Two days and a massive rainstorm later, our new hops are starting to grow. From North to South, we’ve got Triumph, Medusa, and Sterling. We also got the Cascade and Centennial strung onto their ropes yesterday, so everything’s pretty much set in hop-land.
Not really — but we’ve had a random week of nightly freezes since the hop plants arrived. Instead of planting them outside and keeping them covered, I’ve got them in the pots I use for seed starting and we’ll get them planted in the middle of this coming week. It was also a bit of an experiment — can you keep hop plants in little pots for a week?
Hops + 2 days
Hops + 5 days
They’re not growing anything like the hops out in the ground that we’re covering at night … but they appear to be doing well. And they should be happy enough until Wednesday when it looks like the cold snap ends.
I ordered some hop plants from Great Lakes Hops — these are awesome. They ship actual plants, which are much more robust looking than the rhizomes I ordered years ago when we started growing hops. They came packed in what looks like wheat chaff – I assume it was moistened when they shipped the plants, but it was quite dry by the time I opened the box. The plants were a little wilted, but they perked right up when I got them into temporary pots with some more dirt and watered them. I love that the packing material can all be composted!
The best part? A free plant 🙂
Our hops are finally strung! I ordered coir rope that is used by most hop growers – hopefully this doesn’t snap like the twine we used last year. Last year, all of the ropes slid together at the top. Which stretched the ropes (and probably didn’t do anything to keep the twine in one piece). This year, used 3/4″ PVC piping (yet another Home Depot purchase not being used as intended) and drilled holes through which the ropes are strung.
It was a lot easier to get the strings up this year – we ran each individual rope through its hole and tied the stakes to each end. Then pulled the wire that runs between the two trees up and secured it onto the tree branches.
Some of our vines were long enough to wrap onto the coir rope — so we’ve got hops climbing their ropes:
Our salad course for Easter was a sauteed hop salad. We have both cascade and centennial hops, and the ones that are in the ground have grown incredibly in the past week or so. Before the snow, we had little sprouts barely nudging through soil. Now some of our vines are two feet long!
So I missed the really tender early sprouts. I sauteed the thicker stems in a little olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Then garnished with fresh hop leaves. It was really good – and I only used about half of the trimmings.