We had left some vegetation in the field after harvesting back in August-September. We figured since we have first year plants this would be beneficial as the plants need their leaves to photosynthesize (create energy) to build up their roots systems.
Before we cut the plants down the field looked like this:
We cut the bines down to about 1-2 inches above ground level.
...I didn't take us too long to get the hop yard all cleared out!
Due to the presence of downy mildew we trucked all of the vegetation out of the field, and sent it to be composted.
Many growers will cover their hop plants with mulch or compost after cutting them back. This is supposed to help protect the crowns from freezes. We decided to go mulch free to find out how that method would work for Ohio hop growers.