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Old 02-20-2008, 09:38 PM   #1
cefmel
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I've noticed that when my hops begin to bud that the leaves always seem to suffer a little. The ends dry up and they don't look very healthy. Is this normal? has anyone else noticed this or do I have a problem. I live in the Chicago area and it gets pretty hot in the summer. The variety is Mt. Hood and I've been growing them for about 4 years and it's always the same. Strong healthy leaves in the spring and half dried up leaves by mid June.



 
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Old 02-21-2008, 04:05 AM   #2
denimglen
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Happened to my plants as well from the beginning. This is my first year though.

I thought I may have been over fertilising (was a little too happy adding 'worm-juice' from our worm farm) but I stopped and it didn't change, plant otherwise seems pretty healthy and got a lot of cones for the first year growth.

I don't know much about gardening but maybe it's the plant putting nutrients and water into the cones instead of leaves?



 
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Old 02-21-2008, 12:40 PM   #3
clemson55
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From my experience with a lot of different plants but not hops that sort of thing will happen when most plants produce flowers or fruit. Its just the added pressure of production on the plant. A little extra water can help, especially since its in the heat of the summer.
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:46 PM   #4
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The only sure things are death and taxes - for plants too! Leaves also get old and die, and will give up their nutrients (taxes) to help out the new growth. As long as the new growth is vigorous and the leaves have a nice UNIFORM green color I wouldn't worry about it. If the new growth is a little pale and yellowish along the veins, they need some fertilizer.

Clemson55 is right. Developing flowers and fruits will "steal" nutrients from the leaves. Often at this point (for some plants) extra fertilizer won't really help. The plant has been busily storing up reserves and this is what they use for flower and fruit production, not any new nutrients they have just taken up from the soil. I don't know if this is also the case in hops.
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:58 PM   #5
cefmel
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Thanks for the insight people. I was hoping this might be the case since I also had tried different things. The new growth is usually healthy so I'll just look at that as an indicator of the plants health. I was hoping that it wasn't because of the sometimes brutally hot summer months here in Northern Illinois.

 
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:59 PM   #6
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This could be nothing more than a lack of water. It's a good idea to water every day it doesn't rain. Seems excessive, but that's what it takes. Hops love hot, sunny weather (I was born in Crete, IL, so I know what you are experiencing), but they need as much water as blue grass.
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Old 02-21-2008, 04:12 PM   #7
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If you have the ability, set up a soaker hose on a timer. Early spring, I water for 5 to 10 minutes (depending on existing moisture) and late in the season during flowering I ramp that up to about 20-30 minutes (again depending on existing moisture).

This way they get a daily dose of water and with minimal effort on your part. It's easy to forget to water. Plus on a timer, it's a lot easier to get the water to the roots early in the morning. And with the soaker hose, there is no risk of getting the leaves damp.

But then again, on the flip side, over watering shows the same symptoms as underwatering. So be sure to check the soil regularly. I have a moisture meter that I picked up from a garden center. It seems to be pretty decent and allows me to probe to a depth of 6 inches to see how well the water is soaking in.

 
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Old 02-21-2008, 04:25 PM   #8
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please don't fertilize with commercial chemicals while the plants are building buds!! You're going to be consuming that stuff, and it's nasty stuff. Use only organic fertilizer intended for food, compost that does NOT contain chemically treated material (ie grass clippings), manure, etc. Your standard Miracle Grow products are incredibly poisonous even after being processed by a plant. In a past life I had plenty of experience growing the dirty cousin of hops. Nothing tastes quite as nasty as fertilizer laden smoke!
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Old 02-21-2008, 05:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shafferpilot
please don't fertilize with commercial chemicals while the plants are building buds!! You're going to be consuming that stuff, and it's nasty stuff. Use only organic fertilizer intended for food, compost that does NOT contain chemically treated material (ie grass clippings), manure, etc. Your standard Miracle Grow products are incredibly poisonous even after being processed by a plant. In a past life I had plenty of experience growing the dirty cousin of hops. Nothing tastes quite as nasty as fertilizer laden smoke!
Horse Hockey! The problems with Miracle Grow etc. is that they don't enrich the soil (may actually inhibit soil microbe diversity), they are more likely to lead to run off and can cause too vigorous growth. Also a lot of energy is required to make some of the components. They are not however toxic!!!!!!!! (unless you eat it directly) The big benefits or organic fertilizer is that they enrich the soil, they are slow release and are less prone to run off. BUT it contains exactly the same mineral nutrients (ions) as in Miracle Grow, just in a different formulation (free salts - ion pairs - versus ions bound to humus or as complex compounds that are processed by microbes to make the ion). They both contain nitrates, (and/or ammonia), phosphates and potassium. I guarantee you all of these are in both. Then there are the micronutrients, calcium, iron, magnesium, sulfur, boron, etc. which the better fertilizers will also have, again, these are also going to be present in your manure. If they are toxic in the Miracle grow, then they are also going to be toxic in the manure, etc.

I liken it to taking a pill (miracle grow) to get all the vitamins you need versus eating a balanced diet (manure) to get the nutrients you need. A balanced diet is the preferred way for our bodies to get the vitamins and minerals it needs, but taking a pill is better than not getting the nutrients. I personally prefer a balanced diet

There are lots of very good reasons for using organic methods over using inorganic fertilizers, but the imagined toxicity of Miracle grow etc. is not one of them.
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Old 02-22-2008, 09:36 AM   #10
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ok....... still it tastes like $hit


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