Today during lunch, I dug through my recently planted Cascade hops, and I had a disconcerting find. One of my rhizomes was missing. At first, I thought I may have missed it, so I dug through the soil again, and couldn’t find it.
At this point, I thought about when I had last checked the rhizomes. It was Saturday evening, and everything was good. With both of the rhizomes, I took a couple of the sprouts and placed them above ground to reach the sun, to hopefully kick-start the growth cycle. Perhaps the birds thought it was a worm and grabbed it out of the ground. Then I remembered the dreaded squirrels liked to dig through my soil, mentioned in my last hops growing article.
I searched the yard, about 10-15 feet from the bed, and found the rhizome. It had been split in half and chewed, most likely by squirrels. I was devastated. I decided to first soak what was left of the rhizome in some water, then buried the halves in the soil. To try and repel the squirrels, I spread black pepper and cayenne pepper over the beds.
So, let’s hope for the best so the rhizome will grow, and today I hate squirrels.