“I..have made…fire!”

This past weekend’s primary activity was…FIRE! And by that I mean, flame weeding all the beds. This is a pretty simple, mindless yet enjoyable task as you’re essentially hooking up a flame thrower to your regular “backyard bar-b-que” propane tank and letting ‘er rip!

Now that we’re finally able to get into the fields with the snow having finally melted, it’s “game on!” in both yards. Happens every year…one minute we’re waiting for things to dry out and somewhat on schedule, next it’s June and we’re behind. The flame weeding accomplishes three tasks; first to knock down the weeds that have started up, and second to terminate the growth of “bull shoots” which are the first shoots to burst through. Typically these aren’t the healthiest ones that will grow. Third, if any disease has over-wintered in the hop yards, a good dose of high heat will knock that out.

With all the existing hills flame weeded, the next steps will include adding compost to the hills to feed nutrients, keep down weed pressure, and help build up the organic matter. The small yard this year is also going to need us to look at splitting the rhizomes as they’ve been in the ground for six years now and are really spreading out – makes stringing difficult trying to keep it as close to 3′ on-center for where we ground the coir. There are also plots in the large yard that need to be replaced so we’ll take Cascade rootstock from the small yard and add it to the large yard.

This coming weekend, depending on how wet the fields are, we’ll be working on adding compost to the hills, adding anchors to the small yard, possibly splitting some of the rhizomes from the small yard, and a variety of other early season tasks. Good times, good times!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *