I’ve got 8 hop plants growing in pots at work, 2 each of Centennial, Cascade, Newport & Willamette. One of the Centennials was the first to sprout a few weeks ago, and by last Friday it was about 18 inches tall. The other 7 plants are all between 1/2 inch and maybe 6 inches tall. Hops seems to start out pretty slow after they break through the soil, but once they get about 4 inches tall, they grow noticeably every day. It’s pretty unbelievable. Every Monday morning I am impressed with how much bigger they got over the weekend. The tall Centennial was no longer able to support itself, so it was time to stake the plants and get the hop twine attached to the silo at work where they will be growing.
I borrowed a 20 foot ladder from Forrest on Friday to tie up 8 lengths of 20 foot hop twine. The silo has an old ladder up one side, but I was warned that some of the rungs had broken the last time someone tried to climb it 18 years ago. I doubt it’s gotten stronger since then, so I avoided it. The hop twine is made from coconut husks and it is extremely coarse. You definitely wouldn’t want to use it to climb anything. I cut myself twice with the twine and ended up with a few coconut husk splinters from messing around with it trying to see just how deadly it was (brilliant).
I tied the hop twine off around the metal bands that run around the silo in 2 sets of 4. I wish I could have spaced them out a little more, but there weren’t a lot of places to tie the twine that would get the hops enough light. I wanted to keep them on the south side of the silo as much as possible so they’ll get the most sunlight.
You can see the old ladder in these pictures. I actually ended up moving the twine away from the vine you can see growing on the silo already but I didn’t get any pictures.
Thanks to Mark and Richard for holding the ladder for me. Now I just need to get my hop plants as big as those vines already on the silo. They’ll certainly be getting enough sun. My only concern is the size of the pots they are planted in limiting their size/productivity. I hope that regular watering and fertilizing will give them all the nutrients they need. It works for hydroponic gardens, so it should work for me too.
Here’s that large Centennial plant growing up it’s newly staked twine. It’s got 20 feet of room to grow before it hits that silo. From what I understand about first year plants, I don’t think it will get that tall. Of course, I won’t be disappointed if it does either.
Here are the Centennials and Newports from further back. I think you’d be hard pressed to find another finance firm that has an office that looks like this, and even harder pressed to find one that let’s employees use space to grow hops from home brewing.
Now I just need to get those other 7 plants moving up their twine.