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Old 02-10-2013, 12:14 AM   #41
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Default Awesome Find!

So Challenger and Fuggle are easy to buy here! Great find! I have heard a friend of friend have grown sorachi ace on contract for sapporo, somewhere up north. It would be nice to have the one Japanese hop variety in my garden, it has a high yield apparently.

*Edit - friend of friend not growing SA for Sapporo. Its something regular for Kirin and much less interesting.

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Old 02-20-2013, 12:10 AM   #42
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Default My Hyoutan and Hops Pergola Design

Japan gets hit with typhoons every summer, what do you do to support a giant plant like hops when it is hit with such strong winds?


I am going to build this pergola soon, I have finished the design in LibreCAD now. Lucky for me, a friend is buddies with a carpenter nearby who is retiring so I should be able to cover more than half the cost with free wood. My design has 2 planter boxes and benches that are not necessary, so if you want to reduce the cost quite a bit you can eliminate those from the build. The benches add stability so if you opt not to use them I would suggest beefing up the braces/brackets. Another suggestion would be to have proper poured concrete footings for the post supports; I am going to be using pre-cast ones since I am renting this house. This will need weather protection, and hardware (carriage bolts, screws) which will probably cost 10000 yen on top of the lumber. My estimated cost was 17000 yen for new wood, but since I used the most common sized lumber you should be able to source some or all of that as recycled/free if you are patient.

If anyone wants the CAD file (dxf format) please PM me with the email address to send it to. I am not promising it is flawless, and the program I made it with is a bit glitchy, but the parts are mostly all separated by layers so you can turn on/off visibility for things like the benches & planters. Units are in cm and I went with the dimensions listed for lumber at my hardware store; 366 cm long 2X6, 2X4, and 200 cm X 9 cm square posts. The file does not account for width of board cuts! Please note that, I have a razor saw which will not really make a big difference, but some of the boards are will require 4 cuts and a regular width saw will start to mess with your measurements. There should still be ample space on every board to account for this if you are careful and the lumber is not full of defects. This is the first time I have drafted with CAD and I liked being able to lay out the board cuts! I rearranged the cuts until I had reduced the lumber cost by two full boards and saved 2000 yen!

This pergola will mostly be used by my wife for bottle gourds, but I will be running ropes from it across the yard for hop bines as well. Should last many years if I keep it weather protected with varnish/lacquer. Best thing about it will be hanging a hammock inside and having a beer/siesta!

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Old 03-09-2013, 11:02 PM   #43
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Default Attention! If you want Magnum or Centennial rhizomes I need to do the cuttings soon!

Hey everyone, I am very happy to announce that the Magnum hops are starting to shoot up now. I am still waiting on the centennial but I think it is better to take action sooner than later.

If you want to grow these, Please send me a PM with your shipping address (Japan only), name, and preference of either or both of the hops.

I will try to send cuttings to everyone who contacts me. If I run out of cuttings (I won't cut so much that I risk the health of the crown) before I fulfill all the requests, I may have to send only 1 type to people who request both (in order to send the remainder to someone who has none). It would help in that situation if you please list which of the 2 types you prefer more, so I can still try to make everyone happy.

I need to do this in the next couple weeks maximum so please dont delay. Have no fear if you miss out; I can layer and create more cuttings during the growing season but it will be less likely for you to get any cones this year unless you get the roots early.

PHOTOS!
You can see the 2 photos of Magnum the shoots are 4-5 cm bigger in 5 days of growth, I am sure they will go nuts when those leaves unfold! There are a few other photos of the pergola construction and first garden lizard of the year.

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Old 03-11-2013, 01:55 AM   #44
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Morning Brendan,

Thanks for the offer and I'll be sending a PM shortly.

I missed your message earlier about what to do during a typhoon to protect your plants. I've been gardening in Japan for a number of years now and live down near the coast (about 1km from Suruga Bay). Every year we get hit or have near-misses in this area. While there is almost nothing that can be done to fully protect plants in that kind of wind environment it is possible to minimize the damage. While I haven't grown hops specifically I've done other vine-like plants. The best thing I've found is to build a structure that can be taken down during high winds. It's rather labor intensive but it is the only thing that really works. Two years ago I build a very solid structure that withstood two direct typhoons in a row but the plants were stripped completely bare which caused half of them to die. Now I take the plants down, collapse the structure they are growing on, stuff them into a net and secure it to the ground.

Another big problem from typhoons is that they transport salty, ocean water to your plants. You have to spray them with water from the hose before and after the typhoon hits.

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Old 03-15-2013, 11:53 PM   #45
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Hi everyone, I will start cutting the rhizomes today and will let everyone know soon if I had enough to send to everyone. I may ship tomorrow if I can't fit it in today. This is the last chance to send me an address to ship to, otherwise you will have to wait for another time when the mother plants have recovered.

Brad, thanks for the advice on the wind damage mitigation! I ended up building a sturdy base with cross-braces that sit under ground (With some concrete scrap and packed soil on the cross braces). The upright beam is 2.5 meters tall, and with the removal of 2 (out of 3) large wood screws, the beam can swivel down on the last screw. It looks just like a train crossing gate! I will still grow the bines up on it using ropes so that I have some slack when it needs to rotate down; it would be terrible to swivel that and break the stems!

Last bit of good news! My family heirloom hops has poked a solitary bud above ground, it survived the winter! I will be layering this plant and NOT cutting it at all this year, it needs a lot of recovery. Hopefully it flowers and I can get an idea of the type of hops it is. (it could have very little brewing characteristics for all I know).

Photos have been added to the album I previously posted. The "train crossing gate" and the heirloom hop bud are in there now, as well as the progress on the pergola (finished!).

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Old 03-27-2013, 12:21 PM   #46
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Hey Brendan,
I just got back from a snowboarding trip to find my hops sending up shoots already! Really looking forward to seeing things take off! Thanks again. I'll be sure to include photos when the start filling out a bit.
Cheers,
B

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Old 05-08-2013, 12:39 AM   #47
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The rhizomes you sent me are doing well. Thanks again for that. I was also recently given some Shinshu Wase rhizomes from one of the dudes at Baird. If all goes according to plan I'll have some rhizomes to share next year.

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Old 05-08-2013, 04:26 AM   #48
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Awesome! I am pretty happy that within our group there are 2 varieties of Japanese hops being grown! Next year I think is going to be quite interesting with so many more varieties showing up! I will do my best to grow a crown of every type I can get my hands on, so that I can re-distribute.

I talked to the caretakers of the house next to mine yesterday, they confirmed that the owner lives overseas and that the house won't be used for any foreseeable time since the upper floor is deemed unsafe. They are more than happy to let me keep growing hops in that yard as well (I bribed them with beer before I asked)!

We should get a picture discussion open in the Japan group for our gardens!

Cheers,
B

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Old 05-09-2013, 01:31 AM   #49
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You found shinshu wase?! Good for you!!!

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Old 05-17-2013, 10:00 AM   #50
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Actually, the shinshu wase found me. I wasn't expecting to get any more rhizomes this year so was very happy to receive an email from my friend. They've only been in the ground for the last 9 days and already all of them have sent up shoots. That means I now have 6 hops plants and three different varieties. Fingers crossed for good growing conditions this year!

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