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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Hops Growing > winter watering
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:08 PM   #1
s50///mpower
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Default winter watering

I'v searched around but haven't found an answer for what the winter watering needs will be of my hops. If it matters I live in northern California, we do get full on winter, snow some years, I know that the rhizomes go dormant so does this mean they wont need any water? if that's the case then do you just stop watering it after harvest and the cutting down of the bines?

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-brian

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Old 09-17-2008, 10:32 PM   #2
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Colorado here. If it's warm and dry, I'll toss some water on it. Otherwise, I just drink beer and stay warm.

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Old 09-17-2008, 11:41 PM   #3
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I've never watered after cutting down the bines. If anything, rake a pile of leaves over them, then rake them off in March or April.

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Old 09-18-2008, 01:58 AM   #4
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You beat me to asking the same watering question.

What about fertilizing now? Anybody?

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Old 09-18-2008, 02:11 AM   #5
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No fertilizer this time of year. It will think it's time to grow instead of going into hibernation.
You want to water if you have a really dry fall. It's better if the roots are well hydrated before the ground freezes. Other than that, mulching with leaves is the only other thing to do.

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Old 09-18-2008, 02:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raceskier View Post
You beat me to asking the same watering question.

What about fertilizing now? Anybody?
You could toss some aged horse poop in the general vicinity. Getting it from an old pile is best, or bring it home and pile it elsewhere for a few months, then spread it around the hops. The roots go out quite a long way, so you might want to fertilize out a fairly long way (6-8 feet out from the crown), unless you are root-pruning severely to try and keep them in check (in which case you probably would not be fertilizing much). An inch or two thick is plenty.

Other kinds of poop can work, but horse is the most commonly available from people who don't have a place they are already spreading it on, and thus are happy to have gardeners come and take some. Don't waste your money on "compost" in plastic bags from a store.

<edit>WRT dormancy, my hops are pretty near gone to bed for the winter, at which point they are not going to wake up until spring. If yours are still growing, that might be another matter. Getting the poop on over the winter lets it break down and get worked into the soil where it will do them good come spring. </edit>
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:20 PM   #7
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So it sounds like no water in the winter, right on thanks for the input. I have access to all the goat crap I can truck out. I might throw a layer of that on in the next couple of months, here in Redding we will usually have plenty of rain in the winter.

-brian

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Old 09-30-2008, 09:16 PM   #8
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Just a word about using poop to fertilize.....its a great idea but remember grazing animals ie., sheep, alpaca, horses, goats (Never mind goats, grass is the last thing they eat, prefer my trees, bark and bumper to my car) eat alot of weeds and just like us, the seeds just keep moving through and they arrive in the compost wet, fertilized and ready to grow. So.........never use fresh, only processed animal poop, meaning been around in the yard for awhile, like wintered over.

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Old 09-30-2008, 11:04 PM   #9
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Do absolutely nothing from the time you cut the bines until the spring thaw. The hop fields here are bare dirt.

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Old 10-02-2008, 07:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s50///mpower View Post
... we do get full on winter, snow some years...
-brian
Snow some years? That would be nice. We usually get a few feet of snow, and generally get -10 to -20 degrees for a couple of weeks. And that's just the lower penninsula!
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