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Getting rid of a hop plant.

(12 Posts)
cairnterrier Thu 26-Jan-17 20:45:34

We have a monster hop plant in our garden. The top growth is all dead at the moment but I'm guessing this year's growth is gathering strength quietly undergroundhmm

How much of a pain is it going to be to dig it out? It's in completely the wrong place and far too big for its position.

Any thoughts/hints/tips gratefully received!

shovetheholly Fri 27-Jan-17 10:28:29

It's not something I've done myself, but I gather they can be quite tough to remove. It's the digging the crown out that's hard. But nothing that a bit of womanly determination and a mattock can't sort, I'm sure!!

Trethew Fri 27-Jan-17 12:15:45

Shove is right. They are tough blighters but it can be done.

I had to remove one which had been established for years. It took two seasons before I was finally rid of it. It had run underground and popped up from under big boulders. Some of it popped up in next door's conifer hedge which looked lovely from my side

cairnterrier Sat 28-Jan-17 06:32:15

Hmm, somewhat lacking in the mattock department! How far down are the roots likely to go? I'm thinking a combined effort of digging out and copious amounts of glyphosate at the slightest hint of green.

ChuckSnowballs Sat 28-Jan-17 06:58:59

How old is it? I haven removed two, one three years old and one two and they came out with a spade, and some tugging. As long as you get the main root out, the side roots seem to not grow back. Both of mine were beasts in their first season.

shovetheholly Sat 28-Jan-17 07:45:05

I'm going to start a campaign called EVERY WOMAN NEEDS A MATTOCK!

But Chuck is probably right that you could just use a spade!!

ChuckSnowballs Sat 28-Jan-17 08:43:39

I do have a mattock, two in fact. But a spade did it for me on this occasion. Mainly because it was in front of a fence. Not alot of swing room.

The main thing with hops is they are fierce and will cut your skin to shreds if you try and get it out without cutting it back in midsummer. The time to do it is definitely now.

Scentofwater Sat 28-Jan-17 09:48:02

Eeek, I bought my DH hops seeds for Christmas. Since you are on the topic of getting rid of them, do I need to put it somewhere it can't spread too far? I'm worried now I'm going to regret this!

ChuckSnowballs Sat 28-Jan-17 09:53:43

It isn't the spreading that was an issue for me it was the fact that it grows at a massive rate. I was having to cut it back every single day during midsummer. And our gardens are 'allotment style' so I had it growing along a fence [my fences are all around a metre tall and have fruit growing along every square inch of them, all espaliered and tied in]. And both hops smothered the more precious fruit, and tried to take a grape down last summer. Hence coming to the rescue and ditching the hop.

I wanted to grow hops because as a child, I lived in, and wandered around the grounds of Sissinghurst Castle, and down by the brook there were loads of hopfields and I just love the smell. We would scrump them and make hop pillows. But after having my arms scratched to smithereens, I can see why they are grown up massive frames.

Also, if you want to grow it for hops, you need one female and one male. Otherwise the female doesn't get pollinated. Double trouble.

Mine were replanted at the place I worked last summer, so their problem now smile

Scentofwater Sat 28-Jan-17 10:10:32

Thank you Chuck. I'll find a spot they can sprawl without taking anything else out.

And sorry for sidetracking the thread!

cairnterrier Sun 29-Jan-17 09:27:21

Oh dear. We definitely had hops last year so there may be 2 to get rid of angry no idea how old they are as we only moved in autumn 2015 and they're planted in some sort of brick box about 4ft high so will be tricky to get purchase on a spade when digging. Hey ho. Gym membership saved for another month though!

ChuckSnowballs Sun 29-Jan-17 10:19:18

A photo might help. If in a brick box, then prise a spade down the sides, wedging the soil and roots away from the bricks, and chop out the roots, removing almost cubes of soil/root. Then once you have got access , bend the plant to one side, and use a saw or loppers to cut the main roots off. You should be able to get most of it out that way.

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