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Old 11-09-2011, 07:45 AM   #1
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Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
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Default What to do with container hops for winter?

What should I do with my container hops over winter? Everything I've read suggests covering them in manure but they are on my deck and that wouldn't go over too well. In Vancouver, it rains a ton but never gets too cold (at most we get a few weeks of snow and sub-freezing temperatures). I've already cut them back and pulled them under the ledge out of the rain. As manure is off the table, what should I put on them? I'm a complete newb when it comes to gardening but I'm thinking I should put some sort of fertilizer on them. Any ideas?

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Old 11-09-2011, 11:19 AM   #2
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I wouldn't do the fertilizer. It'll all wash through the soil this winter without the plant using it.

I'd cover with a thick layer of mulch - at least that's what I do with mine. 3-4" of ground up leaves/grass clippings, or something similar. This will also keep winter weeds under control.

Also, if you move them closer to the house, (assuming they are moveable), or onto the ground at least, they'll stay a tad warmer than just being surrounded by air, and probably won't freeze. This is why bridges freeze before the rest of the roads - the ground acts as an insulator.

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Old 11-09-2011, 09:25 PM   #3
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How big are the containers? A handy trick I've used is to put the container in a white Hefty garbage sack and stuff it with leaves. It is not the cold that freaks them out- it more the rapid freeze -thaw-freeze- thaw cycles that exposed containers go thru. The leaves act like insulation and minimize this cycling. (Remember to check them thru the winter to make sure they have not dried out Oh, and don't use black bags - unless you want your hops to sprout in Feburuary.
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:00 PM   #4
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I just cover them with a couple inches of mulch (wood chips), line the containers up on my patio, cover them with a tarp, and forget about them until the snow melts. Been doing this for 3 years now and have not managed to kill them yet (despite my best efforts).
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