Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Northern Brewer that could (and stealth caterpillars)

So the Northern Brewer (despite earlier setback) has now recovered enough to need twine of its own. The rater of growth really picked up once it found some purchase on the tomato cage. I fully expect it to maintain this while climbing the twine.

This is what the whole plant looks like (for reference the tomato cage is about three feet high):

The Willamette is growing like there's no tomorrow. It's now just short of seven feet tall. You can also see how the colour of the leaves deepens as they age. Leaves at the top are of a much lighter shade than those lower down.

While inspecting it recently I found these caterpillars. They look so much like the stalk of the hops or a twig that I only saw the one in the middle when it lifted itself up (like in the photo below). I nearly missed the other one lower down completely. If it hadn't kept reaching for that leaf I probably would have. Greed was its downfall. I'm sure there's a lesson there for all of us :) Needless to say they were sent flying (once they'd had their picture taken for posterity).

The Goldings are still making an effort. The most promising growth is in the one shoot that has reached the cage. There are still only five shoots so I don't really want to thin them just yet. Will wait until more have started climbing the cage. Last one there will probably get the chop so more effort can be put into the others.

All told there's great progress with the Willamette and Northern Brewer but the Goldings are still not exactly stellar. They haven't given up completely though so I won't give up on them just yet.

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