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I have been growing hops by luck. Last year I gave them a 3 pole teepee to climb and they flourished and were beautiful. This year they were looking gorgeous once again, but days before I was about to pick them they became infested with aphids. The explosion and destruction has been shocking. My beautiful green cones are crawling with them and are suddenly turning brown (a separate problem?). Some cones even have grey-black mold-looking stains I their bottom leaves. HOWEVER, they still smell great and still have ample golden magic. Question: are my hops history or are they still worth picking. My home brewing neighbor who has been a defender and supporter of my hops now turns up his nose. How badly will the aphids effect my hops and our beer?

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You can still use your hops, however buy some lady bugs or praying mantis' they will destroy the aphids. Also try planting marigolds near the hops it attracts lady bugs.

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Insecticidal soap can knock them back as well with no harm to the plants. I've got bigger issues in my backyard today... Snow. Way too early and probably going to lose the harvest.

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