Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cone today, beer tomorrow

I might be getting ahead of myself a little but I found these on the top of the Willamette:

Obviously this is my first year of growing hops, but these look a lot like hop cones to me. They're not big enough or plentiful enough to make a dent on a batch of beer yet but then it's only June of their first year in the ground. High hopes for the future. The Willamette is now well above the railings of the balcony:

One thing this means is that the part of the plant about the level of the balcony will be getting light all day long. It remains to be seen if this is a good or bad thing with the Texas sun. Also, I've had to consider what to do about further growth. I'm thinking what would be really nice is to have a hop canopy for the balcony. Would give us a bit of shade as well as a little more privacy from the neighbours you can see opposite.

In the middle of the balcony I've used a bamboo pole that we had elsewhere in the garden in the hopes that something would grow up it but that never happened. Think it was something we found lying around after Ike came through Houston. All being well and the Willamette will be making its way along rather than up.

The other two have also been doing really well. The Northern Brewer is nearly at the level of the balcony too:

Not only is it about to the clear the balcony but one of the secondary shoots it produced when I decapitated it earlier has now started winding its way up the tomato cage:

It may not be as tall as the Willamette but with two actively climbing shoots there may be just as much yield. I live in hope.

The Goldings are also starting to look like they might be making some effort. The main shoot has now grown enough to need some twine to grow further:

Not only that but I've just found the first evidence of secondary shoots:

I'm still hopeful that I will get at least some cones from all three but it's still early days for these last two.

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