We began irrigating on the week of June 1st and will continue to irrigate until harvest at the end of August. Hops require a lot of water! We strongly recommend that you irrigate, and once you are done, irrigate some more. Chris Lattak of the Trickl-eez irrigation company recommends 16 gallons per plant per week. That’s a hard number to hit – we won’t be reaching it because we’d run the well dry – but it’s a good goal. For evidence to the value in irrigation, see this recent SARE grant study from Aroostook Farm in Maine: http://www.aroostookhops.com/uploads/SAREFinalReport2012FNE11-711.pdf. This year we also added a fertigation system, which applies fertilizer through the drip irrigation. The fertigation started the week of June 9th. More information to come on our fertigation system.
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