Archive for June, 2011
Have my Magnum hops overcome their hops disease or whatever malady they are suffering from? All new growth – the laterals and new leaves are looking healthy. Hopefully the Magnum hop plant will survive and be 100% next year. All of the primary leaves on the hop bines have curled up and died (the dark, crumpled leaves in the picture). The tops of the bines are stunted at 10 feet and only new laterals (branches or side shoots) are climbing higher.
I still have not determined what the issue is or was. I am leaning towards a fungal disease similar to Peach Leaf Curl (thanks Mort) or a boron deficiency. I have ruled out an herbicide (from “herbicide drift” – carried by the wind) as this is the middle of 3 plants and the outside 2 are unaffected. I have not used any herbicides and neither has my neighbor.
The Hop bines seemed to recover after I sprayed them with Bonide Liquid Iron + micro-nutrients – containing: magnesium, boron, copper, iron, manganese, zinc which should cover a few different possible deficiencies. Copper can be an antifungal, but I don’t know if the amount of copper was sufficient to act as an anti-fungal in the 2 applications I sprayed the bines with. Whether it was a coincidence or not I don’t know for sure. The new growth has normal leaves.
As the hop bines appear to be stunted and stuck at 10 feet tall due to whatever malady they experienced, I am not expecting as much of a harvest this year (3rd year should be more than second year hops). Who knows, maybe it will bush out and produce just as many or more. The Magnum is the most compact of my 3 remaining hops – Nugget, Magnum and Cascade. You can see from last year’s pictures (look in the category – Second Year Hops) that it didn’t have 4 foot laterals like the Cascade and Nugget did – maybe 12 to 18 inch laterals.
I just wanted to keep you updated on the possible recovery of the Magnum hops. I hope they have an immune system like humans and develop antibodies so they don’t get hit with this again. I will also amend the soil more with fish emulsion and/or kelp to provide all the nutrients they need. Top dress the soil with compost…
The Cascade and Nugget hops did top out by the end of May as I predicted. Even with the slow start due to the cold spring this year.