Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Signs of Recovery

Unfortunately, I still haven't been able to determine the exact nature of the problem that is causing the leaves to turn yellow and rust and fall off. Its difficult to research it online and the posts I created on a couple of hop growing forums didn't yield any good suggestions either. Its been extremely hot lately and the plants may be getting stressed from the heat and sun. We've also had sporadic heavy rains showers which is keeping my lawn long and green, but could be preventing the soil in the pots from being able to dry out completely. To compensate for that, I turned off the drip irrigation system and I've been monitoring the soil moisture level and manually watering only when needed. However, I can't prevent mother nature from continuing to water them for me. I did receive a suggestion from a friend to spray the plants with a Liquid Seaweed fertilizer solution. Liquid seaweed is a very low nitrogen fertilizer with more than 70 minerals, vitamins and enzymes that could aid in the plants recovery. Over the past few days, the plants do look like they're actually starting to improve. Although they lost a lot of their existing leaves, both plants have started to sprout new growth and leaves to replace what's died. Hopefully they're able to fully recover from whatever the problem has been.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Nugget Leaves Yellowing with Rust Patches

I returned to this horrible sight after being gone for the weekend. The leaves on the Nugget plant have turned pale yellow with large brown/rust patches on them. At this point, the Cascade plant isn't showing any of the same issues. Leaves are dying off on the lower portion of the plant, but that's normal. I checked the ph level of the soil and its between 6 and 6.5 which is within the preferred range for hop plants. I'm attempting to research the issue online, but if anyone reading this has any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to comment.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Moving Day

The daily temperature is now well into the 90's with the heat index in the 100's on some days, so I finally made the decision to move the hop plants. They'll now get sun from the around 7am to about 1pm but shade them during the hottest times of the day. Also gave them both some liquid miracle grow fertilizer and watered them well after the move.

The cascade plant is continuing its growth spurt with the nugget not really doing much at all.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Guardian of the Hops

I actually almost grabbed this little guy by accident when I was adjusting some of the bines and wrapping them back around the twine. He's taken up residence on my hop trellis and a welcome addition if he eats the bugs and not the hops.

Most of the bines on the Cascade plant have recently gone through a big growth spurt. After a couple of weeks of very little growth, a few of bines have now reach the end of the twine. I've also picked a handful of hop cones that looked and felt like they were ready. I dried them inside and then sealed them in an airtight bag the freezer.

I haven't seen the same growth spurt of the bines on the Nugget, but it is starting to grow more sidearms which is what it did last year. The hop cones developed in cluster off the sidearms unlike the Cascade that just grow along the entire length of the bine. There are a few hop cones that have developed, but nothing really working picking yet.

The temperatures are now regularly getting into the 90's during the day with the heat index climbing over 100 a few times. In other words, I think its time to move the plants around the corner to the East side of the house so that they're in the shade during the hottest time of the day. They'll get the morning sun until about one o'clock when they'll fall into the shade of the house.