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How To Harvest Hops. 2 Factors To Consider

Those who need to learn how to harvest hops should consider two factors. Knowing the method and timing is crucial to get the most of your harvest, so read this article now. After all, growing hops for profit depends on how you can guarantee quality harvest consistently. 

It’s not surprising that many growers are interested in hops production, but you must be prepared not just for the initial steps. It would be best if you also were informed on the final stage, which is harvesting. Having excellent quality and yield can be dictated by this final step. 

 

How To Harvest Hops. 2 Factors To Consider

Read This Before Harvesting Hops

 

Consideration #1. Method

The first factor to consider when harvesting hops is knowing the proper technique itself. This way, you can ensure that you won’t damage the quality of your harvest. You have the option to pick their cones as the plant matures or harvest in one go. 

The former method is the most common because it will let you extend the harvest season. Therefore, you will have a higher yield of hops. However, remember that hops can reach a good height, making it impossible to pick the cones anyway. 

To solve this drawback, some growers cut the whole vine at three feet above the ground instead. You can harvest all the cones at ground level by pulling the vine down, making the practice much more comfortable and quick. And once you finished harvesting, you must immediately dry the hops flower somewhere dark and ventilated or in the oven before storing it in the freezer inside a sealable bag. 

 

Consideration #2. Timing

Since hops are the main ingredient for manufacturing beer, timing is crucial to ensure that your harvest will provide the unique bitterness that hops provide. This way, you won’t have to worry when using hops either as fresh or dry since they are at optimal quality. More than waiting for the flowers to feel paper-like, here are some things worth noting. 

Remember that after planting hops rhizomes early in spring, they will develop vines in summer to provide you flower cones. When the flowers appear, please don’t get excited about harvesting them yet. Instead, it would help if you let them dry out on the vine then test by feeling them. 

Growers simply squeeze a cone with their fingers but remember to do this gently. The cone should feel springy with some sap coming out of it to signify that it’s the ideal time to harvest your hops. On the other hand, squishy and damp cones should take more time before you harvest them. 

 

Growing Hops Successfully

According to the University of Kentucky, you want to ensure the ideal growing location for hops. Remember that more than the harvesting, the area where you’re growing hops and the practices you’ll do are also crucial to harvest quality yield consistently. For example, you want to protect the crops amidst challenging weather such as heavy winds and rain. 

You can grow hops in the greenhouse instead to providing protection and their needs, such as light and proper air circulation consistently. It’s also easier to set a trellis system indoors without worrying about its stability and quality in the long run. And more so, you can keep the greenhouse safe from pests that can damage hops. 

 

 

Drying And Packaging Hops

As mentioned previously, you have the option of using the hops immediately into a brew after harvesting or dry them. However, you have to remember the importance of time, light, heat, and moisture with the latter. It’s better to dry hops for a maximum of three days under temperatures not exceeding 140°F to avoid affecting their quality. 

Then, you can use a window screen, oven, or food dehydrator to dry the hops. More so, you’re aiming to achieve an 8% moisture by weight on your hops to prevent mold growth. After you have checked all these factors, place the hops somewhere airtight and then into the freezer until brewing. 

 

When To Add Hops To Brew

The best time to add hops is after the mashing or when the grain turns to wort, and you’re about to boil your product. This timing is vital because boiling will create a hops process that should provide bitterness to the mix. With this in mind, the longer your boil hops, the more bitter your beer gets. 

If you want to enhance the beer’s flavor, you want to reduce hops’ boiling time. Instead of simmering for around 45 minutes, let them boil for 15 minutes later in the process instead. You can even do dry hopping or soaking the hops in the fermented mix after it cooled down. 

 

Conclusion

Hops are one of the best crops to consider growing because of its importance to the breweries. However, it’s not enough that you know how to grow and store them; you must also master how to harvest hops correctly to ensure that you’re getting the most of your yield. Start by choosing how you want to collect the flowers, whether by picking them as the plant continues to grow or by cutting the vine and harvesting all at once. 

Once you find the convenient technique, know how to check when your cones are ready for harvest. Gently squeeze them by hand to check for a springy texture as a go signal. Finally, you can use the hops readily or dry them in three days for brewing later on. 

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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