Now is a great time to prepare for the upcoming season as plants are beginning to come out of dormancy. If you haven’t ordered your coir for the season, now is the time to do so while also taking inventory of other necessary tools and supplies such as w-clips, applicators, and pruners to name a few. Work in the hop yard in Alburgh, VT has picked up with the recent warm weather. We have begun cleaning up our hop yard from any existing debris and supplies have been ordered. As we near the fast approaching season, there are a number of activities that can prepare you in the hop yard if you haven’t done so already.
– Order necessary supplies.
-Clean and disinfect tools.
-Submit a soil test for fertility guidelines for the upcoming season.
-Develop a proposed schedule for fertility applications based on these soil test guidelines.
-Check irrigation system and patch or replace broken lines and valves.
-Remove any residual debris from previous season.
-Repair damaged trellis. –
– Check equipment and perform necessary maintenance.
As the spring progresses the necessity to prune will arrive quickly as well as the need for stringing plants to set your plants up for success. With plants a few weeks ahead of last year (which got off to a slow, wet start) crowning has been completed on our research plots with future plans to flame prune a few weeks away.
Some additional links for information:
Managing Downy Mildew in Hops in the Northeast, https://www.uvm.edu/sites/default/files/media/DownyMildew.pdf
2019 Hop Crowning Trial, https://www.uvm.edu/sites/default/files/Northwest-Crops-and-Soils-Program/2019_Hop_Crowning_report.pdf
Mastering Spring Activities in the Hop Yard with Julien Venne (video presentation), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5YHly6jMqM&feature=youtu.be