I'm in Marion a bit South of Boston. My favorite sign of spring is to see the hops sprouting. The cascades I have by my shed seem to sprout first. This Tuesday I checked and could see little purple hop sprouts nosing their way up through the soil.
I grew up in Rochester and went to public schools, but I know a lot of people that went to School where you did. I've been growing Cascades for years. I also have Hallertau, Sterling, East Kent Golding and Willamette.
I didn't bother mulching my hops. I have daffodils and other Spring plants that are a lot taller and I'm sure they are fine also. I guess snow is a mulch in a way. The Cascades are hard to kill. I gave some to my neighbor in a pot. He was too lazy to plant them and threw them out by his house. Now I get hops from him every year from the plants that grew from that pot that he threw out!
Sounds good. I bought about 1/2 mile of Twine at Loews last weekend and put up 9 lines for my Cascades and 2 each for Willamette, Hallertau, EKG and Sterling. I think my Willamette is growing out of control. I tend to get a lot out of hops from that plant.