Well this is my first year planting, and my hopes are going crazy! Being that I probably got lucky. But you know I read alot before I planted them, and learned that the soil composition has alot to do with hops. Top soil really isnt a good soil to mix in in my view. I planted mine in two and half deep holes about 2 feet wide, and mix in miracle grow garden soil, manure, potting soil and coffe grounds on top. I live in the desert so I completely desgarded the soil that I dug up. Topsoil is not very nutrient rich, and I dont know where your from, and do not know what kind of dirt is around your house, but sounds to me like they are nutrient deprived.
I am not experienced enough to offer a solution, but I constantly feed mine mulch and give miracle grow twice a month.