first year hop platens

Young Hop Plants June Update

This year’s young hop plants are looking good. With the seedlings, I have two different crosses from which just 5 of one and 6 of the other were selected. I only plant a few seeds each year, it would be so easy to be over enthusiastic and plant too many, then be overrun.

Last year, the previous carefully nurtured selections, turned out to be all males. Disappointing, but at least they have not been wasted, they have all been put to good use as seeders in the gardens. Hop growing is a long term process even when buying in the setts, but I am still hoping that this year’s babies won’t be all males again.

Interestingly one of this year’s chosen varieties is from seeds all taken from a single wild female cone, yet half of them have lighter more golden leaves, while the other half are straightforward green.

hop plants coloured leaves

young hop plantsAs any gardener understands, the potential possibilities in all seeds is fascinating. I love the anticipation, nurturing them, their fine cotton thread shoots, wondering whether just maybe ……. this time could one of these young hop plants produce that extra special hop with a unique aroma, that little extra pizzazz ….… mmm we’ll have to wait and see.

It was a huge relief to finally get a good soaking rain. After all as country lore says – ‘A rain in June, puts all things in tune’. The warm weather following these rains has been just what these first year hop plants needed.  They have definitely all perked up, what the difference a month makes.

first year hop platens

Last but certainly not least, today is British National Beer Day