Front Garden

Front Garden
Full Bloom

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Where I Buy My Seeds 12-25-2013

I try to grow only heirloom and organic vegetables. I have learned that heirloom flowers grow better in my front garden. I still buy annual petunias, marigolds, and broccoli. I buy less seed every year because I am getting better at seed saving. I feel it gives more pride in ownership restarting the cycle of life with collected seeds.

I decided to list my "go to" seed companies. I do not make any money or receive compensation for endorsements at this time.

Johnny's Seeds

Jung Seeds

Baker Creek Heirloom Seed

Seed Savers Exchange

Harris Seeds

Territorial Seeds

I buy all of my seed by January 1st to make sure I get what I need.

I wrote this blog post right after I ordered my seeds. I feel relieved the order is in!

Looking forward to this!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Hop Progress Full Growth 9-5-13 And Harvest Between 9-22 And 9-28-13

Never expected the growth to look like this in the second year. I was watering the bines daily now. The hop aroma was very strong and passersby comment favorably. I even attracted people from Germany because they saw the hops and the flag. A couple of people came by who really knew their hops and encouraged me.


I really enjoyed sitting on the porch just looking at, and smelling, the hops. The bines were about 25 feet in total length.

First harvest 9-22

Harvest on 9-24

Final harvest on 9-28 with ceremonial Victory Beer!

The harvested flowers were put into plastic freezer bags. the air was removed from the bags before I put the crop into the freezer. I will make beer out of the crop this winter. 

All in all I think it went well. I never went through a full sequence with with a good harvest. Next year I'll harvest the flowers a little earlier.  I hope I get bigger growth and a larger crop next year. I can't wait !

Hop Progress - Bines Thickening, Leaves Grow To Full Size, Cones Keep Growing 9-1-13

Right around this time I felt like I was going to get my first real harvest.  But, I was a little nervous because starting 9/1 a frost was possible.

I bought a Bavarian flag to inspire the hops to grow fast and strong. Bavarian hops are the best!

Hop Progress July 27th Flowers Come Out - August 8th Cones Are Forming

Around July 25th, the flowers came out.

I started to see a lot of flowers. I was hoping for a good harvest. 

August 8th   Cones Are Forming

Cones start to foram and the bones were getting thicker. Yellow Jackets started patrolling the hops so I knew that and bad guys were going to be removed. 

Hop Progress May 14th And July 15th Showing Growth

Two pictures from May 14th

The bones naturally twist around anything they touch. I ran heavy string lines from the green fence posts to the ground. II anchored the string in the ground with wooden stakes. I then ran string lines from the top of the green posts to the eve of my porch. I wanted to make a hop trellis and have the hops grow around my hanging baskets. Never did it before so I gave it a go!

July 5th progress
The hop bones were growing fast. I watered them every other day. They also received full sun. 
You can see the horizontal lines running. I doubled up the number of lines when I saw the bines growing rapidly. 

Hop Progress - Growing About 6 Inches Per Day 5-4-2013

The hops started to grow fast. They looked like asparagus coming out of the ground. T

hey were 2X as thick as last year. I was told it takes 4 years for the hops to really produce a good crop. I was full of anticipation to see what I would end up with at the start of the second growth year.

Hops 5-1-13

The Blog is back.  Thanks for waiting patiently !!!

Hops 5/1/2013   Didn’t See Them Yesterday

For review, I have 6 Mt. Hood hop bines. They are in their second growth period. I am going to show their chronological growth through a few posts. Before the first hard frost last year, I applied well rotted cow manure, extra some soil on top,  and some wood mulch. I wanted to protect the rhizomes from frost heave. I also wanted to let the frost heave naturally work the manure into the soil. I kept the chicken wire around the base to protect the root system. Squirrels will investigate everything that is new.

On May 1st, they came right out of the ground.