Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hopping on hops, Part 3

An update on our hops.

It’s been a wet season, and that late-spring nor’easter that whacked the shore with a drenching and powerful gusts gave the Centennials we planted a rough time last week.

Fifty mph winds were hard on the young vines, kind of stunned them a little bit and the bines that were just starting to wind around the trellis lines were blown off course somewhat.

It’s a good thing the foliage wasn’t as dense as it can get. The gusts could have ripped them up like the oaks and other trees that lost a lot of just-sprouted leaves when the storm was peaking.

But nonetheless, the hops are doing fine, and eight days after the storm have bounced back rather hardily. The largest is passing 3 feet, maybe higher, while the other three hills are playing catch-up.

By the by, our trellis is wholly unconventional, not much more than a simple frame fashioned from 1 by 4s and braced with some 1 by 1s, spreading about 6 1/2 feet, over a plot about 5 feet wide.

It’s probably about 5 feet (at least) too short in height – it's about 7 feet – but hopefully that won’t matter. There’s room for the hardier bines to branch out if they run out of vertical room as they climb up the lines.

With some luck, the weather will start to cooperate, dry out a little and the hops will really take off, lush and vibrant.

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