Hop Sprouts Buried In SnowBy
Four days ago I uncovered my hop sprouts from under a few inches of mulch (grass clippings and leaves). We just had 4 and a half inches of wet snow here It’s a delicate balance of protecting them or letting them be smothered – you can’t wait too long to uncover them. One year I waited too long and the sprouts were growing sideways and were albino white instead of the red/purple color that is normal. They did seem to recover but subsequent sprouts were healthier.
This is the first year I have had them snow covered. Every year they are subjected to several hard freezes overnight, 25 degrees fahrenheit and they survive just fine. That would kill many garden vegetables and that’s why we generally don’t plant vegetables until May 15th here in zone 4. I was debating whether I wanted to cover them again with mulch or buckets. I wanted to see if they would survive the snow. They are well established (fifth year hops), so even if these sprouts die off, there will be more to replace them. So I guess I will find the answer shortly.
If these were from rhizomes just planted this year, it would likely be fatal to the rhizome. There is only so much energy stored in a rhizome and a good chance they would not send up any more sprouts. Had these been planted just this year (a little early for here), I would have definitely protected them. Nature is predictably unpredictable so you have to always be aware of the weather. Anyway I will keep you posted on whether these sprouts survive being snow covered or not. If not, I will let you know how long it takes for new sprouts to appear or worst case, death of the hop crowns (I doubt it). Stay tuned!