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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Hops Growing > Spontaneous hops death
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:31 PM   #1
VonRunkel
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Default Spontaneous hops death

Let me set the scene:

It has been around 90* every day for the past week or so
My hops have been growing strong for a couple months or so
I have been watering them every day until they are quenched
I have been fertilizing them with spent grains and trub
They are in a 10 gallon trash can with drain holes in the bottom.
They have marigolds in the can to keep them company

The other day I added some trub from a batch I was racking into the hops bucket, as I have done many times before. I went out the next day to water them, everything was fine, but the day after that my hops and marigolds were in some sort of death spiral. the leaves were wilted and curled in as well as all brown.

I have been watering them vigarously for the past day or two, but with little results. The both plants are still on the down swing of life.

My options, as I see them are to continue as I have been and hope for the best, cut big drain holes in the bottom and recess the can into the ground so the hops have more room to grow, or pull the bine out of the bucket and transplant it into my yard.

I hope there is some helpful insight out there in HBT land, because my hops need you!

Thanks

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Old 07-18-2013, 01:11 AM   #2
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Sounds like you might have over-watered?

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Old 07-18-2013, 01:37 AM   #3
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Maybe, but they are well drained. I put in a special drain hole at the bottom of the can so that any standing water would run out. Plus the leaves were crinkly and dry, not what I would expect from over watering. But it is still a possibility.

I just got back in from working on them. I dug a hole and threw as much of the crown as I cold into the hole then topped it with some dirt, then I put the yard dirt on top of it.

Hopefully this solves the problem, if not then I guess I am not growing hops this year.

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Old 07-18-2013, 01:38 AM   #4
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Also, thanks for the response, I know it is a vague problem.

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Old 07-18-2013, 02:21 AM   #5
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What kind of trub are you fertilizing with? Yeast and hop gunk? I never heard of that before.

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Old 07-18-2013, 03:22 AM   #6
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I just received a notice from a local nursery (fry road) warning about watering potted plants during hot weather. It may not be related, but worth thinking about:


Whether you've got plants in plastic or pulp or wooden or clay pots, remember:

Plants need air around their roots as much as they need water.

During hot weather, don't water containers if the soil is damp - the container and soil heat up and can steam the roots to death.

Also, over-watering pots containing timed-release fertilizers can cause the fertilizer prills to break down prematurely, burning roots.

Look for these symptoms to know if you're being
overly kind to you containerized plants:

  • Plants are wilted even when the soil is wet (N burn and/or over-watering)
  • Edges of leaves turn crispy brown. (Nitrogen burn)
  • When uprooted, plants have clubby, white roots but very few fine "hair" roots. (Nitrogen burn)
  • Roots are mushy/slimy or the outer skin of the root slides off like a snake skin. (Over-watering)


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Old 07-18-2013, 04:16 PM   #7
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Compost that is not aged will heat up pretty quick. Compost producing heat and direct sunlight on the pot can cause heat damage.

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Old 07-19-2013, 01:55 AM   #8
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I was using all the dregs of fermentation as well as spent grain.

I didnt know that bit about the compost heating up, but it makes sense.

It sounds like I steamed my roots and burnt my plants to death. Maybe, if im lucky, the rhizome isnt dead....

Thanks for all the help and advice. There is always next year.

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Old 07-20-2013, 04:29 AM   #9
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Compost everything separately and don't use that compost until next season for sure. Unfortunate, but lesson learned.

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Old 07-21-2013, 04:45 PM   #10
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Indeed. Thanks guys.

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