As an introduction, I am entering my third season as a home hop grower in Boulder, Colorado. I have plants entering their 3rd and 2nd seasons, as well as a number of rhizomes starting this year.
My 3rd year plants spent their first season & winter in the ground at my old house. Before they 'awoke' for their second season, I transplanted them to a new, more permanent garden, where they performed well and yielded more than expected.
Now it's well into summer here in Boulder, and of my 16 3rd-year plants, only one has woken up, or shown any signs of life at all. My 2nd year plants, which are still in pots, are already 6 feet tall, leading me to believe something went very wrong in the 3rd year garden.
A few more facts:
- Cut the bines down a week after harvest last season
- Covered the garden with a few inches of hay just prior to first snow, removed the hay on the 1st of may.
- Plants in question are Cascade & Centennial.
So my questions for the knowledgeable:
1.) Is it preemptive to mourn the loss of my 3 year olds?
2.) What factors might lead to a plant dying while still dormant?
3.) It has been suggested to me that my 3 year olds might just 'skip a season' and return next year. Is this a real thing?
Thanks for all the help.