Hops need good management through growing season - Indiana Yard and Garden - Purdue Consumer Horticulture

Hops need good management through growing season

Q.  I need information on how to manage hops from the ground up and when and how to do what. Any information you can provide will be greatly appreciated, such as when to dig rhizomes, prune, storage, etc.

Hops Photo Credit: Purdue Extension ID-462-W

Photo Credit: Purdue Extension ID-462-W

A. Hops for production require good management through pruning, training and fertilizing and through a fairly long growing season of 120 frost-free days. Note that there are some varieties of hops that are ornamental rather than for hop harvest.   Hops will die back to the ground each year, so the vines should be cut off at the end of the growing season. They are aggressive and can reach up to 25 feet. They have separate male and female plants – only the female plants are grown for brewing. If you have to move them, now is a good time to dig the overwintering rhizomes.

Michigan State Extension has a great resource for small, backyard growers – a recorded seminar with a printed version available athttp://www.extension.org/pages/60945/starting-up-small-scale-organic-hops-production.

Purdue has an excellent Integrated Pest Management Guide for Commercial Hop Growers for those with large acreage to manage. http://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/ID/ID-462-W-2015.pdf.

Q. I have moss growing in a shallow drainage area between my house and the neighbor’s. He put up a fence in part of this ditch. After the installation of the fence, moss started growing in my yard. I have sprayed moss killer two times with no results. Now this spring, after the snow finally melted, I found moss growing everywhere in my yard. There are lots of patches in the front, sides and backyard. How do I get rid of this moss and get my grass back growing again. The yard looks a mess. My alternative is to let the moss spread and let it cover the yard – less mowing with a yard full of moss.

Steven R. Burton
Taylorsville, Ind.

A. Moss thrives under conditions that are unfavorable to turf grass – low light and wet soil. Copper sulfate or iron sulfate may help in small patches, but generally results are short-lived, and the moss will regrow unless the environment is changed.   And these products can be caustic and/or staining. So your idea to just let the moss win may be the wise choice.

Alternatively, you can replant the area with other shade-loving plants. No turf grass is going to thrive unless you can prune surrounding trees to allow better light.

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