1.Grass\Weed Control --- 2.Splitting Crowns

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SOB

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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 :mug:
 

wyzazz

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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.
 

B-Hoppy

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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.
 

starrfish

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pluck pluck pluck tedious work but enjoy some homebrew after work while plucking!
 

GVH_Dan

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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.
 

Fletch78

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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.
 

Fletch78

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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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SOB

SOB

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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)?
 

Fletch78

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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).
 

B-Hoppy

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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)?
if they were growing in some relatively decent soil your third year you should start thinking about thinning them out anyway. if you don't you'll have many many more shoots next year than you know what to do with. again this depends on growing conditions and the vigor of the variety you are growing. i think you'll be surprised if you decide to lift the crowns this coming spring. hop on!
 

jjones17

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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).
Sorry I have to chime in here, I am just trying to help.

Actually compost/straw IS mulch -

Compost being fully broken down materials in which the nutrients in the compost will be readily available for a living plant to utilize. Compost also nourishes the Mycorrhiza and encourages them to flourish, helping your living plant do very well. It ALSO does what a mulch needs to do: Makes it easier to weed, minimizes temperature fluctuation in the soil, minimizes water evaporation in the soil. PH will settle, and if you are that concerned about 'PH' buy a test kit. Then you will need to figure out what PH hops like, and you can add certain things to your soil (IE Lime etc) to adjust that if you need to - this will be very rarely as hops are like weeds, they are comfortable in most PH situations. Not sure what you are trying to say about 'chemistry', unless you are planning on growing your hops in a sterile hydroponic system.

Straw being seedless dried hay that is not yet broken down into compost. It will compost, slowly, but accomplishes all the things a mulch needs to do... see above.

Wood chips/bark are much like straw except the do not break down as quickly. Plastic products - I fail to see why these are needed in any circumstance growing hops. Basically these are usefull for only the 'mulch' solution but they will not provide anything to your plants/soil - in summary a waste of money why not use compost you get 2 for 1. Unless you are growing your hops in a sterile soil using only chemical fertilizers and you do not want to provide healthy soil for Mycorrhiza, earthworms, and beneficial insect populations that help keep away pests. Also, your plants will be much more susceptible to disease vs if you were to use compost.

The best mulch I have used for any plant is compost, covered by shredded leaves OR straw. You will have the best soil imaginable in 2-3 years and your hops will be AWESOME.

Caveat - I am not a hippy and I do use chemical ferts sometimes - but I know the benefits of healthy soil and defend those benefits often.

To the OP - one thing I do successfully to keep the grass down is use lots of newspaper or cardboard and lay it on the area you want to kill them. This works well though is not very attractive looking. You need to weigh them down unless you live in a wet area.
 

Orangevango

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Im using black plastic with holes cut around each rhizome and newspaper mulch in each hole. Basically just laying down newspaper 10-15 layers thick around each plant. This is my strategy for the coming season, last year I tried to keep them at bay by hand, but my eight 60 foot long rows were far too much work for me. I also tried the clover thing, but apparently didnt sow enough of it, cause I never saw a single sprig.
 
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