April 28, 2018
Receiving and Maintaining Hops until Planting
The hops we purchased for this study were chosen for a reason. Some of the varieties are known to be heat tolerant. Others have been reported by early growers and enthusiasts to perform best in their hop yards. None have been commercially grown in Texas to date.
To give ourselves a better chance at success, we purchased hops from two suppliers. Identification of the following suppliers is not intended to be an endorsement of any particular supplier, but simply to provide the reader with details on sources for the study.
Great Lakes Hops of Zeeland, MI – https://www.greatlakeshops.com/ – provided root crowns for live plants which arrived packed safely in sturdy boxes. These were repotted into 4” pots with general purpose soilless growth substrate within one week.
Freshops of Philomath, OR – https://freshops.com/contact/ – provided rhizomes packaged in plastic bags. The rhizomes were separated and laid out in shallow plastic crates, kept under mist in the greenhouse for 3-4 days, and then potted into 4” pots containing the same soilless growth substrate.
The live plants from Great Lakes Hops ‘jumped’ out of their shipping cones almost immediately in the Texas sun.
Whole plants 1 week after re-potting
The rhizomes also got going in the greenhouse pretty well.
This year, some of the hops grower/enthusiasts we have been in contact with in Texas have reported leaf ‘scorching’ or browning when going from the box or bag to directly to the soil in the hopyard, and sometimes even when steps were taken to acclimatize or harden the plants outdoors first. The growers also report new growth coming out afterwards, but the overall effect on plant performance will only be determined later in the season. This intermediate step of acclimatizing the plants in the greenhouse seems to circumvent that problem so far. Stay tuned. . . .