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Canton, NC Hops Project.  Hops - Growing Hops 2014


Back to 2013 - Part 1

July 25, 2014 by Rick Morris:

I figured it was about time for an update on my second year's hops growing so far.  The hops plants in the garden got a better, taller support system.  I went from the 6-foot posts to a much taller 14-foot system.  It's still not optimum, as hops like something about 20-22 feet in height.  I was a bit late in finishing the 14-foot systems and much of my hops plants had spread into heaps on the ground.  I have since pruned them each down to about 8 or 10 bines each.  Last year I allowed only 2 or 3 bines per each hill.  It was recommended to me at this year's hops grower's meeting to allow maximum bines.  I took the middle route, with the 8 or 10 bines per hill.  All the hops plants have been cleaned of leaves from about 2 feet and down.  Here is a chart rendering of the hops growing along the house...

I still have 21 hops plants and most are doing well, with the exception of five or six out in the garden.  The first 8 I want to talk about are located in the rendering above.  The Chinook is by far the best grower and has taken over the front porch.  It was my best producer last year.  The Cascade by the porch corner is also a monster.  The three attached to the house (Chinook, Nugget, and Golding) are doing well.  I was able to get them started climbing the bines early on.  Plus, these have about 14 feet to climb.  I added a two-pole system for the three others (Cascade, 2 Centennials) that is also about 14 feet in height.  These are growing well and some have reached the top so fast they are hanging over about 6 feet. 

Here is a chart rendering of the hops plants out in the garden...

The hops are performing about the same as the previous year, with the best growth showing from the left to the right.  In other words, the Sterlings and Chinooks are doing well, with the Cascades slightly behind.  Then the small Tettnang, and even small Northern Brewers, Columbus, Willemettes and the Nugget.  I may have to pull those if they don't do well this year, and replace with Chinooks, Cascades, or something proven.

Here are some images of the new growth systems and various hops plants.  These are all second year hops and are images taken in late May, 2014...

A Full view of the hops plants in the garden.  The first two are Sterlings, followed by Chinooks, and then Cascade hops.  Notice how the plants in the background are somewhat shorter than those in the foreground.  They didn't perform well last year (2013), either.

Here is an image of two Centennial hops plants with the Cascade in the background near the far pole.  Notice the new pole system.  These are simply 4x4 pressure-treated post that are 16 feet in length, with about 2 feet in the ground, giving these hops plants a 14-foot system to climb.

From left to right, these are the Chinook, Nugget, and Golden hops plants that are growing along the south-facing side of the house.

A closer look at the new hops flowers on the Cascade plant already making their appearance (late May 2014).

Here is a close-up image of the Cascade hops growing from the left side of the porch steps, up the corner of the house.

Cascade hops taking over the front porch.  These are going to really produce some serious hops for my IPA beer!

Chinook hops taking over the front porch (right). Notice the 8 or 10 bines that have been cleaned of leaves.  Also, the new sprouts have thus been snipped.  The Cascade hops are shown at left on the porch railing and steps.

Growing Hops in the Garden.  This is an image of the new 14-foot growing system and the Sterling hops.


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