Friday, June 21, 2013

String theory

The slightly cooler weather and rain have meant that I haven't had to give my hops much in way of attention in terms of watering or similar. As a consequence the Willamette and Cascade are getting close to the shepherd's hook they have been strung up to:

To head them off I have put up what should be the rest of the twine. I will be very impressed if more is needed:

This is looking from behind the hooks towards the poles on the other side of the garden. I have intentionally crossed a couple of the lines with a mind to maximising the potential for creating shade. It's quite possible I will have to be careful to make sure that they continue to grow straight along the twine they start on, otherwise it's likely going to be easy to get confused as to which is which. I have also arranged one line to be above the other that it is crossing. As you may or may not be able to tell, there has been some sagging of the first line I put up (on the far left) so I don't know if this will solve the problem.

The sharp-eyed amongst you will notice that the pole on the right does not have the handy metal spikes that I used to attach the twine to on the other pole. What I've done is a bit of a bodge but will hopefully keep the twine in place for the rest of the summer:

What I've done is use heavy duty staples. I've also folded the twine back on itself several times and stapled it each time. I reasonably certain it will hold the hops, not sure what will happen if the birds decide it looks like a nice perch. Hopefully the twine is too thin for them to entertain that particular idea.

The Columbus is still looking very bushy and healthy:

Something of a contrast to the Willamette and Cascade which are looking a little thin in comparison. This is reflected both in the total height of growth but also the number of secondary shoots that have appeared to thicken it out.

With regard to whether growing in a left or right handed helix has any discernible effect, here's the evidence so far:

The shoot furthest to the right is growing in a right handed helix, the one behind it in a left handed helix and the one behind that in a right handed helix. I certainly have not been able to tell any difference in them. They all seem very happy to be just getting on with growing. Perhaps they have an intrinsic preference but aren't really all that fussy about it. Pragmatists of the plant world, or weeds as some might call them. Hard to tell really.

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