I live in Central Ohio, and I eagerly planted my six rhizomes in early May and they were poking out of the ground within a week of planting. I built raised garden boxes for them, in order to try to isolate the root structure and contain the hops. Well, after being in the ground for about two weeks, I came outside one morning to see the rhizomes completely dug out of the ground and chewed to pieces. As you can imagine, I was shocked and horrified.
So my question is, what animals would be drawn to hops as predators? In my area there are opossum, moles, rabbits, and many neighborhood cats around. The odd thing is that about ten yards away from the hop beds I have two 5x10 garden boxes full of flourishing vegetables, which have been completely untouched. I was able to scramble and find a couple more rhizomes on line and have received them, but I am hesitant to plant them without a plan to ward off the predator(s). I was thinking of doing chicken wire around the bed, at least until the bines have grown a few feet. Does anyone have any additional thoughts or insight on how to proceed?