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Old 10-20-2010, 05:28 PM   #1
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1. What's the best way to keep the grass and weeds around hops down? I tried spraying roundup in the spring as the shoots were emerging (being sure not to hit them) and then mulched later in the year. I still got grass and weeds growing around them and interfering. I was afraid to spray more roundup as the hops grew in along with them. Is there something I can do this fall or next spring to help the situation?

2. I have a plant that is finishing its 2nd year of growing. I wanted to get another rhizome started in the spring and instead of buying one will the 2nd year (3rd year in spring) plant crown be able to be split and re-planted? Do I just dig and find the main root and cut it? Would this lower production on the older plant?

Thanks for the help
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Old 10-20-2010, 06:27 PM   #2
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1. Mulch the hops in with some straw or dried grass clippings/leaves. This will help to keep the grass & weeds from growing in.

2. You will probably lower the production on the older plant but you'll also have a head start on the newer one from just purchasing a rhizome. Just pop your shovel down in the dirt and pull out a nice big chunk of the root ball, and plant it like you did your rhizomes.
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:28 AM   #3
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sob,

i would try to hit the weeds/grass with a shot of round-up now while they are still growing. you don't really have to worry if you hit the hops as the new growth will come from buds that are underground at this time. you could also prepare a new area this fall and then transplant the crown next spring. mulch or compost is the ticket for helping keep the weeds at bay.

question 2: the rhizomes which grow from the crown are usually located in the upper4-6 inches of the soil profile and tend to creep outward from the crown like the spokes on a bicycle wheel. if you slice into the soil a couple inches out from the crown with a spade and lift the soil, you'll see any rhizomes that have formed over the last growing season. you will see little white buds (like on a potato). just follow the rhizome back toward the crown, clip it off and plant it. if it doesn't have buds, you might have a root so don't be fooled or you'll be waiting a long time and nothing will grow. you'll do fine as once they've been in the ground for a couple years they're pretty hard to kill.

 
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:01 AM   #4
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pluck pluck pluck tedious work but enjoy some homebrew after work while plucking!
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:12 PM   #5
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We use dutch white clover as a living mulch around our hops. You have to hand pull the weeds or till them if you haven't planted and then throw down the seed. It out competes the weeds, grows short enough that it doesn't steal sunlight from the plants early in the year and doesn't compete for nitrogen.

I know others that have used Fusilade for grass control. It shouldn't harm the hops like round up could.

 
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:47 PM   #6
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You didn't use enough mulch. You've got to make it 2 to 3 inches thick or weed sprouts poke through. And even then, you'll get the occasional superweed that will make it through. I've had best luck this year with pine mulch, but I've been told it will create a nitrogen deficiency over time as it decomposes, which is easily fixable with a tablespoon of fertilizer. And it may also mess the ph up, which is also fixable over time, but not my issue yet.

 
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:49 PM   #7
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I see you are in Ohio.. my understanding is that people in your part of the country are prone to use plastic red mulches that are extremely effective with no decomposition issues... and are considered "ornamental"... perhaps try that out.

 
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:40 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the great suggestions. I think what I'll do is hit the areas with roundup this fall then in the spring give it a good compost\straw or mulch covering. If I put a good layer (2-3") over everything the hops will still find their way thorough, right?

As for getting a new rhizome I'll see what the crown\roots look like in spring. Is 2years long enough for the crown to develop good rhizome(s)?
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:43 PM   #9
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If I put a good layer (2-3") over everything the hops will still find their way thorough, right?

?
No. You want to mulch around the plant.

 
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:45 PM   #10
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Compost/straw is not mulch. It's fertilizer. You need wood chips or bark or plastic products that won't biodegrade (messing up ph and chemistry).

 
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