Hop plants have hit the top of the ropes again – 12 feet, bines are looped 6 feet around hose hangers (Cascades and Nugget hop plants total 18 feet tall with the loop – Magnum bines are a little over 10 feet tall). I went to drop the hop bines another 6 feet and loop them around the hose hangers I mounted last week – Murphy (Murpy’s law – anything that can go wrong, will) reared his ugly friggen head. Turns out when I looped the ropes/bines, the non-dominant bine (trailing the dominant bine by 6 feet) did not make the loop. This caused the shorter bine to rejoin the rope at the top of the hose rack, making it difficult to loop the ropes and bines without getting them tangled when the shorter bines rejoin the top rope during there climb.
While the taller bine on each rope (I have 2 bines per rope) is topped out, the shorter bine on the rope will not be joined with the rope at the top of the hose rack. Something learned from this setup – issues with more than one bine per rope. Not a show stopper but an inconvenience trying to accommodate both bines on each rope. It will still function in that I will not need a ladder to lower the hop vines at harvest time.
The hops plants (at least the Cascade and Nugget hops) grew 5 feet in the last week. The Magnum hops are a little over 10 feet tall at this point – grew about a foot or two. The Magnum has more and denser vegetation than the other two. It appears to be a tie again between the Cascade hops plant and the Nugget hop plant at 18 feet in length.
While all three hop plants are sending out lateral shoots, the Cascade side shoots are much longer – 18 inches to 2 feet in length. Should start seeing hop cones soon. Hopefully the bines will fill out much more than they are now.
I may have to modify the hop trellis next year to accommodate 1 bine per rope (mount more ropes) or come up with some new ideas. Anyway I am happy with the first year hops growth. Hoping for a decent harvest despite this being the first year. Growing hops next year from established hop rhizomes / root stock should faster yet!
I finally stripped the bottom of the bines of leaves and side shoots (lateral shoots). I did not strip the hop bines the recommended 4 feet from the ground. I went around 2 feet (can’t tell me a damn thing – always been a bit of a rebel). You can see this on the bottom of the Magnum hop bine picture. The purpose of removing the lower foliage is to allow airflow to prevent mildew (especially powdery mildew) and possibly deter some pests that may come from the ground – we’ll see.
There’s this weeks status on the hops plants. I am also running out of rope, maybe 5 feet left to lower the bines for a total length of 23 feet – nothing to complain about though, proud of these hop plants!
Update – I found an online vendor for hop plants – 30 varieties! Check them out here: