Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hip hip hooray for Hops


Somehow I thought that growing Hops would be a cool thing to do for my beer loving husband. Not that we would ever attempt to brew beer, that seems like way too much trouble. Plus we love to explore local mini breweries, so it might hamper the fun.
The Hops I grow is the common Hops (Humulus lupulus). It is a perennial herbaceous plant that sends up shoots in the spring and then dies back in the fall. All the information about Hops claim that Hops can grow between 8 to 20 inches a week. I agree with that statement 100%. It has become a nuisance for me in the Herb Garden where I have it growing on a tee pee shaped trellis. Every week I have to cut it back, or it would encompass the Herb Garden.

This Herb has taken over two other spots accidentally, I had used both spots as a dumping area for cut Hops and voila...suddenly it was consuming my butterfly bushes. Last Sunday I decided an intervention was in order and from prior experience, I knew that the tiny stiff hairs on the stems can be a real irritant, so I wore protective clothing. These hairs help the plant cling and grow up any surface including your arms and legs. I ended up with a rash wrapping around my legs and all up my arms. It wrapped so tight it actually caused bruising on my arms and legs, wow gardening is tough business! I will be very careful in the future!
photo from Wikipedia.org

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