Hops -

I have recently found a new hobby....gardening. Laura and I have been working diligently on getting our soil ready for planting, buying some seeds and started plants, and finally putting them in the ground. It's almost addicting. I wake up in the morning and walk outside to see the new growth. I come home from work and take a look at the new growth. Weird huh?

This morning I planted 5 different hops plants. So here goes the variety of flora we've got going so far.

Reb pepper
Walla Walla onion
3 different varieties of beans
3 different varieties of lettuce

and now for the money...

Cascade Hops
Centrnnial Hops
Mt. Hood Hops
Willamette Hops
Zeus Hops

I ran into a bit of an obstacle trying to rig a system for growing hops to their full potential. After about 3 hours tinkering with different ideas, I settled for the twin and post rigging. Essentially, the hops grow up bamboo stakes until they reach the twine. The twine then climbs at about a 75 degree angle for about 7 more feet. The trouble with the whole angle and twine things is....the hops could potentially get HUGE, and if they grew vertically it would block all the vegetables in the upper tier of the garden. They would basically be in the shadows of the hops, which would be a bad thing.
Now that the hops have grown their highest, the twine then angles back to near parallel to the ground, and spans a 12 feet, over the deck, to the roof of the house.
During the heat of the summer, the hops should be GOING OFF and they should also provide some nice shade to sit under. Laura thinks the rigging will serve it's purpose, but we both agree this thing looks hideous and will likely come down as soon as the hops are harvested. The harvest should be mediocre with the second and third year producing the most!!!

Here are some photos, cause I know you wanna look at this thing.

Since getting the potted hops last week, most of them have grown about 8 inches. These babies, at the peak of their growing rates, could be growing over a foot a day. It is normal for these things to grow 25-40 feet in one year.