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Canton, NC Hops Project.  Hops - Growing Hops - Hops Rhizomes - Beer Hops

Part 3

Back to Part 2  |  Back to Part 1

July 25, 2014 by Rick Morris:

Four weeks later and there are some clear leaders in the variety of hops growing in my Canton, NC hops garden.  Chinook, Nugget, Cascade and Sterling have risen to the occasion, growing quickly to 14+ feet.  Small hops flowers have appeared and it looks like these four varieties are going to be loaded with them...

Chinook Hops Plant 1
This plant was placed in somewhat clay soil.  A mixture of gravel happened to be in the area as it is near the front porch, so I suspect it is receiving decent drainage.  Facing the Eastern morning sun, I really didn't expect much from this one.  It gets only about 7 hours of direct sunlight. It's clear that all the Chinooks are doing very well, so I'm glad I placed a Chinook in this location.  It's now about 12 feet high and has been trained to run horizontally after that, going to about 6 more feet.  So, in total, I have about 18 feet so far.  And, it's not even July yet!  The plant is presently running up a 12-ft string.  I had planned to branch off at the mid-point, where the top of the porch railings are, and run that branch the full 16 feet length of the porch.  Since there is a secondary bine, I'll just use it when it gets up there.  But, it may not happen.  It presently is still just a couple feet off the ground.  There is an abundance of flowers, with some showing that typical hop shape.

Chinook Hops Plant 2
This one is on the Southern facing wall of our house, running up a string that is about 14 feet in height.  The string is attached to a screw up top.  The vinyl siding on our home provides for some warming effects not ordinarily found out in the garden.  And, that clearly is playing a part in the growth of this, and the other two hops plants situated near the house.  This Chinook is showing vibrant growth to the top of the string.  In fact, it reached the full height of 14 feet a couple weeks ago.  As such, it bent back over on itself and is hanging 3 or 4 feet below the top.  This hops plant has large, green leaves that are about 8 inches in diameter.   There are a number of small bines flanking off the main one, just hanging to about 2 feet in length for each.  The hops flowers are appearing about half way up and they are a plenty!

Cascade Hops Plant 1
This one is planted near the corner of the porch landing, running diagonally up the rails.  The string extends vertically up the porch railing, and horizontally along the upper supports.  In total, there is room for about 20 feet of growth.  One main shoot is on the diagonal string and is doing well.  Good growth to the top of the diagonally ran string, with a vertical rise to the top, or about 5 more feet.  It then is running horizontally along the porch support.  There are several off-shoots coming off the lower part of the primary bine.  I have trained two of these to follow the frontal direction of the landing/railings. Instead of pruning the others, I let them start to wind their way around the various railings/balasters.  It is really filling out the landing area balasters and has plenty of hops fowers.  I remain surprised how well this one is doing, in that it is growing diagonally, and it is hidden by the morning sun, and gets only about 7 hours of direct sun light.

Goldings Hops Plant 2
Since the first one died (see previous), this second Goldings hops plant replaced it.  Therefore, it has been in the ground half the time of the others. It is doing very well, with growth to about 10 feet (on a 14-foot string).  Probably has something to do with the extra convection heat coming from the Southern exposure near the house.  Some hops flowers are appearing near the top of the plant.

Nugget Hops Plant 1
One of the most vibrant plants so far.  Situated by the Southern side of the house, near the Chinook Plant 2 and Goldings Plant 2.  Also on a 14-foot string.  It has sent up two strong bines to about 14 feet in height - the full length of the string.  Like the Chinook hops plant that is growing nearby, this Nugget has reached the top.  But, instead of falling back down,  it has started crawling along the roof.  Large, 8-inch leaves.  Lots of hops flowers and some miniature cones.

Cascade Hops Plant 2
One of three plants situated about 8 feet from the Southern side of the house (where the above 4 plants are located).  Presently on a 7-foot string setup.  Plan to make a nice 12-foot trellis for this and the other two in the group.  Complete with overhead wooden supports.  Good growth to 4 feet.  These were also planted just a couple a weeks ago.  These three plants in this trellis system see the shade starting around 5pm each day.

Centennial Hops Plant 1
The second of the three plants situated about 8 feet from the Southern side of the house, this one is also showing good growth of about 12 feet in total.  Doing well.  Situated on a pole/string systems that is only 7 feet in height, so this one has outgrown that setup and is winding around itself and along some of the horizontal string.

Centennial Hops Plant 2
Same as Centennial 1 above.  About 12 feet in height.  Doing very well.

Moving to the micro-yard, as I call it.  This is a single row of 15 plants, entailing a total of 8 varieties.  Presently have them on a 7-foot "hurry up" system consisting of 8-foot landscape timbers and a small rope at top (read on previous page).  As some of the hops are presently growing beyond the top, I really have to find some time to increase the size of this yard...

Unfortunately, I never got around to setting up 14-foot poles so I went with another option - run them horizontally.  I really didn't want to do this as I've read they won't produce as well.  But, I didn't have a choice.  Time was against me.  So, I set up similar poles about 15 feet from each hops plant and ran a string to them, connecting everything.  And, a layer of mulch was added to all plants today...

Sterling Hops Plant 1
This one shows the best growth in my inventory.  It has reached to about 18 feet, or 11 feet past the top!  Starting to wind horizontally.  There are two strong bines on one string, and a third bine is making its way up a second string situated about 10 inches apart.  The leaves on this one aren't as large as the Chinook 2 and Nugget 1.  But, this Sterling has the thickest bines of all plants.  Some pruning is also needed for the additional sprouts appearing.  This one has the largest hop flower - one that is about the size of a dime.  Remember, it's not even July here yet.  I guess that's pretty good.

Sterling Hops Plant 2
Decent growth to 15 feet.  Small 3-inch leaves.  Two strong bines, each on a separate string.  Compared to Sterling 1, this one is about half the size.

Chinook Hops Plant 3
One thick bine, and growth to about 16 feet on this Chinook.  Vibrant, though leaves at the bottom are still showing some yellowing/spots.  5-inch leaves.  As I stated a few weeks ago, it appears I'm going to have good results here in Canton, NC with my Chinook hops. 

Chinook Hops Plant 4
About the same as Chinook 3.  Thick bine on 1 string, growing to 15 feet.  A single secondary shoot is now about 10 feet up in height.  Wrapped it around the main bine.  5-inch leaves. 

Cascade Hops Plant 3
There are three strong bines.  One is at 13 feet in height/length and contains 3 to 5-inch leaves.  Two more bines are found on the secondary string 10 inches away.  They have grown to about 8 feet in height.  Contain 2-inch leaves.  And, this one has 2 additional shoots appearing from the rhizome.

Cascade Hops Plant 4
Two main bines on this hops plant.  One is vibrant and has grown to 10 feet, with 3 off-shoots from the bottom.  The second bine is 8 feet and has two additional shoots coming up.  Looks like Cascade is going to be a winner as well.

Tettnang Hops Plant 1
Slow growth to about 7 feet.  A single bine with 3 solid branches at the bottom - two that are winding up the string.  Early indications are this variety isn't going to do well.

Tettnang Hops Plant 2
Better growth to 8 feet.  And also has several lower branches finding their way up the string. 

Northern Brewer Hops Plant 1
Two bines, on on each string.  Solid growth to 8 feet each.  No additional branching.

Northern Brewer Hops Plant 2
Two bines also on 1 string.  Slow growth to 6 feet.  Some damage to lower leaves by catapillars or bugs. 

Columbus Hops Plant 1
Decent bine to 7 feet.  Second bine to about 4 feet.  Slow growing here.  I did notice, however that the rhisome was at the surface and exposed so I covered it with a few handfuls of dirt.

Columbus Hops Plant 2
Lots of low activity with 5 or 6 bines each @ 12-18 inches in length.  One bine is working its way up the string but shows signs of something eating away at its leaves.  The culprit?  A ground hog.  But, that can be a good thing - if I can keep him from eating the lower horizontal string!  This is one of the reasons I haven't been successful in training this one to grow up a string.  The groundhog keeps breaking the lower string, which supports the vertical strings.  Is a wire or thin cable the answer?  This has improved some sing my last update about the groundhogs. 

Willemette Hops Plant 1
There are about 3 bines on one string, and 2 on another.  The height is 5 or 6 feet for the lot.  The ground hog has been enjoying this one.  But, it is still growing.

Willemette Hops Plant 2
Slow to no growth.  This was one of the first plants to be visited by Mr. Ground hog and it shows.  Although the plant has been virtually destroyed, it is still showing signs of potential.  We'll wait and see.  Even if it does look pitiful!  This plant has pretty much been destroyed.  But, new shoots are appearing.

Nuggett Hops Plant 2
Two bines, one per string.  One was doing well at 5 feet in height, but the damage to the lower leaves courtesy the groundhog was too much and this bine died.  But, the other has grown to about 6 feet.  Leaves on the shorter one have also been eaten off.

Hops plant growing - Shows hops flowers cones just as they have begun to produce.   A nice darkened shadow image of a new hops cone.

An image of hops cones on the bine.   The winding vines of the hops plant.

Hops plant taking over the pourch landing.   Chinook, Nugget, and Golding hops plants growing vigorously up the side of my house in Canton, NC.   Another view of hops plants growing in Canton, NC.

A decent close-up photo of a the first hops cones on my plants.   The Chinook hops plant has reached the full height of my porch - about 12 feet - and has turned horizontally.  These hops will be easy to harvest!

Hops plant taking over my porch.

Continue reading about the Canton, NC Hops project in Part 4...


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