Monday, April 21, 2008

Yet another rainy weekend

The Hops have fared well the last week, despite the frost and lack of water.

The well pump is damaged – it runs only on start circuit and does not switch to run, this kicks out after a few minutes, but will be pulled and repaired hopefully sometime this coming week , the well is 55ft deep , so not a big job , but still requires two people, and have not managed to get two of us together yet.

I ran a 400ft hosepipe from the house next door and managed to water the plants Friday in desperation.

Two have been damaged or eaten by bugs , but new shoots are down below the mulch level and the rest all look very healthy.

We have an uphill battle to get the rest of the rhizomes planted this week, and of course to get the poles and trellis's into place.

The Hops still in pots in the greenhouse are all looking strong with only a few not yet above surface, some of the Centennial and Cascades are the laggards for now. All other varieties seem to have have taken off.

We were away Friday and Saturday, so Sunday afternoon was the only time we had to work.

Rain was forecast again, but Jason arrived at 1pm and Steve about 40 minutes later. We started to plant the Cascades and were about halfway done when Jim arrived to help. Almost completed with planting and laying paper when Jonathan offered to get poles moved , so we went across to do that , and in the middle of that the first lightning blasted right overhead and a light rain started. We loaded up the poles and the stand for the water tank and moved them all across to the Hops field. Mac joined to unload and then the rain really came down.

Boy did it rain, a little hail too, and we huddled under the porch of the old farmhouse and had a history lesson from Johnathan about the Ballinger Farm (settled in 1751) , Ballinger Inn (Where Washington dined and stayed the night) etc

The temperature dropped too and before long some of the guys were feeling the cold being so wet. We made a dash for my garage and had a beer to warm up, discovered Turtle warm in my house talking to my wife (mmmmmmm) , but after a full hour the rain was still pelting down and Jason and Steve left, Mac Jim and Turtle stayed and very soon the rain stopped and we went across and finished the mulching. I also took the opportunity to start planting the Marigolds between Hops, - these are used as companion plantings to keep aphids at bay.

Oh well , we still have plenty to do, but it will get done eventually.

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