Canton, NC Hops Project. Hops - Growing Hops - Hops Rhizomes - Beer Hops
July 25, 2014 by
So, I just placed my
order for my first hops rhizomes. I have about 1/8th of
an acre garden, and I plan to use a portion of it his year as a micro-hop yard,
no more than a row or two of hops plants.
My goal is to learn as much as I can about growing hops.
I will be performing a study similar to that being done at
Mills River experimental hop yard. I want to
discover which hops grow well in my area. And I will
provide that data as the year(s) progresses.
Types of Hops
To get started, I ordered (from Asheville Brewer's
Supply) the following types and amounts of hops:
Variety of Hops
As mentioned below, one of my Goldings
plants died early after placing it in
the ground. Not sure as yet what
caused it. Possibly one of my dogs
relieved himself on it!
So, it's the end of March and our rhizomes have
arrived. After a couple weeks, our land has
not been plowed as yet, so we have decided to plant
the hops (for now) in containers.
April 7, 2013: Hops are
in the containers. Here are some nice pictures of
End of April (?) 2013 - I
can't remember the exact date, but it was near the
30th. Anyway, the hops had to come inside for
the evening as the temperatures were to drop (and
did) below freezing that night...
May 3, 2013
- Here are some shots of the hops a few weeks
May 7, 2013 - I have decided
to get the hops in the ground. I have chosen
several locations around the house, including lined
against the South wall. Here you can see four
types, each being trained on strings that reach
about 14 - 15 feet in height...
And, one that I'm going to experiment
with by growing diagonally along the edge of the
porch, up to the top, and perhaps horizontally
towards the front (which will probably be
necessary). I plan to work the bines so one goes to
the right along the railing, as well as follow the
string to the left and up...
Here is a rendering of the house
Most of the hops - 15 plants
consisting of 7 varieties - are planted in my
These hops are growing on a string
system with poles that are just 7 feet in height.
In that the hops were beginning to get out of
control in the containers, I had no choice but to
get them in the ground (I haven't had time or help
as yet to set up the 14 - 16 feet hop yard).
Fortunately, I had these landscape timbers lying
around and decided to put them to good use.
But, in a couple weeks, when I have time, I'll
head over to the home improvement store and pick out
6 or 8 poles of larger height, probably about
16-feet poles. I plan to create a trellis
system that I can climb - or at least lean a ladder
against without fear of toppling over! But, I
still haven't decided as yet how I will be laying
out the hop yard - two rows or just one? One
thing is certain... I won't have much time as I
expect these hops to really start growing now that
we are well into May!
The overhead cord is a nylon rope,
about 1/3 inch in size. I have u-shaped nails
along the top of each pole, through which the cord
runs. A couple rebar posts, each about 2 feet
in length, are driven in the ground at the ends, and
the cord is secured to them. Bailing string is
connected for each plant. Each hop plant is
covered with an amount of mulch...
A view looking East, with the one
drinking buddy who never complains, Lizzie...
And, here is a rendering of the
May 13, 2013: So, we had a cold night, near
freezing temperatures. I came up with the following
idea of protecting the plants (Note: May 2014 - I've since
discovered this was completely unnecessary)...
May 16, 2013: It is with great sadness that I
report one of my hop plants has wilted and died. Three
months to the day since I ordered my hops. It was the
Golding variety, but I don't think that had anything to do
with it, since my other Golding, still in the pot, is
thriving. So, I decided to take out the dead and replace
with the living. In doing so, I noticed there were literally
hundreds of these "beetle" larvae in the soil around the
plant. So, I think I discovered the source of the hop
plant's death. I just don't know what these little buggers
are. Anyone? They are white/clear in color, have a head and
a abdomen. As I said, they appear to be baby beetle larvae,
already with their little pincers. I cleaned out the area
and tossed the dirt and larvae out. Forgot to take a photo.
I'll see if some are still present and try to snap a pic.
Update: OK, so I grabbed a handful of the dirt and took a
closeup of these little bastards. They are about the size of
small maggot, no more than 1/8 inch in length...
Thought they are Japanese Beetles, but have since been
corrected by my friends over at the
Northern Brewer forum. They are termites.
Probably didn't have anything to do with my dead hops plant.
Just happened upon them while digging up the plant.
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