Hops Harvest UpdateTuesday, September 13th, 2011
It is time again to pick home grown hops. What a fun experience. The smell is just heavenly. In fact, I’m sure they have a section in heaven devoted to hops…
So far, the only vine ready to pick was Nugget. We got 2.35 dried ounces out it. That seems like a small amount compared to some sources that say you can get pounds of hops per vine. I’m not dissapointed, but I do plan to make some adjustments next year and see if I can increase the yield.
I did not use fertilizer, besides a shovel of steer manure in the spring on top of each crown. I know I could have done better on watering. The hops and the garden both suffered through a few dry spells, which I’m sure reduced the yield. Next year I plan to run a soaker hose hooked up to a timer so they get watered every morning – thanks to my friend Brian for pointing that one out!
The Nugget vine grew heathily, and was about 11 feet tall. It actually tried to climb up the roof but couldn’t hang on to the flashing.
This metal window screen set on top of my brew wagon makes a great drying rack.
The two Hallertauer vines should yield 3-4 ounces combined. This year I decided against pruning and let it go wild at the base. Last year was a poor growing year and I wanted to give the hops a chance to really establish a strong healthy root system. These should be ready to pick in a couple days.
Sadly the Cascade vine was infected with Spider Mites. Spraying the leaves with a solution of water and isopropyl alcohol every 3 days for about two weeks seemed to get rid of them. However, there are not many Cascade cones this year. BrewersFriend will post more about Spider Mites next spring.
Make sure to check out other articles in the Hops Growing category!