Hop growing: First update

I went ahead and bought two EKG rhizomes from willingham nurseries a couple of weeks ago. For the moment I have a saaz plant that never really took off last year (probably dead) for some reason and two Nordbrau (I’ve heard that this variety may not be the same as Northern Brewer) plants that I moved from pots to a flowerbed (the flowers suffers).

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I wanted to give these hops a real chance of producing a good yield since I haven’t been too lucky with my earlier attempts. Therefore I started early with the prep work and dug holes for two big fermentation buckets (30L) which will be placing the hop plants into. The reason for this is that hops need to be held back if you don’t want your whole garden filled with hops. The 30 liter buckets will provide sufficient room for the hops.

To ensure good drainage drilled a bunch of holes in the bottom of the buckets. The hops needs lots of water but you don’t want to drown them.wpid-IMG_20140323_151921.jpg

 

Since I live near the north pole the weather is still a bit(ch) sketchy and some nights will be too harsh for the young hop sprouts. So before I fill the buckets with soil and plant my rhizomes I decided to let them start inside in smaller pots. It might be some work to acclimate the plants from the indoor temperatures to the outdoors. But when we enter May I believe the weather will be mild enough.

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The rhizomes will sprout fast and quickly get some height so be prepared to have some kind of support ready for the vines.

This is how the rhizomes arrived: package, plastic bag, wet newspaper and instructions. I kept mine in the fridge for 2 days until planting them. They will hold like that for a couple of days (some people have been successful storing them longer) if you can’t plant them upon arrival. wpid-IMG_20140324_151435.jpg

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I will keep posting more pictures and info about the development of these little bastards.