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May 9th – Day 1 of training the hops. As they say “better late than never.” Read on to find out more?
So why are we late?
In a normal growing year ‘training’ or ‘tied/twiddled’ (as sometimes referred to) begins from April onwards. Here at Stocks Farm however, we started ‘training’ on the 20th April last year so it feels late. As you know the weather has been too cold so the shoots are staying below ground till it started warming up. Finally we are getting the warmer weather.
What is Training?
The hops are ‘Trained’ or ‘tied/twiddled’ onto each string. Depending on the variety either two or three shoots are tied, clockwise, to each string. If they are tied anti-clockwise they will fall off. If we have a windy spring the hops may need to be re-tied several times. This is all completed by hand, same as the stringing process.
In a Hedgerow Hop yard or garden, the spring is the time that the previous year’s old growth (strig) is removed using a front-mounted rubber flail. The hedgerow hops self-train onto the UV stable polypropylene netted structure, significantly reducing the hand-labour requirement. The netting is designed to last for up to 7 years.
Look out for more updates on growing over the coming weeks & months