hop growing…

I bought two hop rhizomes on a whim. A buddy at work told me about planting a couple of hop plants and I was jealous, wanted a go, and knew Handsome would love it, so I bought them. When they arrived in a bubble wrap envelope, they were two ugly hairy stumps, one a Chinook, one a Centennial.

We planted them, we were excited, but I have to say, it was difficult to see how they could possibly emerge into something that would eventually create beer for us. But within 5 days, little green fingers were pushing through the soil and not long afterwards, they were joined by others as these magical little plants tried to show us they could grow quicker than we would ever have expected, like something out of The Little Shop of Horrors.

We had one problem, that we were moving house, didn’t have the next place identified and needed to transplant all our seedlings from their pots into real ground.  All of our seeds suffered from their confinement except for the hops. They had a trellis each and they defiantly grew and grew, until we began to wonder how we would actually transport them (they were getting too big to fit in the car).

Finally we bought a house and through the 6 weeks wait to move in, we watched these hop plants continue to grow until they were taller than the trellis but still continued to stretch upwards, twisting around each other for support.

These plants are incredible…

And then comes moving day, we get those plants over to the new house and before unpacking, the only thing we can think about is getting the precious hops into the ground. We plant those suckers at the edge of the deck. We leave the trellis in place and we stretch wire up the deck fenced wall to give them ever higher reaches to aim for. They are in good sunlight all day. It’s not too windy.

And we wait…

They seem a bit spindly at first. Less bushy than we would like.

But then, before we know it, there’s a vine explosion. Little tendrils are shooting off everywhere trying to find a new vine to climb. Buds are starting to appear, that we realize swiftly are the REAL DEAL… actual… true… believe it or not… hops buds themselves.

Since mid-July, these have been multiplying all over the side of our deck, and the moment has arrived, they say that when you start to get the hops scent off the buds, they are ready for harvest. These guys are starting to stink!

So for now, let’s end the hop growing love story. The next phase is about to begin and will be faithfully recorded and the next story told. For now, I will share with you what is on my computer screen desktop. Nope, it’s not my man or my dog. It’s not quite as precious to me as those things, but it comes in a happy third…

It’s our hops…


One thought on “hop growing…

  1. This is amazing! Are you sure that they are not triphids?

    Do you know what to do next?

    Love Mum xxx

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