The summer solstice is a key date for hop growers around the world. Hop plants have the amazing ability to tell when days quit getting longer and begin to get shorter. On June 22 our summer solstice told our hops to start changing modes.
Up until this point in the season our plants have been growing almost exclusively in a vertical direction. These plants are trying their very best to get to the top of the 18' tall trellis. Once they see that they days are getting shorter they begin to send out "sidearms" at each of the leaf nodes. These sidearms and basically the lateral branches where the plants will set the actual hop cones.
Once the sidearms are developed on the plants they will start to send out "burrs", or the small hop flowers, that will be the precursor to the cones.
Whew! What a time to visit the fields!
Cedar Falls Hops Co. grows Iowa hops. Follow us on here to keep up with the newest progress in our fields.