April 7, 2012

Hops survived their first (mild) winter in containers.

The return of the Chinook hops. Three varieties of hops were established on the roof in 2011 by Bellwoods Brewery as part of their City Hops Project. This variety was grown in a 36 litre rubbermaid container filled with lightweight potting mix and compost. We drilled drainage holes in the bottom of the bin, and around the sides one inch up from the base. All of the hop bins were insulated over the winter with a maple leaf mulch (salvaged from a neighbour pals yard), and then the bins were bundled in tarps which were weighted down with boards and bricks. We weren't sure if the vines would make it through the winter in containers, and even though this mild winter didn't really kick the stuffing out of anything, it still feels exciting to see them come back.

The next phase is choosing which of the multiple shoots (suckers?) is the strongest/most likely to succeed and cut the rest back. I'm hoping the vines will not only pass last years length of 20 feet, but will also get chubby sideways, width is a sign of a strong mature vine. Wish them luck! We are all excited to see what the small batch of P@L beer is going to taste like.

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