This past weekend we were blessed with some halfway decent weather, so on Sunday I was able to get the hops ready for winter. Just in time as we got 4+ inches of snow Sunday night/Monday morning.
When I cut down the bines, I found it interesting that a few plants had sprouted what I guess I would call "winter buds" near the base of the bines. I'm not a horticulturalist, so I don't know what the actual term is, but it's kinda how trees and such will produce a little new growth at hte tips as they get ready for their winter slumber. They basically looked like the tips of young bines. They were particularly plentiful on the Hallertauer which, over the summer, had grown almost like a bush.
When I cut the bines, I left the portions with the buds intact. The plants without the regrowth I cut leaving maybe a couple inches above ground. I cleaned up the leaf debris around the plants as I think I might've had a little gray mold toward the end of the season. In hindsight I wonder if I should've sprayed the ground with some Green Cure to get a leg up for the spring. Anyhoo, after that, I covered the mounds with several inches of straw. Each mound is surrounded by chicken wire, which should keep the straw from going anywhere. Not sure how necessary it is to cover the plants, if at all. I just figured it's their first year, and if we have a rough winter, it sure couldn't hurt. Guess we'll see how it goes.