Sunday, July 6, 2008

HOP FAIL!!!!

Sad day. My hops have all died. Well, to be more accurate, 3 of the four rhizomes never managed to even sprout. The fourth sprouted and looked promising, but we got a spell of a couple weeks with close to or above 100 degrees, and the young sprout just couldn't take the heat. I'm real disappointed in the ones that never even sprouted. One was from Northern Brewer ( a jumbo hop Cascade) , and the other two were from Freshops.com (1 Newport and 1 Goldings). The Cascade I think was rotten before I even put it in the soil. I'm not sure what happened with the other two - perhaps I overwatered due to the heat.

So I'll try again next season. Though next year I will put them in the ground rather than clay pots. Perhaps the clay pots added to the problem by cooking the rhizomes in the heat. I don't have alot of space in the backyard, but I am determined to grow my own hops for my beer.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Karlis,
My condolences on the hops. I myself am growing hops for the first time (Cascade, Mt. Hood), albeit in a different climate. The only observations I can make that may be helpful are the following:

-My seed provider shipped actual small plants and suggested an acclimatization phase before planting in the ground. Specifically, I kept the sprouts indoors for a few days, then they went outside, but shielded from precipitation and heavy sun, then I planted them a few days after that. What leaves they had quickly died, but new ones followed once the roots took hold. One plant looked dead for about two weeks before a tiny sprout reappeared about a centimeter away from the main stalk.

-Patience and persistence are key, and so is a transition period between indoors and out.

-The leaves seem particularly fickle. Don`t rely on them as the primary inidcator of plant health.

-As soon as the shoots were tall enough I forced them around a string network and they are starting to take to it really well....like the support from the string was a catalyst for growth.

-Despite the instructions I don`t think they are full-sun plants. I had tried a mini-crop in pots a few years ago and they couldn`t take it. I am having much better luck in the present location, which is in the ground where they get morning sun only (facing East).

Anyway, the health of my mini hop farm has been keeping me up at night so I can sympathize with your disappointment. I wish you much success with the next experiment.

Cheers,
Phil H
Montreal, Canada

Karlis said...

Hey thanks for the comments and advice Phil. Would you be able to provide the name of your hop provider? Not sure if they would ship to the States, but I like that they sent you already started small plants. I think that would help to have them already started, since by the time my rhizomes came this year it was already too hot.

Anonymous said...

Hi Karlis, no problem. I ordered the plants from Richters (http://www.richters.com/). However, there seems to be a disclaimer about shipping: "Due to USDA regulations, this item can not be shipped to the USA". Maybe you can ask them what comparable provider in the U.S. they suggest? Good luck, Phil

nerinossa said...

The fourth sprouted and looked promising, but we got a spell of a couple weeks with close to or above 100 degrees, and the young sprout just couldn't take the heat

THE MERKIN MAN said...

The same thing happened to my Cascade and Willamete. I suppose it is just too damn hot and too damn dry in Georgia to grow hops.

Tia said...

Hi folks... I know this is months after the fact, but Jung's Seed ( www.jungseed.com - here in the states, I think they are out of Wisconsin) sells and ships first year hops transplants in 3 1/2 inch pots. They are supposed to arrive dormant, but when my Willamette got here, it had a four inch shoot. They use the US postal service so my order was a bit dishoveled on arrival, but they are really good about replacing dud plants.

Karlis said...

Thanks for the tip Tia. Actually for this season I already received my rhizomes from a different supplier up in Oregon. Http://www.thymegarden.com I ordered 2 each of Willamette, Cascade, and Northern Brewer. The Willamette has sprouted and is climbing already, growing about an inch a day. The Cascades are up and getting ready to climb, and the Northern Brewer have yet to sprout. I'll post a few pics of my setup soon. Cheers!!