|Mrs Stevenson Thirding. A famous Kent Twiddler.|
These will only last about 15minutes and will start promptly
We have currently about four Bines to twiddle at the garden.
Twiddling your hops is not difficult and you don't need to come to a workshop to do it. These are for a bit of reassurance and an opportunity for some social hop chat.
- The Bines need to have at least 20cm of growth. You may have multiple Bines - select the strongest looking two (we suggest in the 1st year only doing two - later years you can do more as the root system gets established). Note the strongest may not be the first ones to emerge.
- The Bines have prickly hairs (these are called Trichromes) on the plants stem and leaves. This operates a bit like Velcro grasping the rough coir Hop Twine we have given you.
- Ensure your Hop Twine is quite tight and that the peg and twine are positioned to support the bine.
- Take one bine at a time and using your hands, very gently and slowly twine the bine around the hop twine in a clockwise direction. You may need to re-train it a bit over the next day or so until it gets the idea. Simples...
- You should remove the other shoots coming up from the soil so all the plant's energy goes into the your two bines. The plant may continue to produce shoots for new bines right thru the season so keep the secateurs handy.
- Personally I will probably leave one spare growing for a short while in case of passing malicious goats (other accidents are available)
- You can eat the young discarded Bines (Known as 'Poorman's Asparagus') a quick saute for 2 or 3 minutes with your favourite seasoning.
- Once your twiddled Bines are about 1-1.5m in height you need to remove the bottom leaves at the base of the plant. Removing these leaves makes it harder for disease and insects to travel from the ground to the plant. Again, start the process slowly and remove leaves over time from the ground up. You will shock the plant if you remove more than 3/4 leaves at once.
- Continue to do this in May/June until you have about 50-70cm of leafless bine from the ground. This is a good time to side dress with more compost/mulch