This year I have, against Mat's better judgement, transplanted hops. Its probably the one plant that Mat remembers from his mom's beautiful, lush, colour filled garden. Even in the zone 2, windy Crowsnest Pass, hops grew to cover a trellis at the entry of their home. Mat doesn't remember its resiliency or shade or beauty, he remembers it clawing at him as he attempted to enter his home after school. He remembers it scraping up his arms and face as he fought it off the trellis every fall.
|Not the best picture- but the only one I can access from my laptop!|
The information I read about planting hops was fussy; I ended up being not. I used a spade and hacked at the seedlings, then dropped each one with some knots of roots into a bucket. I then proceeded to forget them in the sun for most of the day. That evening, I hastily dug holes about the yard and planted the roots with some compost and water. Two weeks later, there are signs of life at 4 of the 6 planting sites: two along the pergola, three against the fence, and one in the alley. In fact, one root's already grown two feet of new life. Looking on it in delight, I again reassured Mat that I will "help to" take it down. And in the end, if his memory is right, I'm committed to ripping the darlings out (easier said than done?!)
PS. I will also add, that I love Virginia Creeper. It too would grow like a child on steroids with the added benefit of not needing to be cut down in the fall- and hence having much less 'vertical ground' to cover to reach the top netting every season. I may try this next year if my hops fails to work. My main hesitation is the baffling leaf hoppers: little, literally 'hopping' white insects that lay their eggs on the bottom of the leaf which turn the whole plant prematurely red. My main beef with them is not the early onset of autumn, it is their mob-like quality at your faintest move. You flourish an arm and they all get hopping at once. It's unnerving! On my other creeper, I have found no organic solution. If you have an antidote- please let me know as this plant would be an ideal friend to our pergola... and may save me some big marital tension in the fall.