After planing the new rhizomes a few weeks ago, I have failed to return to water, weed and otherwise dote over the fledging hills. Finally went back this past Monday, to find that they are all settling in to their new homes just fine. I'm sure there's a flurry of activity going on underneath the rich soil. They all are putting on nice new growth, primarily at the internodes vs. continuing to extend longitudinally. There looks to be some sun burn type of response on the tender first leaves, but thicker hardier looking growth. Sorry to not have pictures, but next time I go visit, I'll be sure to snap a few. But the take home message is that they have not only survived, but they are actually growing and we are still only mid-May, so I'm already ahead of where I was last year with the Fuggles and Sterling.
And this is where the real story is...these 2nd year hops have put out hopsplosive (if you will allow me the use of a hybridized adverb) growth since my last visit. The Fuggles hill, in particular, has gone on a photosynthesizing spree of enormous proportions. It had actually started to overwhelm the nearby pine tree, elm hedge and flowering almond shrub. I pruned back all but 7 or so bines, the longest of which have probably reached out 8-10 feet and were actively looking for more support, which I'll have to provide very soon if I want to have a good length of hops bines wholly intact for a beer inspired arrangement at the wedding. I won't be able to unwind from the wire fence if I use that as the primary support, so I need to relatively quickly get a sufficiently tall post or two up with an eye hook + coir twine installed before things totally spin out of control.