Archive for April, 2010
Second year hops – hop sprout update. My last post was April 8, 2010 and I had uncovered my hop sprouts because they were pushing up from under the leaf mulch. I was waiting as long as I could because I am in zone 4 and frost free nights are over a month away. That night:
The bottom right hand corner of the above pic shows the outside temperature of 27.9 degrees fahrenheit, far enough below freezing to kill many plants. They survived, no problem! Hops are very hardy and established hop plants will survive. I have friends that have lost newly planted hop rhizomes to freezing so I was a bit concerned – not to worry. They went from albino buried hop sprouts to healthy hop bines. Here are my Magnum hop sprouts (now hop bines), about 10 inches tall April 17, 2010.
Newly planted hop rhizome sprouts may be susceptible to freezing temps, not established second year hops. At this rate, I am going to have an awesome harvest. Barring a hard freeze, these hop bines will thrive! I love growing hops!
Here in Minnesota the general date for frost safe planting is May 15th. I kept my hop plants buried under leaves to try and keep the ground cold and the hop crowns dormant as long as possible. I checked on them today (April 8th) and the hop sprouts were pushing up the leaves so I had to un-bury them. Hopefully they won’t freeze (down to 32 degrees last night).
These are second year hops so I am expecting a much better yield than last year (about 3 pounds between the 3 hop plants – a good first year harvest). I guess we’ll see if they freeze or not. Even if they do, there will be new shoots to replace them. Second year hops with an established crown / root stock and stored energy from last year.
I am still contemplating a new hop trellis rigging. If nothing else, I will go with 2 ropes per plant instead of the one rope per hop hill used last year. That in itself should at least double my harvest. The established hop plants will have plenty of energy to support 6 bines per plant (3 per rope).
The sprouts look albino and growing sideways from being weighed down and have not been exposed to sunlight yet. I will also have to trim the rhizomes to keep the plants from spreading in all directions. I will cut a circle with a shovel about 8 inch radius from the center of the plant and pull out the hop rhizomes on the outside of the circle.