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Old 06-06-2013, 05:06 PM   #1
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Default 3rd Season Plants Still Dormant (Colorado)

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.

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Old 06-06-2013, 05:12 PM   #2
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What's the weather been like there? I know that here in Minnesota it's been much colder than normal & that the soil temp in my backyard isn't averaging 75F yet which is what the hops love.

If CO is going through a cold spring like we are, that may have something to do with it. Hops are incredibly hardy plants, but they like warm soil to take off.

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Old 06-06-2013, 05:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holy_Hops View Post
What's the weather been like there?
I suppose this season is a bit cooler and later than last season, which would explain a delay, but we're talking a difference of 2 months compared to last season.

The average ground temp in certainly not 75 degrees yet, though I can't say i know anything about average ground temps.
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Old 06-06-2013, 05:19 PM   #4
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Yeah, I could be wrong, but I've always heard that hops start going crazy when the soil average temp gets in the mid 70s. I'd give it some more time.

And if it gets into late June-July and it's hot and there's nothing, there might be something else going on. But I expect it's just a little too cold yet.

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Old 06-07-2013, 09:34 PM   #5
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you can always take soil temps with a spare meet thermometer, or any kind of probe thermometer.

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Old 06-09-2013, 03:56 PM   #6
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Have you dug up the any of the rhizomes to check on them? Plants do not normally just "skip a season". More than likely, they have rotted in the ground.

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