The Nugget bine and Cascade hops bines have reached the top of the ropes. The Cascade hops plant overtook the Nugget and is now the bine height leader by a foot over the Nugget hops. The Magnum bines are still only 8 or 9 feet tall. I lowered the Cascade and Nugget bines 6 feet to allow the hop bines to continue to climb.
I mounted hose racks to the side of my garage to allow looping the hop bines off the ground and allow more vertical growth (see pictures). One thing I learned with this setup is the bines blow off of the hose racks in the wind we have had the last 2 days so I had to secure the rope to the hose hangers ( I used tie wraps/ zip ties – Next to duct tape, zip ties are best invention ever in my opinion.
I chose Cascade hops, Nugget hops and Magnum hops because they are disease resistant, high yielding and grow well in my climate (zone 4). Apparently the Magnum do not fair as well, they are behind the Nugget and Cascade hop plants by 6 – 7 feet (I still love them though). The season is not over, anything could happen yet. My experiment on how to grow hops with a pulley system seems to be working well so far.
The bines are sending out side shoots for hops and I can hardly wait. Because they are first year hops, I am not expecting much of a hop harvest this year, although they are exceeding my expectations from everything I have read on the subject and from my hop growing friends. I can’t wait till next year to see what they will do.
The soil innoculant I used “Alive Soil Activator” revived all of my wifes flowers (can’t be hurting my hops either). Like all flowers, they look great when you buy them but after a month or so the flowering fades. I used this unconventionally and just threw a couple of spoonfuls in a watering container, watered the plants and they all look 200% better! Even revived a plant I thought was dead – it is flowering like crazy now!
Anyway, there is my status report on how to grow hops (my version). There is a lot of good information on growing hops out there – find it, read it, absorb it and grow hops like crazy.