July 13, 2012

Hop Garden...finally

Thanks to my ridiculously busy schedule this year it took a long time to get this garden put together. As you can see, it's not just a hop garden but there are hops. The plants, from left to right are rosemary, sterling hops, two bell pepper plants, nugget hops, two hatch chile plants, an open spot where my stupid cascade won't grow, a better bush tomato plant, two jalepeno plants, a black cherry tomato plant, a german queen tomato plant and mt. hood hops.

Mt. Hood in my hood
That mt. hood was doing really well but between the recent invasion of locusts and 100+ temperatures it's really struggling. After the locusts rolled through my hood they stripped the mt. hood of all it's leaves, so I just had some dying bines. With no leaves to breathe, it was on its way to death. So I did a couple of things. I used a rubbermaid tub to create a late afternoon shield for the root structure to keep it cooler. I also cut back all the dying bines so the plant would work on growing new shoots rather than try to keep the damaged ones alive. It worked, as you can see there are some new bines and they are growing inches per day. Hopefully these new bines will survive the heat better than the original bines. The temperatures have cooled down to the 90s during the day so that's helpful.

The sterling is starting to build up steam and grow north. I've been trying to clip off small new shoots coming off the main bines so it will force the plant to grow up on a few bines and get taller.

The nugget is growing steadily but seems rather cranky. I can't tell exactly what it's missing but it looks like it has a nutrient deficiency. Maybe it just needs a little more fertilizer. Maybe it just doesn't like me.

Each plant or set of plants are in five gallon grow bags together so they won't mix roots. The rest of the box is filled with mulch so the plants will keep cool roots in the raised box. The plants are purposefully misaligned so the pepper and tomato plants will provide the roots of the hops some shade and as the hops start filing in the trellis they will provide a little shade for the vegetables as those plants bloom.

The trellis at the top looks like garbage, I know. It's three smaller trellises from my original attempt last year that I nailed together. It looks bad and I'm sure it won't survive for too long. I figure it will give me a year or two of support then I'll tear down the trellis and build a nicer one. Just trying to save a little cash and use what I had on hand.

I think I'm the only person who can't get cascades to grow. Jerks. I'm holding out hope it will try growing a little more this summer. If not, I'll try again next year.


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