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Old 07-19-2010, 12:13 AM   #1
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Default Losing Some Nice Bines

My first years have been growing like wildfire for the past few months. I was very excited to see the number of cones starting to pop out. Now, though, I feel like I'm about to lose every single one.

I've been chasing nitrogen issues for the entire growing season, and have been very successful. However, the past week I have seen all of my lower leaves turning yellow/brown and starting to wilt. We are currently in the middle of what could very well be the hottest Summer on record and we've got at least 7 more consecutive days of 90+ temps, with humidities nearing the 100% mark!

I removed some of the lower leaves that started to wilt, but within the next 2 or 3 days another group of bottom leaves showed the same symptoms. I'm afraid I've got some sort of fungus in the root/crown and will have to replant again next season. I've been thinking maybe I need to water more due to the temps, but the symptoms of the leaves seem to show something more nefarious, and I'm worried about watering further if there is, in fact, some sort of root rot going on.

Not sure what steps I should take, or just let the bines die off and hope they grow next year. Is it a watering situation? Is it a disease? I've tried the online guides but their list of "symptoms" is so vague it could fit into a number of different things.

I know without any pictures it's tough for anyone to offer clear advice, but I guess I just wanted to vent.

Planning: 4 Bines IPA, Heights #10 Irish Red
Primary: N/A
Secondary: N/A
Bottled: N/A
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Old 07-19-2010, 03:43 AM   #2
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relax, don't worry, and have a homebrew! does the new growth look good? do the burrs look good? if so, have a beer and chill. plants are plants. not every leaf is going to look perfect. in some varieties the older leaves (the bottom ones) will tend to look rough, weathered and crusty at a certain point. they are OLD leaves and have a right to look beat up. if mother nature doesn't provide some moisture each week, give them a little. it's not rocket science. sure, if there are serious problems you should seek help. i know most folks reading this are probably relatively new to growing hops (2-4 yrs) and you've seen a lot of diagnosis's of imperfect growth, but in the plant world, there are a lot of situations that are seen as problems, but are just natural occurrences which have no bearing on the health of the plant at all. if you're inclined, check this out:

this is a great guide to hops and their pests, but each growing situation is different. many pictures may look like the ailment you are experiencing but may not be the actual problem. sorry to come off so vague but after dealing with plants for a long time, it's very hard to diagnose a problem from afar. i would suggest to back off on any fertilizer at this point and just let the plants 'do their thing'. next year will be a whole new experience, as the difference between first year and mature hops is tremendous. please make sure you wear your lap belt until the ride is over, and make sure you have a full beer at all times!

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Old 07-19-2010, 11:02 AM   #3
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What is happenening is completely normal and no amount of water, fert., or care will stop it. As the plants begin to flower they divert all energy to the upper part of the plant and the lower leaves yellow and fall off as a result. I have 12 plants ranging from two to eight years old and every year every plant does this. Even the local wild plants of unknown age do it. Definately a RDWHAHB moment.
Looking forward to brewing some beer
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Old 07-19-2010, 01:45 PM   #4
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No problem, as cuinrearview says.
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Old 07-19-2010, 02:16 PM   #5
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I am in my first year of hop growing, so not an expert on these, but coming from a grain farm, this happens to every crop when the energy goes from growing the plant to setting the seeds. The plants will all start to die off from the bottom up, drop leaves, and start to dry out. If you have cone popping up, I would guess that this is what is going on.

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