Wednesday, September 2, 2009

2009 Hop Crop

Well, not really a whole crop of hops.  More like a dozen hop cones on my Nugget Hops.  But I am optimistic for next year!  I planted new rhizomes this year in a couple different places in my yard.  In the spring I planted 2 Cascade, 2 Willamette, and 2 Northern Brewer hops varieties.  Last year I had tried to grow in pots, and that didn't work well at all, so this year I put them in the ground.

Here is a picture of the planter I made for Willamette and Cascade:

Both Willamettes sprouted up within a couple weeks, then only one of the Cascades.  Here is a closeup of the Willamette at about 4 weeks (in April).

Initially the Willamette got to about 6 feet then stalled out.  The Cascade went to about 12 feet and stalled as well.  I'm pretty sure that I over watered due to the heat, and got root rot.  The leaves turned yellow then dried prematurely.  But the Cascade is having a late summer resurgence with new side shoots.  I think one other problem is that the stone I used to outline the planter gets real hot in the sun.  I think it is just baking the hops.  For next year, I may have to switch out the bricks with wood, or widen the planter so the hot bricks aren't right next to the hops.

In the front side yard, I originally planted a couple Northern Brewer hops, but they never sprouted.  I dug them up and they were rotten.  Again, I probably over watered. So I planted a Nugget rhizome in mid May and it really took off.  I decreased the watering schedule a bit and added a drip to it.  It seems to really like the Southern California heat because it is up to about 15 feet now, and I even got some hops cones.  Not bad for the first year.  Here is a picture of the Nugget hop that I have strung up to the top eaves of my house:

And here is a closeup of the hop cones.  They are not real big yet, but have great aroma to them already.  Next year when this hop plant is established I hope to have enough of a yield to actually brew some beer with my own hops.


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Mike said...

Hi Karlis, I tired some Nugget plants in Georgia. Great vegetative growth...healthiest of all my types, but no cones. None. I few buds would try to grow, but nothing happened. I may leave then for one more year, but not expecting anything except great foliage and vines.

Karlis said...

Hey Mike, Thanks for stopping by. Was this the first year for the nugget? If so you'll probably get some next year. I think it's rare to get any cones the first year anyway. Cheers!

Mike said...

Hey Karlis. It was the first year for all my hops. The Cascade, Zeus and Chinook all produced cones. I now have 1 quart bag of each dried and in the freezer. Cascade is still producing even though we have had a frost. I'll leave the Nugget for another season and see. Learning as I go....