Archive | January 5, 2011

Females Rhizomes Needed to Brew Beer?


“Do I need a female rhizomes for brewing beer? ~ Unknown”

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There are some occasions when I receive a question from one of my blog readers and I am just perplexed.  The above is one of these.  Of course, this one did make me laugh a bit at first.

By ‘female rhizome’, I assume you are asking if you need a female hop plant (Humulus lupulus)  in order to have the components for brewing your own beer.

While I’m sure some of my manly men readers will not enjoy this article, I’ve got to be honest:

To brew good beer, you only want female rhizomes.

Male and female flowers of the hop plant develop on separate plants or are dioecious.  Because viable seeds are undesirable for brewing beer, only female plants are grown in hopfields to prevent pollination and the potential for seeds to be in the buds.  Female plants are propagated vegetatively and sold bareroot or male plants are culled if plants are grown from seeds.

As for the seeds, they do not germinate well.  There are a number of issues with high dormancy and low longevity and vigor.  I recommend that you purchase your hops as plants.  The four best varieties are:

–Cascade:  A popular variety with disease resistance and high aroma that is known for its high yields and large, elongated flowers.  It adds flavor and aroma to light lagers.  See more here:  http://www.jungseed.com/dp.asp?pID=30424

–Mt. Hood:  An aromatic hop that produces more flowers per vine and has very good resistance.  Mid-range amount of alpha-acids than other varieties.  See more here:  http://www.jungseed.com/dp.asp?pID=30426

–Nugget:  A high alpha-acid (bittering) type of hop that is used for adding body and flavor to all types of beer.  It is a popular commercial variety that is now available for home gardeners.  It is disease resistant, vigorous, and has high yields.  See more here:  http://www.jungseed.com/dp.asp?pID=30425

–Williamette:  Lower alpha-acid variety used commercially for English Ales and spicy beers.  See more here:  http://www.jungseed.com/dp.asp?pID=30427

 

 

 

 

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© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Got Late Blight Tomatoes? Then You Need Ferline F1!


For a long time, many gardeners have been looking for an answer to their late blight (Phytophthora infestans)  on tomato questions.  Now we have that answer:  Ferline F1 Hybrid.

A remarkable tomato variety has impressive late blight tolerance in a garden situation when grown in a number of different trials. Ferline could be the answer to many gardeners’ prayers, to help overcome this most destructive disease. The vigorous, indeterminate plants produce heavy crops of deep red fruits of up to 5 ounces in weight with a very good flavour. Suitable for growing under glass. Also resistant to fusarium and verticillium wilt.

In my own personal experience growing these, I have found that you need to provide adequate support and tie in regularly. Remove all side shoots as they appear and restrict the plant to one main stem. Feed weekly with a high Potash Liquid fertiliser and water only moderately.

Remember, although Ferline F1 Hybrid shows resistance to Late Blight, it is not 100% resistant.  I know, you are saying, “Huh?!?!”  Like humans, resistance is good to a point.  Let’s say that you received a vaccine for a disease along with a million other people.  Likely, a few of that million will get the disease because of other circumstances — being immunocompromised, not eating properly, etc.  Tomatoes are just the same: if they are not healthy and happy, even a resistant variety can get sick.  To ensure that your resistant variety is growing well, remember to follow these simple steps:

1.  Rotate your Solanacious crops.  This means that a particular area of your garden should have tomato/potato/eggplant/pepper/tobacco/petunia/huckleberry/ground cherry/tomatillo/etc. grown it only once in every 3-4 years.

2.  Stake your tomatoes.  Allowing the plants to be up in the air will increase circulation and minimize the wet conditions for disease initiation.

3.  Do not water after 4 p.m.  You want to have your plants be as dry as possible going into the overnight hours.  If it is necessary to water after this time, do so only by soaker hoses.

4.  Remove bad fruit or tissues as soon as you see them.  Letting things rot on the vine is never a good thing.

5.  At the end of the season, clean your garden up properly.  Remove every stem, leaf, or fruit and toss it in the garbage (not the compost).  This will ensure that there is absolutely no way you can ever reinfect your garden with disease.

6.  And last, but not least, purchase your seed from a reputable, certified dealer.  There are a LOT of seed sellers out there that say they *know* their seed is safe because they [insert what they say they did].  However, many can say they did something, and they actually didn’t.  Buy your seed from a certified dealer — they have to by law do tests on their seed (and if they didn’t, you would not be buying from them because they would be in jail).  If you are interested in purchasing this variety, allow me to recommend this company:  http://www.totallytomato.com/dp.asp?pID=00263&c=43&p=Ferline+Hybrid+Tomato

EDIT, 1/22/11:  In addition to Ferline, the All-America Selections has released Lizzano F1 Hybrid Tomato, a cherry-type tomato that is resistant to Phytophthora infestans (Late Blight).  To see more information about Lizzano, click here.

 

 

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© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.