Growing Hops in Whiskey Barrels: Week 10 Update

Hard to believe it’s been 10 weeks and the hops are doing well. Since moving the barrels to the side of the garage that has more sunlight prior to week 6 they seem to be doing better. Just in the last two weeks both the Centennial (on the left) and the Cascade (on the right) really took off. I was worried about the Cascade around week 6 but I now think the Centennial is the one that is a bit slowed in growth. 

The Centennial has also dropped some leaves towards the bottom and I see some browning towards the middle. I did some research and some say this is normal, others say that they are over watered (could be possible, we’ve had a ton of rain in northern Ohio) or have a disease. Who knows…I’ve found it’s really hard to diagnose plant problems and I’m no expert. Here is a picture of the browning leaves on the Centennial if anyone knows what’s going on.

The Cascade clearly don’t have this problem but I do see some slight browning on some of the bottom leaves but none have withered and fallen off yet. The Cascade seems healthier to me. Let’s see what happens in a few weeks. I’m going to hold off on fertilizing (I’m using Miracle Grow Shake n’ Feed) for a few weeks and I’ll cut back watering to about every other day vs. every day. Also, I might have to extend my trellis out a bit as I’m already running out of space! 🙂 One thing I’ll be doing next year is selecting two or three strong vines and pruning the rest. I’ve read that this is the preferred approach to maximize growth. In addition, you should prune the leaves off of the bottom two feet as this will improve air circulation to the plant.

Are you growing hops this year? If so, how are yours doing?

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