Hops 2011 – July 2nd

2nd Year Hops - Willamette in the middle, Cascade on the outside (and other veggies)

The summer is here and it is finally hot enough that we are getting vigorous growth. The 2nd year Cascades are almost done growing vertically with a bit to go still on the Willamette.

Cascade reaches the top! (and then some)

Saying that Brett has been in Ukraine for 2 weeks, he has to trim up the top of the plants when he gets back (tomorrow).

Cascade side growth

We are getting some good horizontal shoots growing and we hope to see some hop cones soon. The plants will begin to fill out more once we trim the tops.

First Year Plants

Our first year cuttings are going strong in my backyard. They are also planted in 18 gallon buckets. There is enough space at the top of the bucket to top off with compost at the end of this fall.

Cascade - 1st Year

The cuttings now have multiple bines from each plant; the first bines are not growing as fast as they were, and many of the secondary ones are taller than the initial ones. This year, I am not concerned with hop weight as much as I am about root growth, which sets us up for 2 things: a big harvest for next year, as well as being able to take many rhizome cuttings to start a larger hop garden.

Willamette - 1st Year

Hops 2011 – June 1st

Black Heart Brewery's 2nd Year Hop Garden

Transplanting & Clippings

This is the the first post about our brewery’s hop project, and most of this info will be converted to full tutorials in the future, but for right now, I will put it all in one post and sort it out later.

At the brewery, we currently have 3 second year plants growing strong; 2 Cascade and 1 Willamette (pic above). They should give us a bunch of hops to brew a few batches of beer with. This year I am stepping it up and putting as many cuttings into planters as possible. We have been using 18 gallon plastic buckets with holes drilled in the bottom for drainage.

Cascade Newly Transplanted Outside

Today, I moved my 2 most solid cuttings out doors into the same kind of planters; these are in the backyard at my house.

Cascade transplanted

For the last 2 and half weeks, these cuttings have been in peat moss planters under Compact florecent bulbs. They both have nice sized root masses, and were too tall to support in the smaller pots. The plan for this year is a horizontal grow, while I figure out what I want to do with the yard long term. Since they are in planters, I can move them at any time. I have a garage that I will soon be attaching eyelets along the side. Across the yard 20 feet or so, in constant direct sunlight, the hop buckets will be. In each bucket is a 3 foot long board, with an eyelet bolted through. The board is buried and so the top is about 20 inches above the soil. The hops will grow up the board and down a wire to the garage. Each plant will have 2 lines, with 3 vines per line (6 total). This will most likely happen next year with established crowns. This year, I expect just one vine per bucket.

In the mean time, I will be taking as many cuttings as possible from our brewery crown’s as well as transplanting the ones I currently have under lights. (pic below)

June 2011 Cuttings

That is all I have to report for now. I will be doing a write up on the cutting/rooting process in the near future; I just need to take a few more pictures next week when I take more. In the mean time, I have some pictures in a gallery below.
Cheers!

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