I grew hops for the first time this past year, and all went well for the first year--a lot of green leaves, only a handful of cones on my three plants (East Kent Golding, Perle, and Northern Brewer), but great hopes for 2016 now that the plants are more established.
To prepare for next year, should I cover the plant crowns with mulch or some similar protection so as to help them winter over? I know hops are hardy, but would an extra layer help--or possibly hurt? I live in Western Massachusetts, so things do get fairly cold and snowy in a typical winter.
Any advice would be appreciated.