2nd Year Hops SproutsBy
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.