Originally Posted by FxdGrMind
Great first year. Harvest in Aug and early Sep. About 20 oz overall. I didn't dry them properly... I'm thinking, but hey learned a lot this year!
So I cut down the bines today, pulled weeds from around the roots... OMG!! they are huge! with lots of little buds all over!!
So I took some dirt and drizzled over the root extending above ground level and patted down.
So my question now is .... what do I do now? should I cover with leaves? Hay? Tree bark/mulch? Or just cover with tarp to kill off the weeds and call it good.
I plan on tilling the open ground around them next w/e.
Tilling the open ground...
Till and or dig only when necessary, keeping it to a minimum. Tilling/digging is essential to break up hard compacted ground, but regular tilling increases the rate that organic matter - that essential component of a good soil - breaks down. Digging/tilling can encourage weeds, too; every time you turn the soil over, a new batch of weed seeds is brought to the surface to germinate.
Till only when soil conditions are right, especially if your soil is heavy. It should not be so wet that it sticks to your tiller, not so dry that you have to break up huge chunks.
It is quite possible to garden without regular digging. If you plan ahead, which it looks like you are doing, mulch that open ground during the year and the natural tillers (worms and other soil partners) will keep that soil plenty loose and aerated.
This is a super late response to your original post (years later) but its time to put those hops to bed again...