I ordered some hop rhizomes.
There’s no sensible reason for me to buy hop rhizomes. My backyard is about 25′ by 35′, which is to say, it’s small. I live in a townhouse. We bought the place new and went out of our way to make sure that we had a much green backyard as possible. We put in a parallel parking spot in the alley to conserve green space and park the second car on the street in front of the house. Sometimes I think our yard is too small to be useful and that we should just put in a garage like everyone else. I figure that if we wanted a yard we should have bought a house with a big yard. We certainly had the opportunity. But most of the time I think it’s nice and that we made the right choice. It’s like a little courtyard back there (apart from the fact that there’s basically no grass – thanks builders).
Our neighbor has a giant 2 story garage thing in his backyard. I’m not sure how he gets natural light into his house. Luckily the monster garage doesn’t block the sun from our backyard. Did I mention that it’s 2 stories?
Anyway with our small backyard, we need to make careful decisions about what we want to do with that space.
Buying hop rhizomes just because they are only available in April and pretty cheap isn’t really what we had in mind. Hops may be cheap, but they grow into huge plants. The vines grow 15′-20′ tall. That’s right, 20 feet tall. General practice is to plant individual rhizomes of the same cultivar 3 feet apart and different cultivars 5 feet apart. So you really can’t fit that many plants into my yard.
So I bought 4 Centennial rhizomes and 4 Newport rhizomes. Both are relatively new varieties of high alpha acid American hops. I’m pretty sure I bought the Centennial rhizomes because of the Two-Hearted Ale I drank a few weeks ago. It’s supposed to be made with Centennial exclusively. The only brewery I’ve known to use Newport is Rogue. I figure I bought the Newport because I’ve never seen them for sale at All Seasons. Newer is better right? You’d think that with limited space I’d want to have a bunch of different varieties of hops or at least hops that I have used regularly and liked. Nope. Go for the unknown stuff exclusively and in volume. I’m crazy.
I could fill my whole backyard with those plants. I’m going to need to find a better solution.
There is an old grain silo at work that has a ladder up the side….