Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hops Grow Amazingly Fast

Hops is a perennial plant which dies back to the bare ground each winter, sends out shoots in early spring and grows like crazy until mid summer here in the northern midwest.

It is time to take a break from construction of the hopyard to chronicle the growth of our 2nd year hops plants thus far this growing season.

 April 9:  The first signs of life.  The purple shoot towards the center of the picture is a new shoot.

May 7: Robust growth of shoots has occurred.

May 14:  The bines are forming.  The two strongest bines are selected to train onto the strings.  The remaining bines are pruned.

May 20:  The selected bines begin to exhibit sturdy growth.

May 21:  Steady growth to reach the top of the trellis is occurring.  During this period the hops will grow up to one foot a day.
June 9:  The bines have almost reached the top trellis line.

Large leaves are forming on the lower sections of the bines.

June 16:  The bines have reached the sky.  Side branches are forming at this point as well.

The side branches are where the cones will form.

June 17:  The first flowers are forming.  These will become cones in a few short weeks.

July 9:  Prolific growth has occurred.  Side branches from neighboring plants are meeting each other.
The tops of the bines are growing over the trellis and hanging off in the breeze.

July 12:  The flowers have formed into cones and will soon be ready for picking.

Three short months yields very tall results.

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