Monday, April 25, 2016

Watering solution

I've never been a great one for remembering to water plants. Better to not have to. A really good way to do this is with an automatic watering system. In my case I'm using a drip line system that will provide water directly to the plants:

The watering is controlled by a timer on the hose:

Set to water the plants for 15 minutes everyday at 6am. With any luck, this will be the last time I have to worry about watering them.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Cascade trimming

Growth rates are definitely picking up. The Cascade has now got to being a little unruly and in need of some bine selection:

Time to cut back the bines that I'm not going to train up the helix:

Hopefully the Cascade will now concentrate it's growing efforts on these remaining bines. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Waving, not drowning

Another attempt at capturing hop growth (of the Columbus in this case) through timelapse. This video is made up of images taken every minute for the better part of a day:

There are two bines on the left of the video that start a dance around each other in an attempt to grow upwards. If you look very closely, there is a bine growing up the bamboo pole on the far right showing exactly how hops like to grow up things. It even appears to react to direct sunlight (they unfortunately do not get direct sunlight all day).

Thursday, April 14, 2016

How the time flies

It's often said that hops grow so quickly you can almost watch them. For a while now I've been trying to get some time lapse footage of exactly this just to make it clear just how fast they are:

This particular example doesn't really show them growing in length but it does clearly show how they swing around looking for something to wind themselves around so they can grow upwards. If I weren't trying to get them to grow up mine twine in a helix pattern it most likely would have found it. Perhaps this is a sign that my helix is too squashed and I should try to make it more vertical next time. Might help with the training of the bines.

Monday, April 11, 2016

They grow up so quickly

Just a couple of weeks after appearing from their slumber it's time to start training the bines up their helical path via some new twine wrapped around bamboo poles, much like last year:

This also means it's time to select which I think are the strongest shoots and trim back the rest. The Columbus is again coming out the stronger of the two that are left (I've pretty much given up on seeing the Willamette again):

After some thinning out:

Thinning will come to the Cascade when it is ready:

The rhizome I transplanted at the bottom of the garden is also showing signs of life:

The hop shoot risotto wasn't attempted this year due to pretty underwhelming results last year. Even the raw shoots when picked directly from the plants don't really taste of anything. Perhaps different strains of hops are used in the parts of the world where hop shoot risotto is prepared.