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Old 07-02-2008, 01:37 PM   #1
SteveM
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Default Pennsylvania Growing Weather

It's early but it seems to me that the weather this year so far has been incredible for hops growing. I am near Philly and we had a cool rainy spring, but for the past couple of weeks the sun has been blazing and the temps mostly only moderate (we did have a few 90+ days). My hops are climbing like weeds (except for my Centennial, which for some reason wants to spread out over the ground no matter how many times I train it up the trellis). The Mount Hood and Cascade are both doing great. My only (very mild) concern is whether the soil around here will yield the kind of alpha acid hops that those folks up in PAC NW have. Time will tell, I guess - I do not expect flowers until next year anyway.

Good luck to all of us!



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Old 07-02-2008, 01:41 PM   #2
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Yup time will tell. You'll just have to adjust the recipes accordingly . The weather we have been having (generally speaking for plants) is a good reason to grow in raised beds because of drainage. Also it is crucial that the bines aren't crowded and have good air circulation to prevent Powdery Mildew. I am curious once the dog days in late July/early August hit us. Last year we pushed up into the upper 90's and into 100/101.



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Old 07-02-2008, 09:37 PM   #3
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I'm in Pittsburgh and just picked my first batch. I only picked the largest ones (about the size of my thumb) and ended up with about half a shopping bag. They smell great and are on the drying rack right now. Cant wait to use them. I left about 2/3 of the cones on the vine. I hope they get as big as the ones I picked.

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Old 07-02-2008, 11:37 PM   #4
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This is DEFINATELY too eary to be picking. You want to wait until the "leaves" on the bracts start to turn brown at the tips and feel papery. You'll separate them and the yellow lupulin glands will be bright yellow and stinky when you smash them.

Don't get me wrong, they will probably still make beer, but you'll need to use quite a bit more to get the desired "hopiness". Up here in MI, with my five-year-old cascade at least, I won't pick until early to mid August.

If you've done this for years and had good result, I digress. Just don't want the new growers to clean their plants off at the first sign of formed bracts, because they need to sit on the sidearms for a while.

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Old 07-03-2008, 06:07 PM   #5
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The reason I picked them is because the tips of the leaves was turning brown and papery. When I pull one apart, the lupulin glands are large and yellow, and very sticky. The hops I picked have been on the vine for 2 months now, and were not getting any larger. A month ago, they had no odor. Now, my entire attic smells like hops from my drying rack.

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Old 07-03-2008, 08:19 PM   #6
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Interesting. What variety are these, and how old is the plant?

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Old 07-03-2008, 08:44 PM   #7
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Sounds like a good micro climate example. I like milkweeds, so I typically leave them. I've got some out by our retaining wall by the road, both of which help the soil heat up faster in the spring. They've been flowering well for about two weeks now. The milkweeds in the back yard have yet to start flowering, but are getting close.

I don't yet have what would be recognizble as hops yet on my 3rd year plants, but I did cut off all of the first bines that came up. I'm hoping to push my harvest back a little to avoid having the hops mature during the hottest parts of August so they don't ripen too quickly and I have a longer harvest window - unlike last year when the timing was wrong and they ripened real quick and I was too busy to do any harvesting.

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Old 07-03-2008, 11:39 PM   #8
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The hop plants are 4 year old hallerteau. They are not the only thing goin crazy around here. Vegtable garden goin stronger than usual. Trees and lawn are almost out of control. Probably has to do with warm weather in march and april, and the lack of a late frost. We are also way ahead on rainfall for the season. Cant go 5 days without mowin the lawn.

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Old 07-08-2008, 08:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shovhed1 View Post
The hop plants are 4 year old hallerteau. They are not the only thing goin crazy around here. Vegtable garden goin stronger than usual. Trees and lawn are almost out of control. Probably has to do with warm weather in march and april, and the lack of a late frost. We are also way ahead on rainfall for the season. Cant go 5 days without mowin the lawn.
wow, so it's not just me! I have tomato SHRUBS! and the grass, aww hell, I hate grass now!
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Old 07-11-2008, 03:08 AM   #10
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Im having a good summer as well. Im near Harrisburg. I planted 3 cascade rhizomes in May and they had a quick start but slowed down for a while. I added some organic Miracle Gro a few weeks ago and added with the wet weather and warm temps they are growing like mad now. I have off tommorow so a chunk of time is going to be spent pruning them. These are first year rhizomes from a 10 year old plant. So who knows what kind of production ill get.



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