The Q&A Archives: Controlling Weeds in Hops

Questioner's Location: St. Charles, IL
Date: May 27, 1998

Question: Three years ago I build a Hops garden with several varieties of Hops. They are healthy and productive, but because of the rich soil mixture I used in building the garden, the weeds and grass LOVE it. I grow grass better in my Hops garden than I do in my lawn! What can I do to kill/suppress the weeds and grass without harming the Hops?

Answer: The safest way to eliminate weeds from your Hops bed is to hand pull them, and then mulch the area to suppres additional weeds. You can use several thicknesses of newspaper, woven weed-barrier cloth, black plastic, or a 3-4 inch layer of compost or leaf mold. Weed seeds can't germinate without light, so the mulch will keep new weeds from sprouting. Mulch will also help hold moisture in the soil and organic mulch material will leach nutrients as you water or as the rain falls. Get after those opportunistic weeds early in the season before they completely take over your garden bed!

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