April 7th – We have Hop Sprouts!By
I checked under the mulch and all three of my hop plants have sprouts. We have had a few 50+ degree days and enough sun to warm up the ground enough to unfreeze the ground and allow signs of life to emerge. They were covered with snow just a couple weeks ago. I wait for this to occur every year (anxiously) – now I can relax.
I have a good track record with these three plants surviving – I have lost other hops to winter. I uncovered the mounds now to let the sun warm up the ground more and they will become bines shortly. Where I am, the Minneapolis, MN area – zone 4, we will have several nights below freezing but since these are established plants, they will survive no problem. Even if we get a really cold spell, worst case is these sprouts will die off but new ones will replace them.
There is enough energy stored up in the crowns / root stocks to send up new sprouts if the initial ones are killed off. If newly planted rhizome sprouts are killed off, there is a good chance they will not survive (only so much energy is stored in the rhizome). That’s why you don’t want to plant rhizomes too early for your zone. Here in zone 4 May 15th is the generally accepted date to plant for garden plants (or any plant) that cannot take a freeze.
Every growing season is different, we will see what this one brings. These bines should easily top out (13 – 15 feet – garage roof height) by June 1st. I’ll keep you posted. A lot of you have a jump on my growing season. Let us know how your bines or hop sprouts are doing with a comment.