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Growing Hops Plants - Diary

 

There are many reasons to grow hops plants. You might grow them because you are a home brewer. Or, perhaps as a cash crop. For many gardeners, it's the challenge of growing something they've never grown before. Maybe you're growing them because it an easy to grow perennial. Then, there's my favorite reason "because I can".

So, simply "because I can", I embarked on my first endeavor to grow hops. I do not make beer, or wine for that matter, at home or anywhere else. I do have people I can give the fruits of my labor, in this case "cones". So at harvest time, the bountiful fruits of my labor should not go to waste.

So watch, as I document and display my immense gardening prowess at growing hops in the diary below..........  

Hops plant rhizome

May 7, 2019 -  I just picked up a rhizome from a friend of  my oldest son. The shoots have begun to grow, about six of them. The longest is already over an inch long. I was told to get it into the ground tomorrow. The variety is "Cascades". It's used to make pale ales and IPAs, adding a citrusy flavor. I'm gung-ho, let's grow!

Hops plant

May 8, 2019 - And, so it begins.... It's planting time! I prepared the planting site, mixing in plenty of rich compost. I was told the roots do not like to be in wet, soggy soil. So, I mounded the planting area slightly. I planted the rhizome a couple inches deep in the soil, with just the tips of the growing shoots poking above the soil. There's still a risk of frost an cold weather for the next couple of weeks. I'll be prepared to cover them up , if need be. Yes, my hops plant is going to be pampered!

hops plants

June 6, 2019 - About one month after planting, the new hops plant is already about 10 inches tall  (From now on, I need to bring out the tape measure).There are two major bines. The plant is beginning to climb up the rebar I put next to it. As it grows taller, I will train one of the bines to climb up the corner post (see left side of picture).

June 7, 2019 - I applied a dose of general purpose fertilizer. The tallest bine is not grabbing onto the pole by itself yet. A light breeze knocks it free. I continue to train it. It's a smart plant, so I know it will get the idea soon (lol). 


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