Monday, July 14, 2014

Middle-aged spread

The sharp-eye will have noticed that vertical growth has almost stopped. The graph (top right) showing heights has almost entirely levelled off. This hasn't meant that growth has stopped though. There has been much more in the way of secondary growth further down, something I can sympathise with (if only in my case it were a sign of continued vigour). The Columbus has been putting out lots of new secondary shoots:

It's cones are also looking like they are getting close to harvest time (I haven't used soft focus for this pic, it really is just that hot and humid here now):

The Cascade is also showing signs of the same kind of spreading lower down:

The Cascade is also producing lots of nice looking cones, although not quite as many as the Columbus. The Cascade cones are also a little different in that they are appearing and maturing from the top down whereas the Columbus is from the bottom up:

The Willamette is also showing plenty of lateral growth but primarily higher up:

One very nice change this year is that the Willamette is making a lot of cones:

Compared to the three whole cones I got from the Willamette last year this is a huge improvement with dozens of cones in their early stages.

I've also had some more sightings on the bug front. Found this one sitting on a leaf shooting eggs out it's butt (at least that's what I hope they were). If you look closely you can just see a white streak behind it:

I've no idea what kind of bug this is but it's clearly not going for a parent of the year award. Also found this bug, which I'm hoping is an assassin bug of some description:

What with the efforts of this bug and some of the others I've seen this year there has been relatively little in terms of actual leaf damage. There have been one or two that I've felt the need to discourage though:

Again, I'm not sure what kind of caterpillar this is but I know I don't want it eating the leaves of my hops, as it's been caught red-handed doing here. I suspect the fact that it's hairy probably means that the spiders and assassin bugs didn't fancy it, so I took matters into my own hands. Haven't found any others since.
Overall, everything is looking pretty good and I suspect I will start harvesting some of the Columbus cones and putting them in the freezer for brewing at a later date.

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