Spring is a great time of year. The cold weather of winter makes its departure, leaving in its wake an abundance of new life and color. Lawns that had turned brown in dormancy, come back to life. Trees start budding new leaves. Flowers begin to grow and bloom.
All this change and growth does have it’d downside though. Lawns will once again have to be mowed. Weeds will once again have to be pulled. Flowers will once again have to be watered. I am not a huge fan of all that outdoors work, but it’s worth it to have a home that doesn’t look like it’s inhabited by vagrants and squatters.
This last weekend marked the launch of my annual campaign of keeping my house from looking like crap. I mowed the grass for the first time. I dug some holes. I planted some flowers. I filled some pots. I drank a couple beers. The weather was perfect, making a set of chores that I typically find tedious and boring almost enjoyable.
As day turned to evening, I turned my attention to a new project.
Two hop rhizomes were given new homes in my back yard.
I’ve never grown hops before, but it’s something that I have thought about doing in the past. So when I stopped into my local brew shop a few weeks ago, and learned that they had hop rhizomes on hand, I figured…why the hell not?
After looking over the specs that they had available on the different varieties they had in stock, I opted to go with the Cascade. From what I could tell, it appeared to be fairly adaptable to the Midwest climate and relatively easy to take care of. It’s also a hop that we use a lot of, so it seemed like the perfect variety to start with.
Due to a fairly busy schedule over the last couple weeks, I hadn’t had a chance to get them planted. Instead, they have been hanging out in the vegetable drawer of my refrigerator….just chilling.
Sorry for the bad pun. Couldn’t help myself.
Any who…over the last couple weeks, I have been trying to determine my best course of action for growing these little fellas. I had a spot in mind to put them in my yard, but due to a ludicrously efficient network of moles in my yard, I didn’t want to plant them in the ground directly. Instead, I opted to put them into pots..at least for this first year. I figured that this would give me a couple advantages. First, they would be protected from tiny blind burrowing rodents. Second, they would be somewhat portable, so if the spot I had chosen turned out to be a bad one (or if my wife doesn’t like where I put them), I could move them to a better location.
So with that portion of my plan figured out, last night I launched into phase one of growing my own hop crop. I filled two decent sized pots with soil, and buried a rhizome six inches deep in each one.
Before covering them with soil, I decided to give each one a name. Why? Cuz’ that’s how I roll.
And with that decision made, I dubbed the two rhizomes “Every Time We Touch” and “Evacuate the Dance Floor” respectively.
I will leave it up to you to connect the dots as to why those names were chosen. That’s what Google is for.
Next up on the hop crop plan is to build a trellis. I have a couple different ideas of how to do this, but I haven’t nailed down exactly what I am going to do yet. The finished project will need to be functional but attractive and sturdy without being permanent.
That will be a project for another weekend. I may have to do something in the interim, but I will worry about that once I see sprouts breaking through the soil.
Until then, I’m just going to let little “Every Time We Touch” and “Evacuate the Dance Floor” do their things.
Stay tuned for updates!