Rain poured from the sky today as I staked the baby and mid-growth hops vines with fishing line. It was a relief as the weather has been brutal this week so far. In this business of professional gardening, rain is immeasurably preferable to blazing sun. In the rain, we don’t worry about sunburn or heat stroke or mosquitoes. Also, many tasks in the garden are easier in the rain. Weeding most notably.

We used organic strategies when planting and planning, and will continue to use organic methods for pest control. Seven different varieties of hops were planted so that if any issues arise with pests or mildew diseases, they will target the most suceptable variety first, or solely. This is much better than having a monocrop field of a single variety: in that situation an invading pest or mildew would devastate the entire population of hops quickly.

The vines and foliage will be dressed intermittenly with a Neem oil, soap and water mixture for organic pest management and organic disease prevention.

The lionshare of hops grown in the US are in Oregon and Washington state. It seemed appropriate then, to be working in the rain.

I observed an increase in butterfly species on the property today; hops are a butterfly attracting and habitat plant. It will be fascinating to watch the season unfold.