My Hops Journal
March 12, 2006.  I ordered two Mt. Hood rhizomes from
March 19, 2006.  I acquired a 1/2-barrel planter from my parents, who were
in the process of moving.
March 24, 2006.  The rhizomes were delivered.  Buds are visible; one has a 3"
shoot.  They're being stored in the refrigerator until time to plant.
The Rhizomes.  
March 27, 2006.  The planter has been prepped (drainage holes drilled in the
bottom; I put in a layer of gravel, then filled it with a topsoil/sphagnum moss mix, and
mixed in some Miracle-Gro 10-10-10 fertilizer).  I planted the rhizomes, and did not
water, as the topsoil mix was damp.
March 29, 2006.  The shoot from the "eager" rhizome has made its way to the
surface.  I'll wait for a few more to show, then do the whole cull-and-train-to-twine
thing.  I believe we're mostly safe from frost & freeze, so I won't cut this one back
(I watered later with 3/4 of a gallon excess from washing out a
Prepped planter, planted rhizomes.
The first shoot.  3/30/06
April 5, 2006.  Leaves are starting on the "eary" shoot; so far no other shoots from
that rhizome.  The other rhizome has several shoots now.
Leaves forming on
the first shoot. 4/5/06
April 9, 2006.  There was threat of frost last night, so I covered the shoots with
some makeshift cloches (just some empty pickle-jars).  They seem to have survived
the night unscathed.  The "early" shoot is still apparently alone on its rhizome; it's
about 4" tall now, and will have its third set of leaves shortly.  The three shoots from
the other rhizome will have their first leaves out today or tomorrow.
Back to the Beer
Back to my
The first shoot,
growing up. 4/9/06
The other rhizome.
 3 shoots. 4/9/06.
The shoots.
The shoots.  4/18/06.
18 April.  What a difference a couple of days makes!  I go away for five days, and
they get all grown-up like.  I'm going to run the line for them to climb today, and
start training them up it as they reach it.  I think the early shoot is big enough.  I also
"culled" one of the late shoots--it wasn't doing much, and I'd rather let the two
established shoots off that rhizome do their thing.
21 April.  A setback--albeit a probably minor one, in the grand scheme.  The top 3
inches or so of the "early" shoot snapped off--I don't know from what; possibly
wind, or "critter" action.  Regardless, what's done there is done.  Still, with 2 viable
bines off of the other rhizome, I'm going to (for now) wait and see what this one
does--if it sends up another shoot (or shoots), develops a new growing tip, or just
turns bushy.  An interesting experiment.  (Also, note to self: next year, arrange so
that the entire length of the twine for climbing is the same diameter--this one broke
at the knot where the line goes from cotton cord to sisal.)
4 May.  Hardy little guys!  The "late" shoots are up to about eye-level.  The "early"
bine sprouted off not 2, but
8 extra bines from the leaf-joints.  I've pinched off all
but 4 of them; they highest has already surpassed this plant's previous max height,
and the other bines are coming up fast.  Impressive!
20 June.  Well, the "early" shoot reached the top of the string, or within a couple of
inches-that's to the top of the 2nd story of my house!  Not bad for 1st-year hops.  
Additionally, there are "baby hops" growing--I've got burrs!  Woohoo!  A few
points of concern, though: Many of the leaves are browning around the edges;
some of them "died"--they turned brittle, and crumble off if I touch them.  I'm not
sure what that means; the plants seem otherwise healthy, though, so I'll not worry
about it much.
OK, the Mt. Hood never quite did anything for me.  Two years, and both
years, just as they were putting out 'spurs' for hops, the plants died.  So, I'm
scrapping those rhizomes (and the planter and dirt), and will be getting new
ones in 2008.  I'm going to try Cascade, this time around.  Stand by for
OK, so I got my Cascade rhizomes.  
One was 'regular' sized, one was a
monster!  They were planted in early
April.  As of this writing (22 June),
they're up as high as the Mt. Hood ever
got, and there are tons of burrs!  Also,
these aren't dying off like the Mt. Hood
did.  Barring other info, I'm going to
chalk this one up to a better watering
regimen than the other guys got--I've
actually been in-country for most of the
time, and watering them every day
(unless they've been freshly rained on).  
Anyway, these are some photos taken
from the 2nd floor window of my
place, looking at the bines in general,
and a close-up of some of the burrs.
The old hop info is below this line...
4 July update:  I can't seem to get a good picture of them, but
quite a few of the burrs (and there are a lot, now) are 'fleshing
out' into cones.  After several years of disappointment, this is
pretty cool!  I'll post a picture of them as soon as I can get the
camera to cooperate...