Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hops Rhizomes are here

I ordered 10 rhizomes. 2 of 5 different hops varieties. They came today. a little bit of hops education. New hops plants are started from a clipping of an underground runner called a rhizome. (male plants seed, but with unknown traits.) Since the hops that we use in beer comes from the female plant we want only females. Each spring the hops farmers go to the fields and clip rhizomes from existing plants to propagate more female plants. The root below is about 6 inches long and shows signs of growth.
This root is then planted a couple inches below the surface. It takes about three years for the plant to achieve full productivity. The first year it grows a root system and a small bine (not a vine, but a bine). Second year more vegetative growth and in the third year it is at full production and can grow to 25 feet in length.

I now have about 28 plants of varying ages from rhizomes to 3 years old. (I say about, because I transplanted some and I'm not sure of their status....)

With any luck, I will be getting more and more hops as time goes by.... Now if the sun would come out and the weather warm up...that would be good.

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