Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hop Cones on Both Plants

The bines on both plants have slowed down their growth rate and are not increasing in length nearly as quickly. However, the good news is that both have started developing some nice hop cones. Once cones start to develop, you need to check them often to get a feel on how they're are developing so you know when they are ready to be picked. I've done a lot of searching online and the general consensus is that the cones should be a yellowish green to a light green in colour and feel relatively light and dry. If you squeeze the hop cone and it stays compressed, then they are not ready to be picked. Some of the Cascade cones actually look like they may be ready and have plenty of yellow lupulin in the cones when I pull them apart.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Adjusted the Drip Irrigation System and Trellis

I made an adjustment to the drip irrigation system to help ensure more uniform water distribution and moisture level. Each pot only had two drippers which didn't seem to be uniformly distributing moisture around the soil. I added a third dripper to each pot and the tubing now goes in a U shape around the plants (see photo to the left). This should help ensure the whole root system is getting water. And based on how fast the bines are continuing to grow and develop hop cones, the plants are obviously needing a great deal of it.

I also adjusted the twine at the top of the trellis to try and give the Cascade bine more room to grow. The bine now goes horizontally across the top cross-bar and then back diagonally to the top. I guess when I reaches the top again, I'll just make it grow back down the other side. I could also just extend the pole a few more feet and add on some more cross bars which is what I may end up having to do.