Hawksbill Hop Yards, this one, developed as an American variety in the Pacific Northwest, is most suited to the Virginia climate.  It does very well here, as the photos show.  The bines are practically climbing themselves while they are waiting for us to tie them in.

Here's about 1,000 coir strings.
We took a little different approach this year, and ordered supplies as a co-op.  I went in with three other growers for my strings, and in the process saved a good 50% of the cost over last year.  While it meant a little more coordination and getting them a week or two later, the savings are worth it and we'll probably do it again next year.

The product we use is coir strings - made from Sri Lankan coconut husk fibers.  You can get them in several formats, but the ones we get are pre-cut to a length of 20 feet, 6 inches.  Our lines are 16 feet, so there is a little extra room for tying them and then a couple of feet of extra twine on the ground afterwards.

We'll start to work on this during the next week or so, first soaking the strings to soften them up so they untangle easily, and then taking them over to the yard so they can be tied and anchored.

More updates on that to follow, of course!

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