Welcome to November’s update from a Year in the Life of our Hop Garden.
This month, Matthew finally gets to grips with the hop plants. With the aid of the Hoppers, the garden has been a hive of activity.
Hop dressing is a traditional task for November, when the all the hop plants have to be cut back to ground level. This helps persuade them it is time to hibernate and conserve energy over winter.
Normally a frost or two helps keep the shoots underground. But so far there has been no sign of a frost, although the weather has thrown a lot at the Hoppers in the last two weeks!
It all started on day 1 with a heavy mist, making visibility a challenge! But luckily it burnt off quickly.
Day 2 was a wash out with heavy down pours.
Since then, there has been a mixture of sunshine and cold showers, making it most unpleasant for our stalwart Hoppers.
But luckily they have been able to take refuge in the Hangar and Matthew is always on hand to pour a welcome pint in thanks of their essential work.
As a team, they make short work of it and steadily, row by row, the hops are all trimmed back.
Whilst the Hoppers are busy with their secateurs, Matthew has been removing all the bedraggled bines that still festoon the wires, so the garden really does look ship-shape.
Rupert has been out to inspect progress…..
…..as have the resident deer, judging by all the footprints!
Only 4 more rows to go, so today should see the finish of a job well done!
If you want to get involved with the hop garden, why not become a Hogs Back Hopper?